I’ve never been very big in New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t understood why we need a new year to set goals or want to change things in our lives, but I suppose a full year does provide a good timeframe and tracking mechanism.
Along those lines, I thought it’d be useful to set some business and personal goals for 2011 and make them public here which I suspect will make me feel more accountable to reach them. This time next year, we can see how I did. I’ll keep the number of goals small to make them easier to remember.
Build a great product and foundation for GuideMe
The biggest business focus I have is obviously GuideMe, a company I cofounded late in 2010 after leaving Yahoo!/Right Media. It’s still in the very early stages but the major business focus of this year is to build a great consumer web and mobile application that makes giving and getting recommendations a better experience than it is today. By the end of 2011 the application should be robust and we should have good user growth occurring throughout the year.
Less multitasking, more singletasking
I’ve always prided myself at being “good” at multitasking. I don’t think it really was until this year that I realized that’s really not a good skill. Having 30 browser tabs open while reading two articles, working on a product spec, talking on the phone, and IMing with coworkers is not really an efficient way to do the best quality work. It also can distract me from getting the most important thing possible done as soon as possible. I’ve already started to improve at this, but I hope to really fine tune my ability to focus to get the needle-moving activities accomplished and focus better on the task at hand.
Blog more with higher quality
In 2010 I only published 28 blog posts on ConversionRater, which is roughly one every two weeks. That’s not terrible, but a bunch of them were quick posts that really weren’t that great as well. I’d like to at least improve that to one blog post a week, and improve the quality of those posts. Additionally, I’m blogging over at GuideMe and would like a similar pace there. There are a few reasons for doing this, such as that in the age of Twitter and Facebook status updates there is less valuable long form writing being done, it helps me think and organize my thoughts, and I think it increases the chances of serendipitous meetings and relationships occurring by putting myself out there.
Put the phone down
I am guilty of being an iPhone addict who takes advantage of the ability to do work email, read tech news, or use Twitter/Facebook to see communicate and see what’s going on. While I don’t want to entirely cut off the mobile usage, I’d like to cut down my use of the phone in the presence of my wife and kids and be there in the moment interacting with them.
Provide my kids with new experiences
While I don’t think this has been any sort of weakness, I want to continue to enable my kids to have new experiences. This could be traveling to new places, doing new activities they’ve never done before, taking them to music and art events, or anything else that’s beyond our normal every day activities.
Stop drinking soda
This may be the hardest goal of any on the list for me. I don’t drink coffee, I very rarely drink any type of alcohol, and I’m not a fan of tea, fruit juices, or any other sort of drink. This means I’ve been an avid soda drinker for most of my adult life for both caffeine purposes as well as just to drink something besides water that is enjoyable. I’ve tried quitting before and gone on some decent soda-free stretches, but I’ve never really kicked the habit. It’s strange because I know all the reasons about why it’s not good for me, and I’ve noticed all the benefits of not drinking it when I’ve stopped for a few weeks or a month or so in the past. Why not just quit completely right?
Bonus: Watch Oregon win the BCS National Championship
This one is out of my control, but on January 10th a goal that I never thought possible is within reach as my alma mater Oregon Ducks are playing Auburn in the BCS National Championship game. This would be a great goal to cross off the lifetime list. Let’s end this list with a video to support this last goal.