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Have You Reached Your 2015 Goals?

Have You Reached Your 2015 Goals?My dear readers, have you reached your 2015 goals?

Each year we make goals for our blogs and our business.

We reach some of them successfully, but others never even get started on.

Sometimes we pursue our goals through to the end, and sometimes we change our course or just get lost and distracted altogether.

So, have you reached your 2015 goals?

I just wanted to ask this question as 2015 comes to a close because, no matter how things have worked out this year, it is imperative that we set up our goals each year.   

Now, I’m not trying to brag, but David and I completed our goals for 2015 in November.  So that gives us the opportunity to work on next year’s goals during the month of December.

Past experience tells me that all the holiday preparations and events that happen during this month keep many people away from business. 

With all that goes on in December, their minds just aren’t focused on work in the same way as during the first 11 months of the year. 

Instead, they get totally caught up holiday cheer, scouting out gorgeous decorated houses and spending plenty of time with friends and loved ones.

December is just like that for lots of folks.

In addition, it is typically a season that brings on uncommonly high emotions.

People often get anxious and unsettled when they see the year coming to a close. 

They look back at things that happened that didn’t work out the way they hoped.  Maybe they committed some business blunders, failed to complete some things they started, or never started some things they intended to. 

An honest assessment of your past year will often reveal plenty of missteps, miscues, missed opportunities…You get the picture.

Not everything goes wrong, though.

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A lot of things you did in the past year may have worked out perfectly, too.  Others may have been less than perfect, but still yielding some pretty impressive results.

Usually, when you review the past year, you’ll find a number of key things that went wrong, as well as some that went right.

You really need to give yourself some time to make sense of it all before rushing headlong into the next year that starts in January.

That’s why I usually like to think of my “business year” as ending at the end of November.  This gives me the month of December for reflection on the past, and planning for the future.

Could it be that you’d benefit, too, from giving yourself that one month leeway to start planning the next year?

This is not a matter of a yes or no question, but rather something to ponder in your life and especially your business.   

Your answer will depend on exactly how you conduct your business.

Setting Goals

Consider the way you set up your business operation.

Do you plan goals for your business?

Are they written down?

Is it organized?

Let me show you quick example for those of you who are visual learners like me.

Here is something I use myself in order to get to the finish line with my goal achievement plans.

Have You Reached Your 2015 Goals?

As you can see, my goal setting chart is a simple pyramid.

I start at the top of the pyramid, by setting my Big Goal.

As I work my way down the pyramid, I fill in the steps with each of the tasks required to reach my goal. 

I start with the larger tasks, and progressively break those down into the smaller and even mundane tasks that I know I’m going to have to complete in order to reach my bigger goals. 

I further break my pyramid down into months, weeks, days, and even hours for some things. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this in one sitting, he he.

That’s why I give myself the entire month of December to work on this.

Of course, I don’t do it all by myself.  I work on it with my husband and business partner, David.

We often start with one set of plans, then put them down for a few days, and come back to it to make changes.

We like to work with the pyramid scheme, usually on our whiteboard, because it is visual.  This makes the path we set for ourselves more clear than just a vague set of ideas, hopes and dreams.

Mindmapping

Do you use a mind map?

I know there are a lot of software programs that help you do this.

One of the very best (and it’s free) is called “freemind.”

We actually use a pretty simple type of a mind map.

It looks something like this…

BASIC BLOGGING2013-02-17 at 1.42.36 PM

As you can see here, this is something we use for projects, such as a “Basic Blogging” guide we put together.

But we also use the same kind of mind map to chart out the intermediate steps we’ll need to take toward achieving our big goal for the year.

We simply break our big goal into a series of smaller goals called “milestones.” In order to achieve our big goal, we must first complete each milestone task.

So essentially, a mind map is a way to visualize exactly how we can reach our big goal by chunking it into a different group of tasks.

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Once you get your big goal all mapped out in this way, you will have such a clear picture and plan of  exactly what you are going to do.

Seeing it in this way does make it easier to do your daily tasks, and as you do them consistently, you will be able to reach that big annual goal.

Believe me, when I didn’t do this, everything was random and I was like a hamster on a wheel.  Working so hard and never taking a break.

Day By Day

Now that I follow a master plan, and have my goals and mind map in front of me, I know exactly what the day is going to be like when I wake up.

Have You Reached Your 2015 Goals?

That leads to another piece in the puzzle.

You guessed it… my daily planner.

If I didn’t have this, I could never achieve  anything all.

I plan not only what I need to do every day business wise, but also what meals I’m going to prepare and times for exercise and relaxation.  That my dear friends is so important to incorporate in your day.

So there you have it!

