Towards the close of 2021, I decided to share a review of how my goals had gone in the year.
This was done more to keep myself accountable, and motivated, so I was surprised when the post was well received by my regular readers (thank you!).
Therefore, at the risk of over staying my welcome, I’ve decided this will be a regular feature where you get to see quarter goal reviews.
For those unfamiliar, I always group my goals into the different areas of my life, and these are:
- Family/Personal Life
In this post, I give a summary how things are doing. I haven’t broken this into blow-by-blow detail of each goal (if you want more detail check out Appendix A).
Here I’ll tell you what worked, what hasn’t, along with any new goals, and I’ll summarise each section with a key lesson learnt.
Last time, I reported the lack of stability of my career in 2021. The “dream job” didn’t work out, and after feeling jaded and burnt out, I ended the year reinventing myself, moving into a different type of role that was out of my comfort zone.
So far it’s been good, and my goals were focused on settling into my team and understanding my role – the former has been achieved, the latter… not so much.
I’ve been spending time working with a career coach to set out some objectives that will help me embed into the role, but still I was on a networking call the other day and the person said to me
“You’re the team’s new engagement lead, what does that job actually mean?”
I’m embarrassed to say, but I couldn’t clearly say what my role was about, therefore one of my new goals is to be explain what my role is to a stranger in a two-minute elevator pitch.
Lesson learnt: this is the most demanding role I’ve ever worked in, and it’s been a real challenge to incorporate the “sharpening the saw” type activities popularised by Stephen Covey. It’s really important to allow reflection time to support your development. My aim is to ensure I’m allowing enough time for this focus and set expectations so my team doesn’t always steamroller into this.
In my end of year reflection, I mentioned how pressured I felt in 2021. For this new year, so far, so good.
It’s been a pleasure to get back to a regular gym schedule, and a relief to be back in a job that gives me lots of satisfaction.
This has resulted in me being more compassionate to myself, and stop putting so much pressure on myself. As a result, I feel content with life, rather than thinking it’s a daily battle until retirement.
Now to be accountable – I need to be more present for my family. Last year I could blame that on circumstance, but now, well, I need to do better.
In the spirit of self-compassion, I recognise what I need to change, I hope the headspace at work will allow me to be more mentally present around my children, rather than looking at things to block them out.
Lesson learnt: I recently read this great Twitter thread about switching off, it made me realise I need to spend more time away from technology and enjoy the moments. Shortly after reading this, I took the dog on a lengthy walk, and felt rejuvenated being able to think and come up with solutions to problems.
Note to self: I need to take the dog on more long walks.
With the gyms staying open in 2022, I’ve been able to train to my programme without having breaks or closures.
Keeping my previous strength achievements (bench and squat) maintained, I’m now focused on these two milestones:
- Deadlift 200kg
- Overhead press 100kg
I’ve been frustrated by my deadlift since the first UK lockdown in March 2020, where I was so close to reaching my goal. Each open and close was simply an exercise of trying to regain lost strength, than reach new personal bests.
As life has gone back to normal in the UK, I’ve had time to follow my 12 week strength programme without breaks and am proud to say I am progressing well to 200kg
Once this is achieved, I will pause any further strength training – pushing yourself for these goals requires an extra intake of calories, something I’ve been a bit too successful at.
Therefore, my next goal will to be cut some of the body fat down, though I don’t want this to be at the expense of losing strength, so my aim with weight loss is to drop no more than 1lb a week, and I will also be using other measures to record progress like body fat percentage and inches around the stomach.
Lesson learnt: there is a feeling that stopping a goal is equal to a failure – it isn’t, it’s just sometimes we have to deal with different priorities. It is for the best to give yourself permission to take a break or stop a goal if you aren’t feeling it. Taking the break away will allow you to reflect-recalibrate-restart.
So far the year is going well, keeping up a regular posting schedule and making (some) effort to promote my work more widely on social media.
The good news was getting my first article published on a website that is not my own – I’m really pleased with this result, as the goal was designed to be about pushing through fears of rejection and getting my words out there. It was a bonus to have someone tell me they wanted to publish my work.
Despite this success, I’ve not met my monthly quota sending something through each month, and this wasn’t about fear of rejection, but time to write.
There was something I was working for in January, but I wasn’t feeling it and ran out of time to write something else, and February, well busyness and the shortness of the month caught me out.
Excuses aside, my aim is to move on and get back into the habit of writing and sharing my work.
Lesson learnt: I’ve already noted about keeping my ambitions under control in my last review so that I’m being realistic in what I can do with my spare time. Therefore, I recognise the ambition of my writing goals, and use this to recognise my limitations and be more compassionate when I’m not getting as much done as I would like.
Thanks for taking the time to read how my goals are getting on. Do you have anything you are working on?
If you want to see a detailed list of how my current goals stand, check out Appendix A. And if you can think of a better title for this series of posts so it doesn’t sound like I’m filing a financial report, please do comment below.
Summary: This quarters key lessons
- In your day job, make sure you are blocking out time for personal reflection and development. Set expectations with your colleagues so they are not taking over this time.
- Take time to switch off and get away from technology. This will allow time to think, and not get overwhelmed with the fast-paced world.
- You may have setbacks on your goals, but persistence can help it pay off in the end.
- Taking a step back and focusing on other goals, is not failure and is okay.
- Be realistic in your ambitions, and be compassionate if you don’t achieve everything you wanted to.
Wishing you the best in your success,
James @Perfect Manifesto.
Appendix A: Goals for 2022
- Settle into the team. (COMPLETE)
- Understand the role and identify the requirements that will make me successful. (ONGOING)
- Be able to explain to a stranger into a 2-minute pitch what my job is actually doing. (NEW)
- Network and build relationships with people to be more effective doing the job. (ONGOING)
- Set expectations with my team and ensure I’m allowing adequate reflection time. (NEW)
- Be more compassionate to myself and recognise the good things I offer my family. (ONGOING)
- Be more present, keep the phone away, turn the TV off. Play with my kids more, read to them. Make more time with my wife. (ONGOING)
- Working from home – know when it’s work time, personal time and family time. Don’t blend the three into one mess where I’m underwhelming at all three. (ONGOING)
- Deadlift 200kg. (ONGOING – FINISH EARLY APRIL)
- Overhead 100kg. (PAUSED – MAINTAINING)
- Lose 0.5-1lbs of weight a week until August 2022. (NEW)
- Publish 52 new posts on Wednesday for 2022.(ONGOING – 13/13 SO FAR)
- Submit one article a month for consideration by an external website. (ONGOING – 0/2 SO FAR)
- Promote my work more effectively on social media (and set actual targets) (ONGOING – NEED TO DEFINE HOW I ACTUALLY MEASURE THIS?)