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That's why you haven't accomplished enough in 2016


When you make a plan to accomplish goals, most of the time you don’t do it very well. Maybe it’s the book you wanted to read, the podcasts you wanted to listen, or maybe finally wrapping up the pet project of yours.

First of all typically you have too many goals. Another problem is that they’re not very precise. Not very measurable. You don’t know how to even start. You never start and thus you fail. Maybe even you’re slightly depressed or upset, since not finishing what you’ve plan kind of sucks.

I’ve been there and done that.

The best book I’ve ever read which helped me, and which will help you with setting proper goals is this:

I’ve listened to it over Audible, and I’ve also got myself a papercopy, I liked it so much.

The idea behind getting things done is to create a list of things which make sense in the context of what you want to achieve. If you develop a software you probably know this, but if you don’t, here’s also one of the hidden gems: remember about things which take time, but aren’t immediately obvious.

For example: if you want to learn how to bake a cake, you need to learn about types of cakes, pick the one you like, maybe get the cooking book, then shop for ingredients. Bring them back from the store and use them in your kitchen. In the kitchen you may learn that you don’t have proper cake form and maybe you miss a baking paper etc. When you make your New Year goals you must remember how to put all these things in your plan, so that you can actually properly plan things.

David teaches that whatever takes a short time, you probably should already do, but for New Year, it doesn’t matter. You plan for things which will happen months ahead.

Not to find yourself overwhelmed with new goals, I can recommend you a second book which helped me greatly in my engineering practice. It’s this one:

So while David will teach you how to nicely partition your goal, this Duhigg’s book will teach you how to achieve them. It’s basically the idea of creating enough space in a day, let’s say 15 minutes, in which you can do the work. And do it every day or every week of every month.

This helped me with software engineering where I started to make the commitment of making a small change to my program, every day. Regardless of how small change, it still counts. Over 300 days making many small changes makes it looked like you’ve made a huge change.

That works for New Year goals too.