Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

Progress ReportAnother month has passed, so it’s time again to check in with my goals for the year first published here on January 1 where I shared 11 goals divided into the categories of body, mind and spirit.  Updating my progress here monthly helps hold me accountable.

May was an interesting month for me. I spent 3.5 weeks at home due to needing to be of assistance to my wife who went through her second knee replacement surgery in two months.  I was able to spend some of that time catching up on some goals, but not as much as I had hoped.  So the update this month is still a mixed bag of being ahead on some, right on target with a few, and behind on others.  Here’s the scoop…

Goals related to body:

1. Keep my weight at or below 150 pounds.  Everything is fine here.  My weigh-ins have been at or below my target weight every day since last July 26.

2. Walk/jog/run a total of 10,000 steps per day three days per week. I’m still way ahead of schedule on this one.  With our company’s annual 100 Day Dash starting yesterday where my goal is to average 10,000 steps per day for 100 days, I’ll pass the goal for the year by sometime in September.

3. Average at least six hours of sleep per night.  I still don’t record numbers here, but more nights than not when I set my alarm and lay down, it’s for more than six hours from the time I’m going to bed.  My time at home in May allowed me to play catch-up some and get however much sleep I wanted.

Goals related to mind:

1. Read a book every other week.  I’m two months behind on this goal.  I finished two books during my May time at home and started a third, but I have much to do to catch up here.

2. Blog every other day (at least).  I’ve posted 70 blog posts this year, but an every-other-day schedule would have me at 77 already, so I need some daily ones to get back on track.

3. Continue to follow My 3 Words: Ground, Stretch, Reflect.  This one sneaks up on me because of not blogging every day like I did in 2012.  I don’t think I go a day without doing all three things to some extent, but unless I’m blogging, I don’t spend as much intentional time on the end-of-day reflection.

4. Double the blog’s readership from 10,000 views in 2012 to 20,000.  I’m very happy to report that as of yesterday I surpassed the total readership number for all of 2012, so I am wonderfully ahead of schedule on this.  Many thanks to you, dear readers, for being the reason this goal is on target!

5. Continue to write hand-written letters to my sons.  It’s June, so it’s time to start making notes on what my next letters will be about.  I need to write them sometime this summer.

Goals related to spirit:

1. Finish reading the ESV Study Bible and read half of The Apologetics Study Bible.  I am now about two months behind on this goal.  Yikes!  That’s bad.  I thought I would make more progress on this during my time home in May, but I didn’t.  I may need another “monk week” where I spend a week reading at a nearby monastery once or twice a year to make a serious dent in the deficit.

2. Review 100 Bible memory verses weekly.  All is well here – easily staying current.  After writing a recent blog post about memorizing scripture, I had some good conversations with others, including one about memorizing whole books of the Bible which has me thinking about changing this goal for 2013, staying current with the ones already learned, but maybe adding a Bible book or two to memory.  I’ll wait until the end of the year to decide on that one.

3. Come to some resolution regarding an unsettled situation where I worship.  Completed in January.

The time at home in May was great.  My wife is doing well with her new knees, making progress daily.  I’ve learned more about gardening in her absence than I ever thought I’d know, although I’m still woefully ignorant on the subject.  My dog and I got to spend a lot of time together, including a special Daddy-Doggie Date Day which was fun for us both.  I took a little time just to chill and do nothing from time to time – something we all need probably more often than we do.

2013 is almost half over, believe it or not.  I may not be exactly where I’d like to be in all my goals at the midway point, but I’m not so far behind that I can’t catch up.  Even so, I like being goal-driven and feeling like I’m accomplishing some things.

What about you?  How are you doing on your goals for the year?

