It's a new dawn, it's a new day, as the song goes... Are you feeling good?
We put a lot of expectations on ourselves at the start of a new year. All those "new year, new me" comments can be exhausting and unnecessary. You can't expect to magically transform into a better version of yourself, just because the Earth completed another revolution around the Sun from an arbitrarily chosen spot on its orbit.
But I still find annual planning and goal setting to be very useful—as long as you dedicate enough time to them and do it right. And by "right" I mean in a way that serves you in the long run; a way that keeps you tethered to the things you deem important; a way that gives you a license to say "no" to everything else that comes along. Because you know in your heart it will just be a distraction.
So instead of the "usual programming" of this newsletter I wanted to give you some resources that will help you plan the year right. I hope you find them useful!
I'll cheat a bit and use the words of a favorite writer of mine, Neil Gaiman. He puts it much better than I'll ever be able to:
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
Happy New Year! May it be a great one!
New Year’s Resolutions And How I Manage To Keep Them [Updated for 2021]
This post was originally written in 2018 so I revisited and updated it. I was surprised to see that I had to make just a few minor changes, though. It seems that I have arrived at a comfortable approach to annual planning and goal setting—and this makes me even more comfortable to propose it to you.
Measure What Matters: Why OKRs Are the Only Goal Setting Approach You Need [Book Notes]
If I had to pick one book to recommend to you at the start of the new year, it'd be this one. The OKR methodology (objectives and key results) is the best approach to planning I've found so far. You can comfortably use it for both planning your company's progress and your personal growth. The article, as the whole Book Notes series, is not simply a review of the book—it covers all the key ideas from it.
8 Habits Marketers Need to Make Their Career Soar
You definitely need to treat building habits as an important part of your annual goals. Habits are the best mental shortcut to becoming better through small action steps each day. This post covers the habits I think marketers definitely need to invest in.
Goal Setting: A Scientific Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals
James Clear is the leading expert when it comes to productivity and with good reason. He manages to explain complex ideas in simple and actionable terms. This post covers goal setting in extensive detail and you'll be wise to apply Clear's advice to your own process.
How to Complete Your Own Annual Review
This probably should've been the first link in the list since the annual review will be a great basis for future goal setting. Doist's guide for conducting annual reviews is detailed and you can put the questions to practice right away.
One more thing!
Do you think this content will help someone? Go ahead and forward it!
Was the email forwarded to you? Then you need your own subscription!