This is how I have finished my 2015 goals, and it’s the same method I’m using right now to plot my goals for next year.

Oh, I see one of you didn’t have a plan at all in 2015.  Let me know how that worked out, lol.

I was there once and feel your pain.  Feels crappy doesn’t it.

I’ve learned that I can’t live without my goal planning and implementation strategies.

So I decided a blog post in the middle of December would be the perfect place to share what I do myself in order to get my business going.  I hope you can get some ideas and inspiration from seeing what I do.

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How are you doing?

Have you reached your 2015 goals?

Have you started mapping out your goals for next year?

Does your planning process look anything like mine?

Or do you have a different system.

I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.

-Donna

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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54 Responses to Have You Reached Your 2015 Goals?

  1. James McAllister
    Twitter:
    December 15, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

    Hi Donna!

    Well, this is the first full year I’ve known you and I’ve got to say, it’s been great seeing how we both have changed and grown over the last 12 months. It’s been a pleasure and I know even more greatness is in store for us in the future.

    I worked very hard to achieve the goals I had set out in the beginning of the year, and I’m pleased to say I’ve reached most of them. In some areas I fell short, and in other areas I went far beyond my expectations. Overall, I’m happy with the way my businesses have grown this year and the future is looking even brighter. Of course, huge growth comes with a different set of problems, but we grow as entrepreneurs by getting through them, so while I expect this next chapter to be different and difficult, I know I will enjoy working through it.

    My personal goal system is very similar to the pyramid graphic you’ve shown. I have everything written down on Google Docs, and I write down my daily goals on a whiteboard that’s visible at all times of the day. I force myself to go down the list and not get distracted trying to take on a bunch of different tasks at once. Focus was a huge problem of mine back in 2014, so I’m glad to see I’ve made significant improvements in this area this year.

    Anyway, it was great to read through this. Here’s wishing you, me, and the fantastic community here a fantastic 2016!
    – James McAllister
    James McAllister recently posted..2015 Year In Review: How Was Yours?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 16, 2015 at 11:27 am #

      Hi James,

      It is a wonderful experience to watch the way you have grown this past year and see all the many things you have accomplished. I know how difficult it is to push ahead, even when life throws curve balls at you.

      Seems to me you have accomplished more that you have expected this year and I am so happy for you. This is what I just love about IM. We can see others accomplish their goals and cheer them on. And for others that are struggling, we can lend a hand. A community of people doesn’t get better than that.

      Wishing you all the best for the coming year!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  2. Harleena Singh
    Twitter:
    December 16, 2015 at 12:07 am #

    Hi Donna,

    My goodness! You are all so well organized and thus, were able to achieve all of your goals before the year end – awesome indeed! 🙂

    Honestly speaking, both of us (me and my working partner) make similar plans and we follow it too, but we keep making small changes to make things better, so certain goals take a backseat, while some new goals take shape as new projects. This is what happened to us this year- so what all we planned, hasn’t fully come into form yet, but it will, though in the coming year now. Instead, what wasn’t planned, became our goal, and things changed direction.

    I guess sometimes such things happen, and one’s just got to be open to change. I’m more of the no-no, stick to our old plans and goals, while Vinay goes all for new changes, and then we have to make adjustments accordingly for the overall betterment of the blog and things.

    Thanks for sharing it all with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..Creative Branding Ideas For Your Blog Or BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 16, 2015 at 11:34 am #

      Hi Harleena,

      I know how those small changes can get us off track! It happens to us also and David, like Vinay will go for some new changes. We have made our adjustments also. But the one thing was that tippy top of that pyramid that we wanted to reach. When David or I strayed the other did nudge and said “Hey stop…look at the road we planned.”

      Yes, it did work but it took loads of self discipline. I do believe the trick is to take a years time and crunch it down to 11 months instead of 12. We seem to push harder to make things happen. Also when there is some kind of set back…like the time we took off this Summer and you graciously helped me out with my blog…(I still am grateful to you by the way) When we came back, we had to work double time to catch up.

      I am sure next year will be a great one for you and Vinay.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  3. Stella Chiu
    Twitter:
    December 16, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    HI, Donna

    OMG, You completed your 2015 goals on November. That is so awesome.

    For me, I just completed part of my 2015 goal. There were two major issues: time management and focus. I am making strong commitment that 2016 will be different story. I will improve my focus time management skill. Some of your suggestions will be implemented in my goal setting.

    This post will be bookmarked for my reference.

    Will Share

    Stella Chiu .
    Stella Chiu recently posted..The differences between the Oriental Medicine and Western MedicineMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 16, 2015 at 11:50 am #

      Hi Stella,

      Yes..we didi it! Only because David and I set our goals for 11 months and didn’t go overboard. When we were creating our goals, we found that our time wouldn’t allow us to realistically complete them when we considered our time off. And that is important too!

