Thought for My Day: My Intentions for 2013

I’m not the sort of person who sets myself goals because I believe that settings goals is practicing failure. I would prefer to think of my life as a work in progress or a continuous cycle of improvement. Just because I’m doing something well today doesn’t mean I can’t do it better tomorrow, or be ready for a new opportunity.

Your thinking & attitudes should never be limited by a milestone or goals. That sets a stage for underachievement or limited horizons. If you are focussed on a goal, you could miss a better opportunity. Total focus might achieve short term goals like a certification or an exam result but life isn’t a short term.

For example, whatever goals I might have set for Packet Pushers Podcast, I could never have imagined that we would exceed a 1 million downloads in 2012. I mean, Packet Pushers podcasts are downloaded on average 2000 times a day! Hard to imagine or plan for that.

I aim to achieve excellence every day and at everything. There isn’t a single goal I could set to achieve that.

OK, that sounds like I’m a tosspot, but hey, that’s what I do so I’ll own it. 

Here is a Mind Map that I put together to consider what my “resolutions” are for the new year. These are ‘things’ that I need to work on, attitudes I need to change, rules to judge life choices by, and create a good outlook on life.

My 2013 Intentions

You can click for a full size image.

I’ll happily admit that some of these intentions are odd, but then,parts of my life are equally odd.

I’m starting a new role next week with a Cloud company.  The Packet Pushers Podcast and writing continues to take my career in unexpected directions. On the personal front, my daughters are definitely becoming teenagers and my wife & I struggle to change our parenting to cope.

Welcome to 2013, I hope you have a life to live and enjoy. Oh, and a job that you can enjoy.

  • john harrington

    Good stuff Greg, thanks for sharing. Have you read ‘The Lean Startup’ by Eric Ries? The author concentrates on mapping Lean thinking onto startups or new ventures. I’m reading it at the moment, and it’s quite enjoyable.

    • Etherealmind

      I’m just getting started with Lean / Agile. I’ve read some pre-release stuff from Gene Kim ( see ) and now reading other content to go deeper. So far, excited by the possibilities.

  • Etherealmind

    There are two ways that I’ve considered looking at this. First, setting goals means that you have something specific and narrow to concentrate on that you could specify a goal. Look at my statements here – “Be Alive. Be Happy”. or “Find ‘Introvert’ time for recharging in a busy people day.” Now, how would you propose to set a goal for that ?

    Second. I review my self-performance on a daily / weekly basis. I’d like to think that I’m continually calibrating, and considering my process. Then I’m incrementally chaining every day. I’m adapting to the a given situation on a continuous improvement timeline.

    I don’t know which is better, but continuous improvement is working best for me. It might be different for you. This is just my way of looking at life.

    Your mileage may vary :)

    • Matt Thompson

      I’m a big fan of Continuous Improvement. I think it was my Dad who introduced me to the concept a good 18 years ago when he was working in a senior management role.

      Regarding “Be Alive. Be Happy” etc., I would personally class these as life goals that sit above any time based goals I may set. I try to make sure that any of the latter type goals I set help achieve life goals wherever possible.
      Of course, from time to time, it’s also prudent to simply coast along (go with the flow) when the going is great rather than trying to push it further and ruining a good thing.

      Thanks for the reply.

  • Paul Stewart

    I spend a ton of time commuting. I recently listened to an audio book called the “The Pumpkin Plan”. It was a fun listen about saying “no” to things that didn’t really benefit you.

  • itsjustrouting

    Funny that I read this. I was recently asked by someone where I see myself in five years. I didn’t know people still asked that question. Anyway, when I answered “I don’t know” there seemed to be a great deal of confusion. I explained that I didn’t want to limit myself for the next five years by my knowledge and ideas of today. As those will both likely change, I don’t want to ignore a new path of possibilities because I have a “five year plan” that doesn’t match. I think that is where you were going here.