Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Organised Redhead's 2016 Goals

It was back in the summer of '96 that I first discovered the power of setting and working toward achievement of goals. That was the year when I was fortunate to live in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on an hotel internship which formed part of my university degree. The luxury hotel company I worked for had introduced the concept of employee empowerment, which necessitated the education of staff into a different mindset. Part of the training which filtered down to the on-the-ground employees originated from Stephen Covey's hugely successful book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" (first published in 1989) from which training programmes were being introduced into companies around the USA. 

Many of my friends at the hotel (particularly those in the more managerial positions which I aspired to) were reading this book and talking about it. So I decided to join in and see what all the fuss was about. This was the first self-development type book I had ever read, and I lapped it up. 

Covey suggested that for "long term organising" it's useful to create a personal Mission Statement which can then be used to drive out goals that would help you to achieve your ultimate purpose. During the process of setting goals, it's useful to identify key roles which you find yourself performing regularly in your life - for example Mother, Wife, Daughter, Office Manager, Home Builder, Charity Supporter. Once the key roles are determined, it's easier to define goals within each of them.

I duly wrote myself a Personal Mission Statement, worked out my roles, set myself goals and then started to reap the benefits of being more focussed, driven and ultimately getting what I wanted. 

By the end of my year in Atlanta, I'd made many wonderful friends, had an extremely successful internship at the hotel (receiving one of a handful of 'with distinction' awards toward my degree for my placement year), travelled to New York, Ohio, Florida & Canada and on top of all that I'd bought myself a beautiful diamond & sapphire ring with matching diamond & sapphire earrings. 

Out of all these amazing things, the one most positive effect I experienced was that my personal confidence levels were significantly increased. It felt like the world was my oyster and I was hooked!

Since then, I have found that setting and working toward the accomplishment of goals has given me a direction and sense of purpose in my life. I'm positive that if it were not for learning from Stephen Covey and having goals, that I certainly would not have achieved half of what has been possible for me so far. 

Personal Mission Statement

My reason for writing a personal mission statement is to try to encapsulate what I fundamentally want out of my life. Once I have this in writing, I find it's much easier to come up with meaningful goals.

I've recently written a new mission statement as I found that the one I wrote back in 1996 no longer captured the essence of what I now want. It's probably a good idea to take some time to revisit this each year to check it's still working for me.

"To experience happiness, contentment and bliss by having the freedom to choose what I use my time for. 

I choose to spend my time:
 On a continuous journey of self development; 
Sharing great times with family, friends & acquaintances (old and new); 
Helping others with their own search for freedom & happiness"

My Roles

I find that the roles I identify for myself change over time. At the moment the ones I'm using are:

  • Home Builder
  • Money Manager
  • Entrepreneurial Endeavours
  • Relationship Builder
  • Traveller
  • Philanthropist
  • Self Improvement

My 2016 Goals

So without further ado, here are my goals for 2016. The "complete by" date for all goals is December 31st 2016 unless otherwise stated.

1. Experience the joy, satisfaction and contentment of living with my partner (TheBF) for the first time
ROLES: Home Builder, Relationship Builder
I will seek to do this by:

  • Accepting suitable offers for the sale of my house and TheBF's house, with both proceeding to sale completion
  • Finding a new house to buy with TheBF which meets all our purchase criteria
    • Agree a suitable purchase price
    • Complete the purchase
    • Move in [by December 31st 2016]

2. Gain the freedom to choose what I use my time for, removing the necessity of doing work that does not inspire me simply because it pays the bills
ROLES: Money Manager, Entrepreneurial Endeavours
I will seek to do this by:

  • Pursuing financial independence
    • Create a 2016 financial plan/budget [by February 29th 2016]
    • Create a "FI before 50 Roadmap" containing steps I need to take to become Financially Independent before the age of 50 [by March 31st 2016]
    • Follow the 2016 financial plan/budget

  • Researching alternative options for spending my time which could eventually help to replace my current mode of work
    • Create and maintain a blog site to track my goals and interact with the online community
      • Research a suitable blog site and how to use it, and set-up blog [by February 2016] {DONE}
      • Deliver at least 1 post per week on average*
  • Research new alternative sources of repeat income
    • Generate at least £1 this year from a new source** of regular income