      We did focus to get it done. When we did take time off, we had to work harder to catch up and split some of our tasks. It was a great experience because while we did it, we both learned more about what the other usually does. So it was a great learning curve too. David can even make an image now lol.

      My best advice is to make sure time management is considered realistically. I usually account for miscellaneous time. That’s the time when things happen like an illness, or time off because of family issues. And of course…I do always write in time for me. The harder I work, the more I need to relax. It is all about balance.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  4. Ashok SIngh
    Twitter:
    December 16, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    Hello Donna,
    I have been visiting around 12 blogs regularly since I started my blogging path and seems like you are the most organised and result oriented when it comes to achieving goals.

    My goal was nothing and honestly while reading I took a break and got my Triangle ready what exactly i want to do in next one year.

    Back to you!! 🙂

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 17, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

      Hi Ashok,

      I’m glad to hear you were motivated to take immediate action with the triangle method.

      It’s not important that you get it “right” but it is important that you get started with something. You can always change your step by step process as you move forward and start running up again challenges that have you rethink your path.

      Making modifications along the way is easy. Getting started is what’s difficult for most newbies. So congratulations on getting things started.

      -Donna
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  5. Adrienne
    Twitter:
    December 16, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    Hey Donna,

    Well congratulations for not only reaching the goals you set but early. Bravo my dear but I’m not surprised. You and David to me seem like people on a mission, in a good way that is. You set your minds to something and you just slay it.

    I didn’t reach all my goals I’m afraid. A lot of that had to do with somewhat changing directions in the middle of the year. I’m doing much better than I thought I’d be doing though, kind of surprising actually but I’m making my goals for the new year with things I’ll be implementing to hopefully help me reach my goals even quicker this time. Let’s just way that for 2016 I’ll be on a mission! 😉

    Thanks for this message as we start to wind down this year and may we all reach our goals for 2016.

    Happy holidays my dear.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..Special Announcement, Happy Birthday Wish, Your Holiday GiftMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 16, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      Yes..we sure are on a mission. It somehow keeps our marriage stronger than ever so it works well all around. When one of us strays, the other pulls by our collar and says “get back on track”

      Our office has that white board in it and it has become our CEO he he he. We created it and have to abide by it’s rules. Sounds crazy but we had to figure out some way of discipline.

      Time off this year has been great to do. We did account for that and I see now that it has increased our production in a strange way.

      I have seen the turn you made in your business and girl…I know that it was the best thing to do. I know deep in my heart that 2016 is going to be Your best year ever!!! I do wish you all the best and you know I am here for you whenever you need me.

      Enjoy that wedding you are going to, Have a great Christmas and wonderful new year,

      -Donna
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  6. Chery Schmidt
    Twitter:
    December 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    Hello Donna!

    First off I want to Congratulate you and that Awesome Hubby of yours for reaching your goals. In Nov!!

    How Cool is that!!

    As for me well I have had a good year, not terrific, there is room for improvement, but I stayed the course and didn’t let those shiny objects distract me this year, YEH!

    Of course I did write down my goals for 2015 and looking back it seems I did meet a few and fell short on a few short on a few as well. But all is good. I am very happy how my life and business is heading going into the new year.

    I have already started listing my goals for 2016 and love your triangle idea. I am going to use this too.

    Thanks for the reminder and the Awesome Post.

    Wishing YOU And Yours A Blessed Holiday Season!
    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Conquering Your Fears With A Positive MindsetMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 17, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

      Hi Chery,

      I have completed my work on my major goals for 2015. That doesn’t mean that I absolutely did everything I wanted, it just means that I’ve closed the book on the year because I’ve accomplished everything I really needed to.

      I always have a “dream list” of things I’d like to make happen. Some of that works out, some doesn’t. But it doesn’t stop me from moving forward on my Big Goal. It just changes the way I approach it from time to time.

      I’m glad to see you getting started on your list for next year. Let me know how the triangle method helps you along the way.

      Happy Holidays to you, too, Chery 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  7. Sylviane Nuccio
    Twitter:
    December 16, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Good for you to have closed your business year in November. It means that you and David are well organized and that you know about setting goals and following up with them.

    I have some specific goals for 2016 and I’m happy that my big 2015 goal has been accomplished as well.

    Tomorrow I will be publish a post about all the things I’ve done, and people and animals I’ve met. Everything went as planed and even better, and while doing this my business has grown, even though I’m working at growing it more.

    I like your pyramid. I should do one of those. Mind maps are very good too, and I need to make one for 2016 as well.

    Thanks for your insight and tips.

