2018: The Year of GTD

New Year. Same Goals.

You have a list of things you wanted to do in 2017. Probably the same goals from 2016.

You started off strong the first month + then hit reset again in March. Then in August. And again in November. Welp. I’ll try again next year.

You’re going over your goals again in December and figured you can change the “7” into an “8” and call it a day.

Then the cycle begins again.

I’m definitely not judging because I’ve been there and done ‘alladat. Used a sharpie and turned 2015 into 2016. Made a list of 20+ things I thought I was going to do, learn, and be.

No plans set and lots of distractions. Then the end of December came and not one thing was crossed off my list and now I’m feeling like a loser. Trying to figure out who do I have to talk to and get a do-over.

So, to break what feels like a never-ending cycle, I have a roundup of great articles to help you reach your goals and make this the year you get things done. Finally.

And when it’s time to do your review at the end of the year, you can high-five yourself for handling your business, champ.

What you’re going to do is pick a strategy/system below to help you get started. And if you need some inspiration after your note-taking, I’ve got you covered. You’ll find a Trello board below with some ideas you can add to your goals list – personal or business.

31 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Setting Next Year’s Goals
“Asking ourselves reflective questions can jump-start our learning. When we’re more aware of our interests and desires, we can create goals that align with what we want — not what we think we’re supposed to want.” – (Robin Camarote/Inc)

3 Mistakes You Make When Planning
“When planning, don’t fall prey to the tendency to begin discussing actions, or actually performing actions, before you are clear about what needs to be accomplished.” – (Ann Latham/Forbes)

You Can Achieve Anything As Long As These Conditions Exist
“Success is a function of persistence and the willingness to work hard for thousands of hours to make sense of something that most people would give up on after a few hundreds.” – (Thomas Oppong/Medium)

How to Squeeze a Full Year out of 12 Weeks
“Get rid of annualized thinking: Ditch the 12-month calendar (at least when it comes to your business) and strip it down to 12 weeks. Every month is condensed into a week and every week is boiled down to a day.

Imagine getting a week’s worth of progress made in one day. That doesn’t mean doing the same amount of activity in a single day – it means thinking critically about the tasks that are truly most important to your goals and spending time on those things.” – (Carrie Dils)

10 Insights That Will Change the Way You Set (and Achieve) Your Goals in 2018
“1. Focus on the process, not the outcome. Why are goals that focus on process so much more effective? First, by definition process-goals require you to come up with a more specific, concrete plan for achieving your longer-term goals. Second, they force you to focus on your present actions and therefore feel more urgent than longer-term goals.” – (Doist)

Don’t set goals for yourself—instead, create systems that make it easy for you to succeed
“So I set about creating a system, using the project management app Trello, that would give me a bigger, birds-eye view of how I live my life. To design it, I broke it into four sections: Two focused on big-picture issues, and two that dealt with concrete changes. The basic idea was that with a system that was actionable, yet not overwhelming, I could generate a lot of “small wins” on a daily basis—providing momentum for much bigger projects.” – (Khe Hy/Quartz)

How To Set, Plan, And Achieve Your Life’s Greatest Goals
“Getting down your goals is the first step to empowering yourself. Writing them down and being able to reference them is a way to keep them slipping from your field of view.” – (Lauren Moon/Trello)

The 90-Day Plan: How Goals Become Targets You Achieve
“As a freelancer, you’ll find yourself working within the following 4 major areas of focus:
1) Your OFFERS;
The more focus you dedicate to one area, the more concentrated you can generally expect your results to be. The more areas you expand your focus to, the more divided your attention will be.” – (Lanie/Miss GSD)

The Goal Setting Workbook: Free Download to Make This Your Best Year Ever
“Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals & Habits: By December 31st, I will walk 10,000 steps every day. To get there, I will start by walking 3,000 steps this week and increase this quota by 200 steps each week after that.” – (Patrik Edblad/Medium)

15 Bulletproof Strategies for Achieving Your Goals
“Instill self-discipline. By instilling the right habits into your life, you can become self-disciplined. Habits such as waking up early, practicing gratitude, eating healthy, exercising and getting ample sleep help to instill that much-needed self-discipline into our lives. With the right set of habits in your life, anything is possible.” – (R.L. Adams/Entrepreneur)

Why You Should Choose a Theme for the Year Instead of Making Resolutions
“Choosing an overarching theme allows it to take shape in various aspects of your life, versus one specific area. For example, your resolution might be to drink more water or join a gym. Those are great goals, but instead, you could make your theme for the year “Experience Health.” Choosing “Experience Health” as your theme could lead to much more than upping your water intake and joining that gym, you may also begin to consider other aspects of your health such as mental clarity and healthy relationships.” – (D’Ana Joi/Joi-Knows-How)

Tony Robbins explains what anyone can do every day, month, and year to be more successful
“Express gratitude daily. Spend a minute each on three things you are grateful for. Relive them as moments.” – (Richard Feloni/Business Insider)

I break down my life into 4 ‘task buckets’ — and it’s helped me be great at everything I do
“I use a modified Pomodoro Technique with a 50-minute “on” and 10-minute “off” for every task slated for that hour. During the 10 minutes is when I do a good deal of my texting, daydreaming and whatever else there is. Rest and relaxation is scheduled where applicable. All tasks fall into one of four main buckets. Learn, Build, Experience, Share.” – (John Gorman/Business Insider)

At the end of the year, you can Conduct Your Own Annual Review (Elana Lyn Gross/Career Contessa). Even though this is for work performance, you can answer some questions and use it for your next review.

Copy this Sprints + Goals Trello Board to stay on track.

If you’re a Trello fan, here’s tips and templates to use for your projects:
How to Organize Your Entire Life with Trello (Melanie Pinola/Lifehacker), copy one of these Trello boards to get started – Inspiration and Inspiring Boards, and take this Sprints and Goals workshop from Mariah Coz and use this Trello board to get some inspiration for the new year.

Sign up for Streamline in 7 – Free email course

Learn How to Prepare, Organize, and Improve Your Workflow. Get 11 scripts, 7 checklists, and lots of tips to help you streamline your workflow. All delivered to your inbox.

And there you go! All the resources you need to handle your business in 2018. Tell me below what you’re working on this year. I also recommend reading The 12-Week Year by Brian Moran. I’m still going through the book but there are a lot of tips and tricks to help you win this year.

Also: one thing to remember – Goals are subject to change. Life happens. Feelings change. Better ideas pop up. And things don’t go according to plan. So, don’t trip if you need to take a step back and go a different direction.

I listened to this podcast way after I wrote this post, but this is something I needed to hear and I wanted to share with you: “Be okay with changing directions in your life.” – Whitney from Skinny Black Girl Code on “Why You Should Live Life Organically in 2018”.

Photos: CreateHer Stock


Atlanta-based Digital PM & Implementation Consultant. Loves long walks at record stores + helping service providers simplify operations and launch online projects without tech stress. Liked this post? Join the Brief Gems email list to get more content like this delivered to your inbox!

2 thoughts on “2018: The Year of GTD”

  1. I so appreciate you including my article in your post! I’m bookmarking your page so that I can come back to it again and again for resources. Thanks again for including me. Cheers to an amazing 2018!

    D’Ana Joi


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