Goals are very hard to achieve. It takes a lot of work and commitment to achieve those goals. As we progress through the year, the motivation can dwindle and eventually those goals are forgotten.
But anything worth achieving will take specificity, accountability, and practice through habits.
The best way to reach a goal is to make it as specific as possible. Having a big audacious but vague goal will lead to inefficiency. Let’s take one of my goals as an example, which is to lose weight.
That’s pretty vague because I have no target to aim for. What is “lose weight”? Does that mean 5 lbs or 100 lbs? How long will it take? Not sure since there’s nothing to aim for.
When you break a goal down to the specifics, you have clarity. The target it clear.
The next step is breaking down the end goal into smaller steps to get you towards that finish line. If your goal is to get your CCNA by June 2020, an outline of baby steps towards the completion will further clarify what steps you need to take. That could mean reading a certain number of chapters per week, scoring 80% on practice exams by a certain week, and being able to do labs within a stricter timeline.
Remember to make your goals specific and break it down into smaller specific goals which help you get closer to your main objective.
With the use of an accountability system, the odds are much higher of achieving goals. I’m not referring to publicly announcing your goals on Twitter or another social media platform. Not even on your blog either.
What’s really needed is feedback with a partner, mentor, or coach. This could be any person who genuinely wants you to succeed.
Ways to hold yourself accountable include having monthly or quarterly meetings with your mentor/coach or group of like-minded individuals. Providing updates on the progress of a goal and the challenges can lead towards a healthy discussion of breaking through the barriers. The feedback should be healthy.
One of my favorite quotes is from Jim Rohn:
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.Jim Rohn
Hold yourself accountable while seeking the support of others in your group.
Accomplishing big goals requires you to perform your best. What I’ve learned is this means building the habits that make you a high performer.
I’ve considered myself to be successful by my standards. But I know I wasn’t at my best. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more but to achieve more means building habits that put you on the next level.
That’s what I’ve learned from reading High-Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard.
For me, that means working on habits which focus on my health, nurturing relationships, and increasing productivity. The right habits in place will set a foundation towards long-term success.
My Goals for 2020
Live a healthier lifestyle by eating smarter and lose 20 pounds by September 2020.
I’ve been very tired lately. Tired of working. Tired of doing stuff. And more stuff. I had no energy with the kids. I wasn’t very present, mentally.
Additionally, I had been eating poorly with little to no exercise. My physical state was affecting my mental performance.
For 2020, I want to increase my mental and physical performance by making this my number one priority. Eating healthier is a lot harder than it sounds. It requires some planning but most of all, just smarter food choices. It’s the self-control that needs to kick in.
One physical activity I want to commit myself to is taking 4 spin classes per week at a minimum of 30 minutes per class. I need to put my all into it. Sweat it out and feel energized after each spin class.
By focusing on my health I can increase my energy and work on my mind and body.
Earn CompTIA CTT+ certification by February 2020
The purpose of obtaining a CompTIA CTT+ certification is to teach myself how to put on a good training session. I completed the CTT+ Essentials exam in Mid-December 2019.
My next steps are to submit a performance evaluation. This requires me to hold a recorded training with at least 5 people and I must meet all the requirements of the certification in a short recording period.
I would like to aim towards creating training courses and I needed the knowledge of creating the content.
Earn Cisco DevNet Associate certification by March 2020
The possibilities of learning how to use network automation and scripting in your network environment are limitless. I have a few ideas with network monitoring that I’d like to develop, especially when it comes to wireless.
But studying for the DevNet Associate helps force myself to learn some of these concepts. I’ve had learning Python as a goal for 2019 and I didn’t really start until September/October – later on in the year.
One other reason for getting the DevNet Associate is the possibility of adding these skills as a service for my business. Again, many possibilities there. Overall, I’d like to be efficient with installs and monitoring through the use of Python and other ways of network automation.
Increase Professional Services revenue by 15% for Packet6
I was very happy with what I achieved in 2019. You can read about it in my 2019 Review – Income Report. When you work alone, there are some physical limitations to what you can do. I can’t be in multiple places at the same time. I’m also limited with vacation time at my full-time job.
But I’m not going to let that stop me from increasing my professional services revenue by 15%. My goal is to be more efficient and smart with my work.
By identifying what’s slowing me down from my full potential and eliminating the inefficiencies I should see some growth. Time will tell!
Decrease business expenses by 20% for Packet6
If there’s one thing that will kill a business, it’s the business expenses! I spent way too much money in 2019. Obviously, I need to watch the spending or else I’ll go broke. So it looks like Packet6 will go on a diet in 2020 😉
I’ve already created a budget, allocated the major expenses and predicted how much I’d bring in to make sure I can fund these expenses.
Decrease expenses, increase net income and that means more money in my pocket!