Progress ReportIn my first post for the year on January 1, I shared 11 goals divided into the categories of body, mind and spirit.  I review my progress here monthly to help hold me accountable.  I have some good news and some bad news on my goals for 2013 to date.  The good news is that I’m well ahead or on target for several of them.  The bad news is that I’m woefully behind on a couple and it will take quite a bit of time to catch up.  Catching up is possible, especially since I’m now in a stretch of three weeks I’m (mostly) taking off from work with more time daily to devote to them, so I’m hopeful that my report next month looks better.  Here are the details…

Goals related to body:

1. Keep my weight at or below 150 pounds.  All continues to be well on this one.  I still weigh in daily, and that weigh-in determines what and how much I eat as well as influencing physical activity for the day.  I look forward to the 1-year anniversary of reaching my target weight July 26.

2. Walk/jog/run a total of 10,000 steps per day three days per week. I’m way ahead of schedule on this one, having done it enough days to already be in the month of July ticking them off a calendar.  With our company’s annual 100 Day Dash starting June 3 where my goal is to average 10,000 steps per day for 100 days, I’ll easily pass the goal for the year by the end of that Dash in September.

3. Average at least six hours of sleep per night.  I still don’t record numbers here, but more nights than not when I set my alarm and lay down, it’s for more than six hours from the time I’m going to bed.  I’m enjoying a little extra time in bed during these weeks off in May.

Goals related to mind:

1. Read a book every other week.  I am more behind on this goal than any other.  I’m a few dozen pages away from completing book #5 for the year.  By this time, I should already be in book #10.  I have some work to do!

2. Blog every other day (at least).  I’ve posted 59 blog posts this year, but an every-other-day schedule would have me at 68 already, so I need some daily ones in this time off to reach the goal.

3. Continue to follow My 3 Words: Ground, Stretch, Reflect.  Same as reported last time, this one still sneaks up on me because of not blogging every day like I did in 2012.  Nightly blogging provided a built-in time for this reflection.  Without that, I’m missing it too many nights.  I still think through the sequence on days I blog to see what is worth writing about, but other days I tend to forget about the framework even though I may still do two of the three instinctively every day.

4. Double the blog’s readership from 10,000 views in 2012 to 20,000.  I’m running 20% ahead of schedule on this one and will pass last year’s total readership either this month or next.  Many thanks to all of you for making that happen!

5. Continue to write hand-written letters to my sons.  As reported before, this is only done a couple of times a year, so having done it last in December, it will be this summer before I do it again.  Time to start making notes on what the focus of these next ones should be for each son.

Goals related to spirit:

1. Finish reading the ESV Study Bible and read half of The Apologetics Study Bible.  I am a month behind on this goal.  My time off this month is allowing me the luxury of peace and quiet at home to do more reading, so the report on this next month should be much improved.

2. Review 100 Bible memory verses weekly.  So far, so good. This takes less than an hour weekly, so it’s easy to stay current.

3. Come to some resolution to an unsettled situation where I worship.  Completed in January.

Life has been a little weird around our house the last six weeks.  My wife just had her second knee replacement surgery since early April, so our schedules are anything but normal.  I learned from the first one that I can’t keep a regular work and personal routine going with her in the hospital and rehab and then needing more help than normal around the house.  That’s a large part of why I’m taking off so many days from work now through the end of the month.  I needed to take some time off, anyway, for a breather and to work on some of the above matters that are very important to me.

So that’s how I’m doing on my goals after the first 4+ months of 2013.  What about you?  How are you doing on your goals for the year?

With Progress Report2013 now 1/4 complete, it’s time to report on how I’m doing with the many goals I set for the year.  My first post for 2013 on January 1 is where I shared 11 goals divided into the categories of body, mind and spirit.  Reporting on my progress here helps hold me accountable, so that’s why I’m doing these monthly updates.

There’s good news and bad news on the goals front this month.  The good news is that I’m still doing well on some of them.  The bad news is that I’m more behind on others now than I was a month ago.  One big reason why I’m more behind than expected is that I had to cancel a week of vacation for late March where my plan was to catch up with the reading and writing goals.  With simply too much happening at work to walk away for a week, I felt the impact of not having that time for working on my goals.  I’ve scheduled a vacation week for April and another for May to try to catch up some, but with other schedule oddities going on that I will mention below, it will still be a challenge to completely catch up anytime soon.

