Are you achieving your goals?

Iain Smith

Iain Smith / May 16, 2020

3 min read

My calendar

In January this year, I managed to run 100 miles, a challenge I thought I wouldn't complete. Achieving this goal was a combination of determination and tracking throughout the month. (Also encouragement from my girlfriend ☺️) I felt a huge sense of achievement from completing this goal. In previous years, I would set an ambitious list of yearly goals, thinking I would have tons of time to focus on them... but never did... there was no structure. I realised I needed to change how I set out goals and habits.

I came across the blog of a tech friend, who was tracking their habits every 6 weeks for health reasons. Each blog post detailed: a goal, a habit report, a plan for the next 6 weeks, and a list of good and bad things that happened. This method was working for him, so I thought this could work for me, and I loved seeing the data and progress.

After some further research into 6-week cycles, I found this article from Basecamp. In the article, they describe how they use cycles to make improvements to their company and products. Each cycle has 1 to 2 significant improvements and 4 to 8 small improvements. They then take 2 weeks off to relax, fix some minor issues, and firm up ideas for the next cycle. Here is an example of one of their cycles. This then got me thinking, should I think of my self as a product that I can add improvements too?

I am going to experiment in using a combination of both these methods for my goals and habits. This is the structure I plan to use for each cycle:

6-week cycle

1 - 2 main goals

These will be goals that will fill roughly the whole 6 weeks. This could be; learn about "X", Build an App that does "X", Run "X" amount of miles, etc. These goals are going to be my main focus for this cycle, they may develop into habits, which is in the next section.

4 - 8 small goals/habits

These are either smaller goals that are not going to take the whole time or habits I want to track. These goals may be as simple as brew one beer or habits like I am a blogger that blogs once every 6 weeks.

Thoughts on the cycle

This will be a reflection of the last 6 weeks: how I did, what I can do to improve, and what I want to do next.

This could all be very ambitions, and I might not be able to stick to it, but I am going try to blog about it to drive my motivation. Also, I am hoping it will help me keep a regular blog.

I encourage you to join me in creating a goal tracking blog post every so often to check in with yourself. Or if you have any tips or tricks, I could use, let me know below. See you on the 28th of June.

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