How I Set Yearly Goals (And a Look at My 2016 Goal Set)

January 12, 2016

Have you finished your 2016 goals yet?

Of course you have.

I’m sure they’re already laminated and on the wall. Or, maybe more likely, they’re on your smartphone in some kind of cool app I should be using.

Good for you.

I just finished mine today and thought I’d begin an adventure in goal-setting accountability by sharing them publicly for the first time.

Each year I create 3-5 goals in each of the four areas that I use to organize my life: personal, relationships, business & finance.

Once I finish them, I write them on the back of a Highland Park “Touch” card in church for no reason other than a tradition of good luck in doing so and my general avoidance of change, which I explored in my last post. I then tape the 4×6 card to my bathroom mirror so I have a daily reminder of how I need to improve.

In recent years I have also done the “My One Word” approach, created by our clients Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen, where you pick one word to guide the year ahead. It is an effective and simple way to stay focused on an intentional theme for your life throughout the year. If you haven’t tried this before, head over to the website and check out their book to learn more.

Part of healthy goal-setting for the year is being honest about the realities of the year ahead. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I expect change to be a major part of my life in 2016 and I’m planning my year around that reality.

My one word for 2016: “Authenticity” (In everything I do I’ll focus on being my best, most authentic self, comfortable and confident with the outcome, whatever that may be)

2016 Goals


  • Have fun every day
  • Seize the moment (be present)
  • Let it go/relax unless I am in control
  • Journal, meditate and pray daily
  • Compete


  • Get home early & put the phone down
  • Call at least 1 friend per day for no reason other than to check-in
  • Create new experiences with Paige and the kids
  • Give more than I receive in every relationship I have, beginning at home


  • Lead with humble confidence, calm & conviction at all times
  • Build up leaders around me and put team members in position to go to new heights in their careers & overall personal development so they can get what they want in business & life
  • Continue to roll out our vision plan, with an emphasis on growth, accountability and being a better leader for my team
  • Help more clients than ever start conversations that matter and, along the way, work with them to growth their businesses to new heights
  • Work with Barbara Cave Henricks to use our new book, Mastering the New Media Landscape, to educate tens of thousands of people so they can stop being intimidated by the new media landscape and finally build an audience for their message


  • Ruthlessly eliminate waste
  • Pay down assets
  • Diversify investments

I have a feeling my good friend and one of our favorite clients, Rodger Dean Duncan, is reading this and is ready to remind me that those in the list above aren’t all “SMART Goals,” which means not all of them are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Timely. That’s fair, Rodger, but I think many of these hit the mark and am hoping those listed above will be a guide to the best year yet.

How do you break down your yearly goals? What model or framework has worked well for you?

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