It is what it is, so here is the update…

Goals related to body:

1. Keep my weight at or below 150 pounds.  All continues to be well on this one.  I still weigh in daily, and that weigh-in determines what and how much I eat as well as influencing physical activity for the day.  I look forward to reaching the 1-year anniversary of reaching my target weight this summer.

2. Walk/jog/run a total of 10,000 steps per day three days per week. I’m still way ahead of schedule on this one because I’ve been doing it five days per week instead of three for a couple of months now to reach some reward goals with my company’s incentive program, HumanaVitality.  In March, I ran my first 5K race in about 5-6 years when my company scheduled one just for our employees and families in downtown Louisville.  My race time was the slowest 5K I’ve ever done at 31 minutes, 18 seconds (my previous race before this one, for example, was under 24 minutes), but I’ll use it as a benchmark going forward.  At least there were only seven people my age or older who finished before me.  I was #232 overall out of 2074 finishers.  I’ll take it.  Also helping with this goal is that the weather is finally getting warmer, so I will be more inclined to go for runs or longer walks with the dog than during the cold weather.

3. Average at least six hours of sleep per night.  I still don’t record numbers here, but more nights than not when I set my alarm and lay down, it’s for more than six hours from the time I’m going to bed.  I’m probably pretty close on this one.  Unless I buy something like a Fitbit that tracks sleep, I won’t know exactly how well I’m doing on this goal, but I’ll have a good idea.

Goals related to mind:

1. Read a book every other week.  I really bombed on this one in March.  I didn’t complete any book.  I’m about 2/3 through the one I’m reading, but this is one of the goals impacted by me canceling my vacation a couple of weeks ago.  I have much to do here.

2. Blog every other day (at least).  I keep lagging a few days behind in this goal, having published 45 posts this year when an every-other-day schedule would have me at 48 by now.  Catching up won’t be difficult.  Blogging daily for one week would do it.

3. Continue to follow My 3 Words: Ground, Stretch, Reflect.  As I reported last month, this one still sneaks up on me because of not blogging every day like I did in 2012.  Nightly blogging provided a built-in time for this reflection.  Without that, I’m missing it too many nights.  I still think through the sequence on days I blog to see what is worth writing about, but other days I tend to forget about the framework even though I may still do two of the three instinctively every day.

4. Double the blog’s readership from 10,000 views in 2012 to 20,000.  I’m very happy to say that as of today I’m running 46% ahead of schedule on this one.  At the current pace, I’ll pass last year’s total readership in either April or, more likely, May.  A couple of pairs of popular posts have helped the cause with each receiving hundreds of views and the most popular (The Worst Mistakes I’ve Made As An Employee) now approaching 1000 views.

5. Continue to write hand-written letters to my sons.  As reported before, this is only done a couple of times a year, so having done it last in December, it will likely be this summer before I do it again.

Goals related to spirit:

1. Finish reading the ESV Study Bible and read half of The Apologetics Study Bible.  I am more behind on this goal than any other.  Again, canceling the vacation week really hurt me here.  I have much to do to get back on track, but just a few solid days of vacation devoted to this would do it.

2. Review 100 Bible memory verses weekly.  So far, so good. This takes less than an hour weekly, so it’s easy to stay current.

3. Come to some resolution to an unsettled situation where I worship.  Completed in January.

I don’t expect to be caught up on all goals by the end of April.  My wife just had knee replacement surgery two days ago and will have the other knee replaced in about four weeks.  She needs assistance from me, of course, when she returns home, and the schedule meanwhile is way different than normal.  I’m also officiating at a wedding later in April, going out of town for a couple of days for that.  Whenever I perform a wedding, I rehearse it a bazillion times so I can say everything just right without depending much on notes, so I know I’ll spend a lot of hours on that the next couple of weeks instead of other matters my time would normally be given to.  That isn’t a complaint, of course, since it’s a great privilege to officiate at the wedding of dear friends.  It’s just a notation that spending more time in one effort means there is less time to spend in others, so there may be consequences related to these goals that I’ll have to make up later.