    ~Sylviane
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How To Become A Great Guest Blogger That Gets ResultsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 17, 2015 at 11:57 pm #

      Hi Sylviane,

      Glad you like the pyramid/triangle. Everybody seems to be liking that. I think because it’s just simple. If things aren’t simple, people don’t want to do it, and they get too confused even if they do.

      So one of the keys to keeping organized and making things happen is to work from a simple list, not some big complicated master scheme.

      I’ll jump over to your blog to see your post about your 2015 accomplishments!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  8. Corina Ramos
    Twitter:
    December 16, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Congratulations on meeting your goals for November! I bet that is the best feeling ever. I didn’t meet all my goals but I did celebrate some small milestones. 🙂

    I used to be one of those folks who got caught up with the holidays. Last year, I took I was offline for the whole month of December.

    This year is not the case. I’m meeting with my coach to make plans for 2016 and giving it one last push for this year. I will be off the week of Christmas but I know right now and the week after is go-time :).

    I love the visual you showed here. I love how it’s broken down from a daily task to the big goal. I’m going to borrow this model when I put my final goals and plans in place.

    Thank you for sharing this and here’s wishing you an even more successful 2016!

    Cori
    Corina Ramos recently posted..How To Create A Logo For Your Blog Or BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

      Hi Corina,

      Good for you, already working on 2016 :))

      I don’t think anybody every really meets ALL their goals, but it’s the Big Goal that counts.

      I sure understand the big Christmas thing, and isn’t it a relief when we get to take it in stride without all the crazy part of it? Nice to see you being able to relax a bit more this Holiday season.

      Good luck with all your new plans, it’s exciting to isn’t it? Feels like a brand new start.

      -Donna
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  9. Dana
    Twitter:
    December 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I’ll be the first one to admit that I didn’t reach all of my goals this year. If I am to be honest (and I am), I wasn’t well organized at all, so I am not surprised at the results I’ve gotten.

    I have only recently started paying closer attention to becoming more organized, and i still have to work at it. But I do appreciate the images and suggestions you’ve shared here, and I love the idea of finishing the year up in November and using December to reflect and start thinking ahead.

    That just sounds wise to me.

    I haven’t used mind maps, but I’ve heard about this.

    Great post Donna. Enjoy the rest of the year and Happy Holidays 🙂
    Dana recently posted..The Magic of CreativityMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

      Hi Dana,

      Sounds like you’re ready for those pyramids and mind maps, girl.

      They’re pretty simple really to construct, really, but it’s the implementation stage that makes it come to life.

      So I’d definitely encourage you to sketch out your blueprint for the year, the simpler the better. Then keep it close by to remind you to put into motion each of your action steps.

      That’s why I say keep it simple. People are far more likely to implement simple plans than complex and overwhelming ones.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  10. Sherman Smith December 16, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    You sound really organized. I usually don’t start planning not until the end of December. I’ve never used mind maps before but I see how it can give you a great visual view of your plans.

    I haven’t completed all of my goals, but I do have to say that it was still a great year. I had a few epiphanies that showed me what I needed to focus more on as well as those I needed to focus less on. This year was one great learning experience and I look forward to next year.

    Thanks for sharing how you make plans Donna! Have a great rest of the week!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..My Top 6 Posts For October and NovemberMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      Glad to see your great progress this year, even though you weren’t quite able to achieve every one of your goals.

      I like hearing how you learned to focus less on some things. Most people keep trying to focus more and more on more and more things. That’s a recipe for overwhelm and failure somewhere down the road.

      Having too many things to accomplish is actually worse than having too few, because it keeps you constantly feeling over-worked and under-achieving.

      -Donna
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  11. Dennis Seymour
    Twitter:
    December 17, 2015 at 12:48 am #

    We practically use the same process but mine is a more disorganized.

    I journal daily as well and even keep tabs on a separate tumblr where I can post each month about what I learned.

    It’s all about getting to know yourself and it took me a looooooong time to know what will work for me.

    Im happy that you reached your goals. Sadly, I’m far from mine and at this rate, itll take until mid next year LOL.

    Thanks for sharing this Donna! Happy holidays to you and your family!
    Dennis Seymour recently posted..The 10 Most Entertaining SEO Blogs You Can FollowMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 17, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

      Hi Dennis,

      I’ve got to say that as long as you’re moving forward, that’s what really counts.

      We all want things to happen bigger and faster, but we need to work within our reality zone, too.

      I find that the people who make things happen really fast, usually come to the table with lots of contacts and relevant skill sets, so truthfully, they’ve already put in a lot of time before what seemed to be their “day one.”