*   From the start date of the blog (Feb 12th 2016)
** Existing sources of income include: salary, dividends, interest, cashback, eBay sales, recommendation referrals for products and services I already own/use

3. Become a better person by the end of the year, than I was at the start of it. Can be measured in terms of knowledge & skills gained, health & fitness improved, relationships circle expanded & strengthened, internal beliefs challenged & reviewed, positive habits created
ROLES: Self Improvement, Relationship Builder, Traveller
I will seek to do this by:

  • Completing a personal development challenge with my sister (100 day challenge or something similar)
  • Reading at least 6 new books
  • Losing 10lbs in weight by the end of July and maintaining the weight loss through till the end of the year through good diet and exercise
  • Going on at least 12 planned "date nights" with TheBF in 2016
  • Going on a family holiday to France where I can spend quality time with TheBF, my parents, my sister, brother-in-law and niece
  • Researching and booking a mini-cruise with family
  • Introducing a routine of regular meditation
    • By the end of the year, I will be meditating a minimum of 3 times per week

4: Use my unique personal skills and abilities to help others achieve happiness. This may include offering tips & insights, friendship, encouragement and support 
ROLES: Philanthropist, Relationship Builder, Self Improvement
I will seek to do this by:

  • Offering tips, support and conversation online through:
    • My blog
    • Social media accounts (Twitter in the first instance)
    • Getting involved in the FI and Personal Development communities by commenting on and sharing other people's blogs/sites
  • Offering tips, support and help offline through any face-to-face opportunities should they arise, such as:
    • Meet-ups
    • Coaching
    • Training
    • Speaking engagements
  • Supporting my chosen charities through a spread of donations totalling £350 this year

Do you set yourself goals or do you prefer to be more of a 'free spirit' without them? 
I'd be very interested to hear what goal setting approach you use, and how frequently you set goals...


  1. Hi OG

    It's great that a book that you read 20 years ago could still provide you with inspiration!

    Anyway, really like the way you've laid out your goals, in a strong and very "organised" (no wonder you're called Organised Redhead!) manner - lots of variety there.

    I guess I'm a bit more of a free spirit - I do need goals for some focus but I found myself stressing and being a little distracted last year when I set what ended up as being too many goals (for me).

    This year, I've gone for Keeping It Simple, set only a few goals, which leaves me to do other 'stuff' in between!

    Good luck with your goals - look forward to reading how you go about achieving them! :-)

  2. BTW, not sure why I've called you 'OG' - typo sorry, OR! :-)

  3. Hi weenie,

    Thanks for your comments, it's really nice of you to stop by and check out my post.

    I'm hoping that I haven't set myself too many goals for this year. It's the first year in a little while that I've properly sat down and done some well thought out goal setting, so I'm hoping that I've not given myself too much of a challenge! Now that I'm writing a blog this should help me keep on track with the goals and remind me to review my progress on a frequent basis (so that I can provide updates in the blog).

    Keeping it simple in terms of goals should mean that you can remain focused on them, giving you more chance of success IMHO. So that sounds like a great plan to me.

    Thanks again for stopping by...

  4. Hi OR,
    I just found your blog and had a quick browse around.
    Thanks for posting your goals and mission statement. Its a timely reminder i need to revisit whats most important and where my time should be focused with an eye on the bigger picture. I have so much going on, i lose track of the end goal and get overwhelmed. I need to get rid of some things out of my schedule. I think this will help.

    1. Hi SG,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking a look around. You can probably tell from this post that I'm a big believer in goal setting and having something to work toward. Having your end goals written down so that you can revisit them regularly is such a powerful exercise.

      Since I wrote these goals near the start of the year I have kept a copy of them close to hand, and have read through them nearly every day this year to keep them fresh in my mind - I would highly recommend doing this once you have some goals identified.

      I hope you manage to consolidate your schedule and free up some of your time for your important things. Do let me know how you get on.