My goals for 2019 – 12 week year

I’ve been setting and reviewing goals for two years now, both in Evernote (part of my GTD setup) and here on the blog (2017, 2018). Although I try to do this systematically, I find it difficult to stay on track throughout the year, and, at the end of the year, to review everything that happened.

This year I want to try something different, borrowing from the 12 week year idea. I’ve heard about this on several podcasts that I listen to, but have not read the book or followed any courses they offer. My (naive?) take on it is that you only set goals for the next 12 weeks, and only focus on a few things at a time.

I’ve had some momentum with writing recently, so I decided that my main focus for the first part of 2019 is going to be writing as well. What am I going to write? Here’s where the “few things at a time” thing went wrong. Here’s my plan:

  • Draft of a survey on arXiV (in progress already)
  • Submit a paper to MICCAI
  • Write a lab guide and share version 0.1 with my student
  • Finish writing my teaching portfolio and submit it
  • Draft 36 blog posts (!!!)

That’s right, next to all the academic writing I am going to draft three quarters of the blog posts that I want to schedule for this year. This is an experiment, since I think I can get more done if I either just write, or just publish posts (share them online, etc).

How I am going to do this? I have to write 250 words a day, just like I did in November. That by itself will not get all the writing done, but it’s a great habit that helped me focus. I’ve also been increasingly planning my writing in pieces which take me 30-60 minutes to finish, and scheduling these on my calendar, so that’s a good habit to continue too.

I also updated my weekly review template a bit. I had a single note for each quarter last year, whereas now I already made 12 notes where I will fill in my reviews. Each note has a copy of the goals as a reminder, and specific questions on how I’m progressing with each of them.

Next to writing, I also have health and exercise goals in the same weekly review, but these are “maintenance” goals rather than challenges, so I will not be reviewing these on the blog.

What are your goals for (the first months of) 2019?

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