The Importance of Goal Setting
It’s a new year and that means there are 365 days, give or take a few at this point, to work towards accomplishing anything to which you set your mind. It’s (somewhat) scientifically proven that writing down goals makes you more likely to achieve them, regardless of whether you call them goals or New Year’s resolutions. So, each year I set aside time to reflect upon and come up with some important achievements, habits, or targets I can strive to attain before 2018 hits. For instance, two of my goals last year included self-publishing a book on my law school strategy and launching a YouTube channel. I wrote down both of these goals (using my iPhone’s notes app) and researched steps to take towards getting there. The biggest hump is actually taking the time to write down your goals and process what projects are important for you at this time in your life.
I try to categorize my goals into a few commonly recommended areas: personal/mental, professional/career, family, spiritual, financial, physical, and social. If you want some assistance in setting your own goals, including a simple worksheet download, I recommend you check out Dave Ramsey’s “Smart Goal Setting” blog post. Julia Tilford over at Mic.com has compiled a helpful guide to keeping resolutions once life gets back to full speed.
In addition to categorically defining goals, it’s important to follow the SMART acronym when generating goals. As first defined by George Doran, goals should meet some the following elements:
- Attainable (or Assignable)
Following this simple acronym in developing goals helps to guide in the process of applying actionable words to the goals that can be referenced throughout the year.
My 2017 Goals
After giving it some thought and researching a little further, I’ve narrowed down and finalized my goals for 2017. I’m listing a few of them that are professional/career related below to inspire others because the sky is the limit and I really do believe anything can be accomplished if you work hard enough!
#1 Finish ‘IP & Social Media Law’ book
One of the most important goals I have to complete in 2017 is to wrap-up work on my next book. I’ve actually been under contract for a year with the ABA’s Section of Intellectual Property to author a book examining the intersection of intellectual property laws and social media (specific). I’m well into writing it (realistic) with the rough draft due at the end of February (time-related). However, it still qualifies as a goal for this year since I still have a long way to go before it’s ready for publication. It’s tentatively scheduled for publication in Q1 or Q2 of 2018.
#2 Get published academically
While I’ve been published by peer-reviewed publications, I have yet to work on and submit a publication for a scholarly academic journal (specific). My goal is to get published at this level, or at least have a finalized note or article ready for submission by the end of year (time-related & attainable) due to the length of time it can take to have submissions reviewed and the level of competition in this area. There is actually a service called Expresso that assists in the submission process. Expresso also includes a feature that allows for a quick search to see which journals are open to accepting submissions.
I feel that there is definitely an article that can be written about the growing pains of copyright law in recent years, specifically dealing with expirations and terminations. I will be exploring related topics in the realm of copyright and technology.
#3 Post at least 1 blog entry a week
Another goal I have for 2017 is to post at least one new blog entry each week, leaving me with a total of 52 blog articles by the start of 2018. This goal definitely qualifies as specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-related. Although it is fairly straight forward, maintaining a regular blogging schedule is something I always let slip by, often for weeks at a time. I aim to improve my work ethic and one strategy I have to help with this goal is to schedule large chunks of time where I can sit down and write out 3, 4, or more posts in one sitting. Then, I can schedule them out and have time to focus on my other responsibilities and goals. Oh, and this blog post counts as my first for the year! 1 down and 51 to go!
#4 Upload at least 1 video a week
Again, this goal is similar to the above about blogging each week, but a lot more challenging. I’ve neglected my YouTube channel in terms of regularly posting videos outside the scope of the “How I Graduated From Law School With A Job” series (since that’s just a podcast/interview series, and not the true format of videos I should be posting on the channel). So, I’m challenging myself to plan ahead (as I will be doing with the blog posts) by filming several at one time, editing and scheduling them to go live throughout the subsequent weeks. I will make sure I don’t neglect my YouTube channel by posting original content regularly and build an audience on that platform.
What Are Your Goals?
Have you set goals for this year? Have any additional tips for achieving goals? Share them in the comments! I’d love to see what other people are working on and striving to achieve for 2017. Also, it helps to have accountability, so let’s keep each other accountable!