      Hey, I can’t wait to see what you’ll be accomplishing by mid next year 🙂

      Happy holidays to you, too.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

    • Sarah Arrow
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2015 at 4:26 am #

      Can I say me too :D, Like Dennis I use a similar but less organised approach.

      I love that you achieved your goals ahead of schedule, and you still plan on carrying on. So many people achieve a goal then take their pedal off the metal, and then struggle to get back to where they should be. Well done 🙂
      Sarah Arrow recently posted..Why Every Coach Needs A Brain Picking PageMy Profile

      • Donna Merrill
        Twitter:
        December 18, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

        Hi Sarah,

        You know, it’s so interesting what you said about taking the pedal off the medal. People have a natural let down when they accomplish the tasks at hand, and have to start figuring out what’s next.

        It’s one of the reasons that a little trick I do is to leave open loops in my progress. I deliberately leave some things half done or undone until I’ve added the next step into my schedule. Then, before tackling the new set of tasks, I’ll finish up the undone ones. It’s always easier working on something that’s in motion, rather than starting an entirely new thing.

        It makes you keep the pedal to the metal lol

        -Donna
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  12. Fabrizio Van Marciano
    Twitter:
    December 17, 2015 at 5:28 am #

    Hey Donna, great post and thanks for sharing your strategy and focus on how you reach your goals. Congratulations on reaching them early as well, that’s awesome.

    Whilst I set myself just a small handful of goals in 2015, I haven’t yet looked to see if I’ve actually achieved any of them, and I’m not that confident that I have in any case.

    I know that I’ve achieved things that wasn’t on my goal plan, as is always the case with me, but I’ll be writing a yearly review post no doubt shortly.

    I do love this time of year, it’s extremely busy and as you say, business kind of gets put on the back burner whilst we run around like headless chickens trying to prepare for the holiday and celebrations.

    Talking of emotions, my girlfriend always get emotional when a year comes to an end, I’m not too sure why maybe she realises she’s getting older ha ha.

    But I try to tell her that as human beings, we’re too consumed and sometimes restricted by time. If you think about it, time is a silly concept, but we need it to stay organised and have some kind of security in our lives.

    But nothing really changes and another day is just another day. There really is no significant difference between the 31st of December and the 1st of January, other than the weather might be different.

    Anyway I’m losing myself here again I’m so sorry. I love the pyramid example you’ve shown in your post. This year I’d like to try something a little different, where instead of setting yearly goals, I’ll try and set quarterly goals broken down into smaller goals with 1 small daily task. Never tried mind mapping so I will have to learn

    Anyway Donna, very inspirational post, really got me geared up to making some new plans for 2016, thank you.

    Have yourself a great rest of the week.
    Fabrizio Van Marciano recently posted..How To Create Beautiful Content: 12 Online Tools For Bloggers And MarketersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

      Hi Fabrizio,

      So glad you stopped by, I enjoyed your comment.

      I think the new year thing is that people feel like the sand has run out of the hour glass on 2015 and now, anything they had wanted to get done… it’s too late. I doubt your girlfriend is worried about a year older, unless new year’s day is her birthday, too… lol

      Seriously, though, I don’t like the idea of many goals. That’s why I try to stick to ONE Big Goal, and everything that leads up to it is a milestone task. If certain “tasks” go undone, or get swapped out for others, it’s okay as long as I keep on course with my Big Goal. How I get it accomplished is not really as important as just making it happen through any means possible.

      Whatever works best… that’s what I like to run with.

      -Donna
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  13. Vashishtha Kapoor
    Twitter:
    December 17, 2015 at 5:56 am #

    My goal was atleast $100 for adsense and i did not make it. But i made more than that with affiliate marketing. Maybe I did more than my goal. it was tough in start but in the middle of the year, i got the right start. and now I am standing on my own blog.
    😛
    Really. Thanks for sharing.
    have a nice day

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 19, 2015 at 11:50 pm #

      Hi Vashishtha,

      It’s great you made a few dollars for your effort.

      But don’t get too focused on your “results” especially if you’re new to all this.

      Focus you energies instead on the process you used to get those results. Do more of it,sharpen and improve it until you’ve settled into a process that’s turning a steady profit for you. Then just scale it all up. That’s the way to building a business. Remember, you’re not looking to “make money” primarily. You’re looking to build a business. Do that, and the money will follow you.

      -Donna
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  14. Monna Ellithorpe
    Twitter:
    December 17, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    Hi Donna,

    How’s that working for you, you ask? Nada, Zip, Zilch in terms of being scattered-brained. This year coming up, 2016 will be different.

    I have my planner ready to go and a few visits back here to read your post again as I go will do the trick.

    Thanks again, Donna
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    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2015 at 7:43 am #

      Hi Monna,

      No worries.

