Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How a Red Spiral Notebook Helped Me: The Power of Written Goals

Last year, I made a few notes in a thin red notebook. I was prompted by those sermons uttered by business gurus: Write down your goals!!Use specific language!!Target real numbers!! That's the mantra. For instance, here's what Bo Bennett, author of Year To Success recommends in his book:

"Take time to write down your definition of success. Be specific. Do not use phrases like 'lots of money'...instead say 'annual income of X and total new worth of Y.' ...Write this down and save it somewhere where you can access it one year from now." --Year To Success page 2.
So in December of 2006, I started a little experiment in a red one-subject, 70-sheet, college-ruled, spiral notebook that was made in China. I didn't record all of my goals, just a few targets for this blog. And even then, a few of the pages were ripped out during the 12-month period. It was a half-hearted, short-lived goal-setting effort.

But about a month ago, I re-discovered the red notebook and for the last three weeks of December 2007, I've renewed the goal-setting effort with weekly targets for blog traffic and links. And now I wish that I had carried out this goal-setting exercise for 12 months and in all areas of my life. Here's what happened:

Links (based on Technorati data)

Jan. 1 '07: 106 links

Feb. 1 '07: 117

Dec. 1, '07 130

Dec. 17 '07 144

Total Link Growth

January to December:
up 35.8 percent

Dec. 1 to Dec. 17:
up 10.7 percent

Traffic Growth:
December 31, 2006 to Dec. 1, 2007:
up 41.7 percent

The Lesson: The process of writing down specific goals about links and hits led to measurable improvement in my blog's performance. What's more, the growth was especially strong during those short periods when I actively recorded my progress in the red notebook.

Hindsight: I wish that I had taken the time to make specific, number-based goals in every area of my life, including:

  • salary goals.

  • debt reduction goals

  • savings goals (by the week, month and year)

  • poetry and short story submission goals

  • daily creative writing word count goals.

The Forward Action Plan: I'm not worried about the lost opportunity. What's done is done. (Thank Goodness, I'm learning to Let it Go!) But going forward, I will plan to plan and stick to the plan! In the next two weeks, I'm going to have a one-woman goal-setting conference. I've graduated to spreadsheets and graphs. But just for good Karma, maybe I'll buy another red spiral notebook and write down a few objectives or maybe, I'll just borrow a few pages from my current book.


My Previous Posts


Are You Frugal or Just Downwardly Mobile, in Denial or Just Poor?

Recycled Cinderella: Same Outfits, Different Holiday Balls

Saving Money with CFLs: A Formula for Bright Lights & Lower Expenses


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