So that’s how I’m doing on my goals after the first three months of 2013.  What about you?  How are you doing on your goals for the year?

Dilbert Vision

dilbert.com/strips/comic/2004-04-17/

When I think of ambitious goals that I have seen or personally attempted in businesses I’ve worked at, it is easy to recall some that were successfully achieved and others that were not.  Of course, there are many factors that go into the success or failure of each individually, but I’d like to share some thoughts around the high-level components of any major endeavor and the business personnel implications of those components.

Vision.  Someone or some group of people needs to have and share a vision that others buy into.  If the company is to be more than it has been, if it is to make forward advances rather than maintain the status quo, then that vision needs to exist, be communicated, and willingly shared by those expected to implement the necessary actions to support the vision.

Some leaders are outstanding at this, sharing a vision and then providing high-level guidance, wisdom, and inspiration to keep the ship on the right path.  Others, unfortunately, may think they are good at this, fancying themselves as vision casters while the people lower in the org chart know it’s just a passing fancy most likely influenced by the latest book, article or conference to which the leader was exposed – one that will only be top of mind until another book, article or conference replaces it.  People in the trenches learn to not pay much attention to these types of pronouncements.

While those at the helm of organizations should be the primary sources of vision for their orgs, they should not discount the potential insights and contributions of others at any level of the org chart.  Being visionary is not limited to certain roles or pay scales.  Vision from others in the org need not compete with the large-scale vision for the whole enterprise.  It may relate only to a specific part of the business with which that employee has great familiarity.  As long as such smaller scale visions fit within the larger ones, they may be great assets to help move the enterprise forward.

Plans.  Some may not like me grouping strategy in with the plans section here, but I do that with the understanding that strategy refers to the high-level plans which must, of course, be broken down into far more detail for implementation.  How many times in different settings have we heard some grand vision proposed, only to never see it come anywhere close to fruition?  Why does that happen?  Perhaps because the vision was never translated into the necessary strategy and detail plans to make it happen.  Merely thinking about a direction we want to go (vision) doesn’t actually move the needle in that direction.  It takes plans and the people who are good at making those plans to take this vital step.

Action.  Finally, the plans have to be carried out.  They may or may not be executed exactly as originally planned, based on the ongoing evaluation process used to make adjustments and changes as needed, but it’s certain that the vision won’t become reality without people actually taking action to get it done.

It should be obvious that any major initiative in business needs the three components above.  Visions without plans die.  Plans without actions fail.  Actions that are not tied to plans made to implement the larger vision are wastes of time and resources.  That isn’t earth-shattering news.

However, there are personnel implications that we may need to remind ourselves of from time to time in light of the above components.  First, it will take a variety of people, skill sets, and personality types to fill all the roles required to formulate the vision, make the plans, and implement them.  Very few people are good at all three of the above.  Many enthusiastic entrepreneurs ultimately fail because they do not have and do not hire to account for the breadth of abilities it takes to handle everything from seeing the big picture to implementing the detail actions needed.  In a large organization, though, there is more likely a variety of people available to get the job done if they are properly positioned in the effort according to their passions and abilities.

It is tempting when hiring for an organization to hire others like ourselves.  After all, each of us thinks he/she is wonderful, right?  We might think, “How can I go wrong with adding more people like me?”  The truth, however, is that in addition to our strengths, we also have weaknesses whether we see them very clearly or not.  We’re really not good at everything individually, and it’s in our best interests as well as the organization’s for us to know where we need help.  We need people around us who are complementary (as in completing the knowledge and skills needed by a team) rather than just complimentary (as in paying us compliments).

If we do a good job at bringing on a variety of people to make up the right teams, then another challenge will quickly present itself – learning how to get along with a mix of others.  That takes people skills, some positive character traits, and a willingness to work together in spite of occasional differences.  It can be done with the right team.