      Remember, every day you sit at your computer you are starting your business anew. Don’t try to “catch up” with things you haven’t done yet, or wish you could have done. Stay real and just start from where things stand today, and move it forward.

      You can’t catch up with the past, but and the future doesn’t exist. You can only effect the present moment. So, be at peace and enjoy it 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  15. Brenda P
    Twitter:
    December 17, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

    Hi Donna!

    Congratulations to you and David for meeting your goals! Very admirable! You rock it!

    Is it terrible that I can remember what goals I sent for 2015? I think I talked about it at one point, but it’s slipped my mind. I guess I can say “I don’t know”. However, I have started planning for 2016. I am going to be more organized in 2016 and I plan on losing 10 lbs. That is all I am working towards, other than the obvious of being a better person. I do plan on making a bit more money online than I did this past year. Let’s see how well I do ith that. 🙂

    I wish you and David very Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!

    B
    Brenda P recently posted..3 Simple Ways to Battle “The Bulge” #InfographicMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2015 at 7:56 am #

      Hi Brenda,

      I think a lot of people forget the goals they set. That’s because first, they don’t write them out, and second, they don’t focus on them every single day. I like to have one single, Big Goal and focus on it every day until it is accomplished, and then rolls into the next Big Goal.

      The idea is for each Big Goal to be a major step toward achieving what you want, overall. You Big Goal need not be an annual Big Goal. It can be a monthly one, even. I like to focus on one goal at a time, otherwise I get confused and overwhelmed.

      I don’t think of things like “be more organized” as a goal, that’s closer to what people call a New Year’s Resolution, things you want to change about yourself or the way you do things. That’s a good thing to do, but when I think of a Big Goal, it’s more like… “Put Together a Facebook training for my followers and create a paid product with it.” I’ll set a deadline, like 6 weeks, say. Then I work on that goal and nothing else for the first half of my work day. The second half of my day I do the things I’d normally do to keep my business in tact.

      Hope that makes it a bit clearer. By the way, I like the losing 10 lbs idea! Now, that’s a goal most people would love to reach.

      Have a great New Year and Holiday Season, Brenda.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  16. Lea Bullen
    Twitter:
    December 17, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Congrats on meeting your goals early enough to plan ahead. You are a inspiration 🙂

    I really love the pyramid breaking down the time frame for the days into something more manageable. I going to use this. In the past I’ve had a hard time scheduling the steps to get to the bigger goal because I couldn’t effectively time the things that needed to happen before it.

    I have yet to start mapping out my goals for next year but I’m glad I read this post before I did. It should come in really handy!

    Thanks!!

    ~Lea
    Lea Bullen recently posted..Are You Feeding Yourself This Bologna???My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2015 at 8:01 am #

      Hi Lea,

      Yea, the pyramid thing works for me because it just reminds me visually that there’s a lot of tasks I have to complete each day to reach the top… the Goal.

      But I don’t get frustrated doing small tasks because I keep seeing the Big Goal at the top that I’m approaching. Kind of like the dangling carrot… lol

      Deadlines are big, too. Saying, I’ll get this done on Tuesday, that on Wednesday and I’ll complete it on Thursday… Friday at the latest… is way different than “I’ll try to get this thing done sometime soon.”

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  17. Mark
    Twitter:
    December 18, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    Big congrats on you and David reaching your goals
    in 2015 Donna!

    I love your pyramid schematic BTW, because it really does
    visually illustrate, how we actually go about achieving our goals.

    And you’re so right, when share, we need some type of
    process, that really does fit our current strengths, weaknesses
    and our personalities!

    Because if the process doesn’t fit our personality, we probably
    won’t be able to hang in there long term!

    Thanks for sharing some awesome content!
    Mark recently posted..How Extremely Savvy Entrepreneurs Make Money In The Information Business Without A Product!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2015 at 8:06 am #

      Hi Mark,

      Also, remember that some things NEED to get done that we’re just not able to do, or at least not able to do really well or in a reasonable amount of time.

      For those things, learn to delegate, hire out, barter with someone to get done. Don’t try to do everything yourself.

      I like, too, that you talk about “achieving our goals” instead of using the word “goal.” When I set my yearly goal for 2016, it is made up of multiple Big Goals, which are really the steps to achieving my yearly goal. The yearly goal is nice, but the growth occurs by achieving one Big Goal at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know what I mean?

      Nice to see you, Mark.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  18. Mitch Mitchell
    Twitter:
    December 19, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    I can easily say I didn’t come close to reaching my goals in 2015. The only one I actually got to was finally finishing my 2nd book on leadership; whew! Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be thinking about my goals for 2016 and how I’m going to work towards achieving them. This is the year for magic! 🙂
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..The Last Post Of 2015; I’m Tired!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      Hi Mitch,

      It’s not important that you didn’t reach your goals in 2015. What is important is to start all nice and new in 2016 :))

      Hey, you finished a second book. Not for nothing, but that’s not nothing.

