A New Approach to Setting Goals… Forget the Goals

Posted: January 21st, 2011

Photo by BazaarBizarreSF (Flickr)

Photo by BazaarBizarreSF (Flickr)

Another January rolls around and it’s the same thing over again. Reflect on the previous year, figure out what you accomplished and what you didn’t quite get to yet. Then set some goals and see where those lead to.

Pretty much the same for years on end.

Of course it’s important to have a yearly audit of your own business and find ways to improve. That, however, usually happens without even realizing it. Call this trial and error with a bit of growing up.

Then there comes the list of goals…  somewhat completed by the end of the year. Unless you can say you gave your absolute best effort into trying to achieve every last one of them, though, it would be hard to call it a success. More like somewhat of a success.

But, in my opinion, that translates into somewhat of a successful person, not exactly something to inspire to.

Well, my approach changed. Actually it’s been changed for the last several months and results, which carried over into the new year, have been surprising. So what is it?

Take care of yourself physically. Sounds simple but that requires change which isn’t so easy. But we are looking for change, are we not?

My take is that if you are sitting at your desk behind a computer for numerous hours on end then you need to be alert, motivated and ready for the long haul of a day. You can call it training for a daily freelancing marathon if you will.

One thing I realized is that, no matter how you think your own work is routine, if you are not at your best physically, then there is no way you can accomplish everything you want to in a day. Hence the somewhat success that results.

By no means am I a health expert but ask yourself a few questions.

Are you getting too little rest (or too much)? See what a full 7 – 8 hours of sleep a day has on your productivity. Not a minute more or less. Waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day also cures the oversleeping blues.

Are you getting enough exercise? I don’t need to repeat here anything you haven’t already heard before. Get out… break out that dusty gym card, walk around the neighborhood or bike to the next city. Whatever it takes to break a sweat and make a habit out of it.

Are you eating healthy? OK, I’d be a hypocrite if I said I still followed a completely healthy diet but at least try swapping some of that junk food for fruits and veggies. You’d be surprised how much of an effect unhealthy eating has on your energy levels throughout the day and the positive effect natural foods have on them.

These may all sound simple but it takes some time to really believe in them and make a part of your lifestyle. But if the end result means your productivity goes up and a few more of those New Year’s resolutions get done this year, isn’t it worth it?

More on the author, Johnny Spence
Johnny is the founder of The Freelance Rant and a freelance web programmer with 8 years in the business. Have a visit at his company Oscarrr!web or see what he's up to on Twitter.

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3 Comments. Join In!

  • Jon Buscall

    January 22nd, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I’m with you on this one Johnny. It’s important to take time to eat right, exercise and sleep. The woofs help get me out of the office very regularly and I love going to the gym – although I’m now 2 weeks behind after a horrendous bout of Man Flu!

    Here’s to a successful and healthy 2011!

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  • Johnny

    January 26th, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I do, too, now and now, I’m even out doing more outdoor stuff than before. It does have a major impact on your work and not just your health!

    And here’s to beating up the Man Flu once and for all.