Yearly Goals SUCK...

If you've ever set yearly goals for a few years in a row, you probably have come to the same conclusion: even when done according to best practices, yearly goals have their flaws. Sure, it's probably better to have yearly goals than none at all. Over seven consecutive years of goal-setting and end-of-year reviews, here are some findings I've gathered and this is how they pushed me to look for a better formula.

Fading Energy of the COMMITMENT

The energy of commitment to yearly goals is strong at the beginning of the year but tends to wane by the second half, if not earlier. This is no surprise; within six months, a person's circumstances and aspirations can change. For example, someone who starts the year single may set a goal to find a partner. If they enter a relationship mid-year, that goal becomes irrelevant. Similarly, someone might begin the year focused on a fitness goal, only to pivot to business aspirations after an injury. These changing circumstances often disrupt the whole concept of "yearly goals.".


After several years of experimenting with yearly goals, I switched to half-year goals. The idea was to maintain energy and focus more effectively. However, I soon transitioned to quarterly goals. The shorter time spans proved to be more effective, and another interesting thing started happening: goal-setting became more fun. The high energy and excitement released after each quarter made the process enjoyable. Plus, the ability to pivot more frequently kept things interesting.

Monthly GOALS

So, I decided to try setting monthly goals. There's a lot to be said about the compound interest of smaller, repeatable steps. After a long testing period, I found that monthly goals were achievable almost 100% of the time, which was a significant improvement over yearly goals. This meant that I could make them more intense and challenging. Committing to something for a month is much easier than for a year. By increasing the difficulty, those "monthly goals" evolved into "monthly challenges."


This new framework allows for more experimentation and encourages trying new things that you might not otherwise attempt. If a challenge works well, its goals can easily be extended. This is the foundation upon which "The Challenge" is built. So, go ahead and try a challenge yourself and see if it spurs the growth you're looking for.