      Keep that magic rolling…

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  19. Kathryn Maclean
    Twitter:
    December 19, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

    Hi Donna, Great post.
    Guess what I did today? I went out and bought a new desk calendar and a new planner. Pink this year.! So cool that I saw your post on “have you reached your goals for 2015. ” today. I know that it’s imperative to set up my goals for the new year. I also think that it’s very important to take this time during the holidays to do so.

    First step I do is to access the past year.
    What went wrong and what turned out right? Getting a sense of last year before the new year just makes good sense.
    Setting goals for 2016 I write them out in a new planner. I liked the pyramid. pic. Great idea. I saved it.
    Mind mapping is so cool. I saved that too. I like the term milestones to a goal. This gives a very clear pic of where you are going and how to get there.
    This year I want to really plan it out.
    Thanks for all the excellent tips. Happy holidays and Happy New Year!!
    Kathryn Maclean recently posted..Happy Christmas Merry BirthdayMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2015 at 10:45 am #

      Hi Kathryn,

      Congrats on the new desk calendar. Pink even!

      Not everybody needs planners and tools and all that, but if you can make it fun and a bit of an event, it just gets your head juiced up.

      Plus, I’m a really big believer that you have to write things down. I don’t care if your Big Goal is to blog twice a week, period. Write that down and look at it every single day. Put it in your new pink planner and every day you’re reminded of something you MUST do. The trick is to do the MUST first, every day. Then do the busy stuff (or start on a new project that feeds into your big goal).

      Happy Holidays and New Year.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  20. Erika Mohssen-Beyk
    Twitter:
    December 19, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

    I am grateful to say my year does not end 31 of December 🙂 I go with the natural cycle.
    I always had dreams and always finally go what I wanted, but not with plans like this.
    I follow my intuition and keep myself happy. For me this set goals never worked, they
    only work in a team when part of it can be delegated. I think sometimes set goals can
    be discouraging if people have the feeling they failed and did not get there. Important is
    in my opinion, to have a dream and follow the intuition do your best and do not get discouraged if it does not work out to the set time or something else comes up.
    It may be even better.Keep yourself in good vibrations and all will work better.
    Looking back on my life, I do not regret anything and I move always forward in the direction of my dreams one after the other confident that I get what is good for me.
    Thank you for making me think
    Erika

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2015 at 10:49 am #

      Hi Erika,

      You know, of course, that I’m an intuitive consultant in my offline practice.

      So I totally get being driven by intuition. Most people are more comfortable with setting out a clearly defined path for themselves, and then mapping out the milestones they must pass to get to the end destination.

      It’s not for everyone, though, and if you’re into a groove of being moved by inspiration or intuition, and if that’s working for you, then yea, do it.

      The key is to get the results you want.

      If you’re getting them, whatever you’re doing is great. If you’re not, consider some tweaks and twists.

      Think big!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  21. Sonal Talwar
    Twitter:
    December 20, 2015 at 4:21 am #

    Hi Donna

    Vow! You managed to achieve all your goals in 2015.

    The biggest goals that I managed to achieve wa starting my blog. with the help and support of all I am able to manage it very well.

    I have started listing my goals for the coming year. Hope to achieve all.

    Have a nice day!
    Sonal Talwar recently posted..How healthy is your cup of Tea?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2015 at 11:01 am #

      Hi Sonai,

      Well starting your blog is a big deal for sure!

      That’s no small accomplishment, so congratulations on that.

      Keep moving ahead with your blogging while you reach to accomplish your new goals, too.

      Let me know how it’s all going, I love to hear from my friends out here.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

    • Erika Mohssen-Beyk
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2015 at 11:05 am #

      Yes, Donna 🙂
      I was thinking of the people who get discouraged if they not
      get to the gaol on time 🙂 and stop doing,
      Never quit, even if not getting to the goal one the set time. 🙂
      Think of the law or Gestation 🙂
      And yes, you are, right think big 🙂 and keep going.
      Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted..How To Raise Your Energy FrequencyMy Profile

  22. Peter Beckenham
    Twitter:
    December 20, 2015 at 5:34 am #

    Hello Donna,

    Firstly may I thank you for your guidance and support this year.

    I always have clear goals and action plans in place to make things happen but this year I had a major change on my business associations mid year and mised some of my goals.

    However, to me 2015 was very exciting because I now realize and understand for the first time, the vital importance of building a blogging community (in your case a “tribe”) to achieve my overall online business future.

