In early November of 2018, I finalized my 2019 goals. I committed them to paper in the moleskin notebook that I’ve carried everywhere since August of 2016. But before we jump into talking about 2019, I want to give you evidence that setting goals matters.
Looking to the past for evidence of success
When I bought my moleskin notebook, two of my earliest entries pertained to goals for my law practice for 2017 and goals for this blog for the last five months of 2016 and for 2017. I had launched the blog in June 2016, and up until August, traffic had been … meager, stilted, inconsistent. Whatever word best communicates that there hadn’t been very much traffic in the first few months of the blog’s existence, that’s what I’m trying to say. So my goals for the remainder of 2016 were humble:
- Have daily traffic
- Have at least one guest writer on the blog
- Publish 6-8 posts per month
So what happened the rest of the year? In November, I had 94 visitors to the blog and published 19 articles. In December, 393 visitors came to the site, and I published 17 articles. I was also listening to podcasts and reading as much as I could about growing the blog and improving my content. But most importantly, I found a community of people who supported my work and were interested in what I was doing.
At the same time that I committed those 2016 goals to paper, I also developed my goals for 2017:
- Average 100 visitors were month
- Publish 2 articles per week
- Publish an my transportation litigation primer ebook
As it turned out, due to a number of factors (including the relationships I had formed), my goals should have been more ambitious. By the end of 2017, blog had more than 2200 visitors per month, and I was able to meet my other goals as well.
You may look at those numbers and think that they’re pretty meager. And I won’t disagree with you. I am not measuring the blog’s success on the numbers alone, but rather what opportunities I have developed as a result of having a platform.
Looking forward for future success
But more importantly at the moment, all I want to illustrate is that the act of having goals and writing them down pushed me toward achieving them. Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University in California performed a study on goal-setting that revealed you are 42% more likely to achieve goals for the mere act of having written them down (article).
It really is as simple as that. One simple act increases your odds of success by more than 40%. Even if you’re skeptical about the importance of goal-setting, isn’t it worth doing? If you haven’t set written goals before, in October 2018, I shared some short and simple steps for setting measurable and time-sensitive goals (here).
Since I’m asking how your 2019 goals are progressing, I’ll share with you one of my goals and how it stands. I set five goals for 2019. One of them is so ambitious that I’m not sure whether it achievable. I set out to sell 1000 copies of my books in 2019. That seems like a lot. I honestly don’t know whether I’ll even get close. But I’m doing everything within my control to accomplish it. So where do I stand as the second quarter of 2019 begins?
Since I released the audiobook of Building a Better Law Practice in February (on Amazon/Audible), 25 people have purchased it. My second book, Stop Putting Out Fires, is scheduled for release on May 2 (on Amazon — $9.99 ebook; $11.01 paperback — and everywhere else), and 87 people have pre-ordered copies. There are also likely some sales of print and ebooks of Building a Better Law Practice, but I won’t receive an accounting from the ABA for those until August. So to date, I have sold (at least) 112 copies of my books; I have made 11% progress toward achieving my goal. Want to help me achieve my goal? Buy a copy … or two.
How are your goals coming along? Have you put your list where it’s staring at you every day beckoning you to take affirmative steps that will enable you to achieve those goals? Or has it been a rough start? Persevere. Continue plodding forward. You have three quarters of the year still ahead of you to accomplish what you set out to do with your 2019 goals.
Photo by iluvgadgets.