startups and code

New Year - New Goals

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I love the new year. We all feel like a chance to start a new resolution, a new goal, a new life. What makes January 1 so special though? We can reset at any time through the year. It is a man-made concept that makes us feel we can start over. One of my consistent annual goals (that never happens) is to write on a daily basis. I suppose writing on a daily basis does not have to be public facing, so maybe that makes it more attainable.

Goal Setting

If you never did an annual review, goals are described as SMART goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Based.

It is not a new concept, according to Wikipedia, it was introduced back in 1981 by George Doran.  There are so many quotes about setting goals, ways to attain goals, and so much more. I'll make this part pretty quick, since you can look this up on a thousand different websites.

Specific - Make the goal something that is very specific, more details, easier to understand what it means to accomplish it. Don't say something like, learn a new language, but something like Learn a new Spanish word every week.

Measurable - Make it something that you can see progress. If you can measure it, than you can verify if it was accomplished and if you are on track.

Attainable - Make sure it is something that you can do, this kind of ties into Realistic.

Realistic - Sometimes this is also relevant, so if you are setting goals for a company, then it should align with the company and that it is something relevant/realistic with the company.

Time-Based - I think this is the most important one. Goals without deadlines are dreams. I love that quote. Set a deadline, it creates some pressure for you to actually stay on track.


Ok, with that out-of-the-way, what is important about goal setting isn't the goals, but the individual. People rarely talk about the individual about what motivates the individual. Since you are setting your goals, what motivates you? Are you motivated by telling someone else and you create a level of accountability with another person. Are you motivated by a reward that you create for yourself?  If someone tells you to do something, do you do everything in your power to not do that?

These concepts defined by Gretchen Rubin in a book called "The Four Tendencies" . I think we can accomplish so much more when we learn more and more about ourselves. The past year I experienced so much, multiple clients, moved to NYC, had our Charlie pass, adopted a new dog, worked with on and off-shore teams, worked with local entrepreneurs to get them started, played with some blockchain technology, went deep into devops, and started back training in jiujitsu. That is just a little bit, but life is exciting when you keep growing.

I think we often set too many unrealistic goals and then fail, and then beat ourselves up from that. I learn so much more from failures than I ever did from any success. We look at people who succeed and think GREAT, they can help me and do it again. It is often a combination of timing, luck, and a lot perseverance. There is a saying on almost ever financial website - "Past performance does not guarantee future results". That is so true in other areas also. I want the person that has failed and is still determined. The successful person who has not encountered hardship of any kind isn't a real success story, they are just lucky. True determination comes from standing up from failure, rejection, and frustration.

Positivity in 2018

Don't quit on something you believe in. Seems logical, if I believe in it, why would I quit? You won't. You have to truly believe in it though. Remove the fear, remove the, "as soon as I...", and remove the "I just need...", and go for it. Surround yourself with people who support you, not undermine you. Remove the people who are negative. You will know who those people are, but we are often afraid of distancing ourselves from them from some fear of being alone, or losing a relationship. It is not the case. When you separate from the negative, you have now made room for the positive.

Let's make 2018 a positive year of growth, excitement, and pure joy.

You can do it, and if you need help let me know. I love helping other's who really believe in something great.

Go build something amazing!