    Google docs is my main platform for all my planning but I like the idea of mind mapping. I have used mindmeister before but never thought about it as a planning tool – thanks for that great heads up.

    I am definitely as not well organizes as you and David and to be honest, my daily plans are realy my “to do list” that I always plan the week before based on my overal plan objectives.

    I can never go to sleep without knowing exactly what I need to do the next day but I must admit often my “to do” items are a reaction to some unknown or unplanned thing that messes up my business (like having my domain names blacklisted because of some vicious “bot net” thing that hacked my IP address).

    Anyway enough of that but I have prined out this post as a “gentle reminder” for me to get my a###. into gear for 2016!

    May you and David have a happy, enjoyable and safe festive season

    Best wishes Donna from a remote Thai village blogger

    Peter
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    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for your story. It’s a good reminder that things don’t always… actually, almost never… go as we plan.

      We have to plan as if everything will go perfectly, but since it probably won’t of course, we need to bend along the course we’re on. We need to stumble on the obstacles, get stuck in the ditch, but always know that we’re on the road that will take us where we’re going… so to get over the hurts, fix what breaks, and then get moving again.

      Most importantly, never get off your path and never let yourself stay on the side of the road, or worse yet … return to the safety of home.

      That’s not the way to grow.

      But it sounds like you know all this already, so I’d say to just keep making those daily plans of action and make it happen…

      Happy next year to accomplish everything that’s most important to you.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  23. Susan cooper
    Twitter:
    December 20, 2015 at 9:20 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Congratulations. That’s pretty impressive, meeting your goals before even hitting December.

    I’ve been diligently pounding away at mine throughout the year. Happily crossing summer big ones off, struggling with a few others but refusing to give up. I do still have 2 weeks to go. Maybe if I kick it into high gear? :).

    And at the same time I am looking towards 2016, a fresh start, a new slate and all I hope to accomplish.

    I hope you and your family enjoy the holidays and have a great New Year!!

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

      Hi Susan,

      Don’t you just love the new slate?

      That’s what’s exciting about the whole “new year” experience, I think.

      But don’t forget too, that every day is a “new day.” So if you fall out of sync one day, or don’t get done what you had planned to… use your new day to make things better for just that one day. Then do the same the next day, and so forth.

      Some days will suck, but if you keep this mindset as a constant, I promise you the productive days will outnumber the sucky days and when you look back at the end of the month, quarter or year… you’ll be amazed how far you’ve come!

      Happy holidays, my friend.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  24. Mitch Mitchell
    Twitter:
    December 20, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

    It’s been an interesting year for me as well. However, if I could keep finishing my 2nd book I’d probably throw out the rest and ask for a do-over. I can hardly wait for 2016; I’m expecting better things, which won’t be too hard to do. lol
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  25. ikechi
    Twitter:
    December 21, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi Donna

    I am so late but I am glad that I came across this post because I am reading it at the right time.

    This year has been awesome and I achieved all my goals in 2015. I set a goal to have a fixed amount of subscribers and I had to delete my spam list to reach this goal which surprisingly I did and even had a plus more. It did teach me the importance of goals

    So I am definitely going to use your technique which I find very interesting. I also love your daily planner.

    My goals for 2016 will be awesome.

    Thanks for sharing. Take Care

  26. Barbara Charles
    Twitter:
    December 21, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    To be honest, no, I did not reach my goals, but worked toward them just not as much as I could. With a full time job, new baby in the house which I babysit for at night, travel and long commute….it was all a little bit too much. But I figure that for 2016 it will only get better. So I’m looking forward to a new year and your tips will help me tremendously.

    Merry Christmas and Have a wonderful New Year.

    Lov ya,
    Barbara
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  27. Mary Sloane
    Twitter:
    December 27, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

    Well aren’t you a wonder- child, finished your 2015 goals by the end of November while I’m still creating mine LOL

    This is a wonderful article and I will certainly be incorporating a lot of this wisdom into my new years plans Thank you!

    I am working more on a strategy and deciding what and where to focus.

    Shopify figures big in my future so I have a strategy to start my shopify empire small and grow by learning more and more about how to be successful at Shopify.

    Secondly my strategy includes becoming more masterful as an affiliate marketer with a strategy to grow my tribe and my list We’ll see how that works out. It involves more mastering certain marketing strategies.

    May 2016 be your very best year yet

    Mary

  28. Atish Ranjan January 8, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

    Donna,

    Great to know that you achieved your goals that you have set for 2015. I too have achieved almost, but a few were not completed. I am all set to work even harder to reach my targets. Proper planning is important, and that’s what you did.

    have a great day ahead.
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..15 Tips To Write Catchy Headlines For Your ContentMy Profile

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