When our team at work was looking to expand recently, we had to take time to consider where our gaps were, where we needed help, and what new roles fit within the overall vision of where we are going and our strategy for getting there.  I’m pleased to say that last week was the first week for our newest teammate to join us and next week we’ll welcome another addition to the team.  Those additions, along with shuffling some responsibilities between team members, will better position us to move forward the remainder of this year toward accomplishing the vision for our area, one that we know fits within the larger vision of the enterprise.

It isn’t enough in competitive business today to be mediocre, to remain the same, or to cruise along doing what you’ve always done just because that’s the way it’s always been done.  It takes vision, plans, and action to get from point A to point B in a desired time frame, and it takes the right mix of people all working well together to make the journey successful.

Do you know your company’s vision?  Do you know where you and your area fit within that vision?  Do you have a strategy and plans you can articulate to do your part?  Do you have the right team in place to get it done?

Progress Report2013 is now 1/6 complete, ready or not.  That means it is time for a progress report on the goals I set at the beginning of the year.  My first post for 2013 on January 1 is where I shared 11 goals divided into the categories of body, mind and spirit.  Reporting on my progress here helps hold me accountable.

Goals related to body:

1. Keep my weight at or below 150 pounds.  All is well on this one.  I still weigh in daily, and that weigh-in determines what and how much I eat as well as influencing physical activity for the day.

2. Walk/jog/run a total of 10,000 steps per day three days per week.  I’m way ahead of schedule on this one, actually shifting to five days per week instead of three because I want to reach some rewards goals with my company’s incentive program HumanaVitality.  I admit to doing a lot of jogging in place in front of the TV some nights to reach this goal, but that movement counts like any other.

3. Average at least six hours of sleep per night.  I’m back on track with this one after a rocky couple of weeks in January.  I don’t record numbers here, but more nights than not when I set my alarm, it’s for more than six hours from the time I’m going to bed.

Goals related to mind:

1. Read a book every other week.  Another couple dozen pages of book #4 this weekend and I’ll be up-to-date on this goal.  I’ll read three and write book review blog posts of them in March to be where I want to be after the first quarter.

2. Blog every other day (at least).  I’m two posts behind this schedule, so that will be easy to make up.  It was nice blogging every day of my week at home last week to make up ground.

3. Continue to follow My 3 Words: Ground, Stretch, Reflect.  This one still sneaks up on me because of not blogging every day like I did in 2012.  It was actually easier getting into a routine last week and blogging every day than I’m finding it is to blog every other day.  This one needs some work.  Nightly blogging provided a built-in time for this reflection.  Without that, I’m missing it too many nights.

4. Double the blog’s readership from 10,000 views in 2012 to 20,000.  I’m thrilled at the progress on this goal.  Through February, I’ve had more than half the number of blog visits I had all last year.  I’m well ahead of pace to meet this goal with February being my best month ever and one day in February being my best day ever in number of views.  Many thanks to the readers who join me on the journey!

5. Continue to write hand-written letters to my sons.  Like I reported at the end of January, this is only done a couple of times a year, so having done it last in December, it will be a few months before I do it again.

Goals related to spirit:

1. Finish reading the ESV Study Bible and read half of The Apologetics Study Bible.  This is on schedule.  Even though I’m a few days behind in my readings, I read a little more daily than required to meet the mid-year goal for completion of the ESV.

2. Review 100 Bible memory verses weekly.  So far, so good.  This takes less than an hour weekly.

3. Come to some resolution to an unsettled situation where I worship.  This was reported as complete in my report on Feb. 2.

My week at home last week helped with a number of my goals.  I’m planning at least one week at home per month for the foreseeable future, so those times can help me catch up a little if needed.  I still use the low-tech approach of a little Post-It note with a checklist on the stand beside my recliner so that it’s near me nightly.

It’s time to round out the first quarter now that March is here.  I’d like to be completely up-to-date in all categories by the end of this month.  Let’s see how I do!

How are you doing on your goals for the year?