J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Nailing Your Goals for 2012

Nailing Your Goals for 2012

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If you want to nail your goals for 2012, here are some guidelines, checklists, and tools to help you do it.  It's a new year and  fresh start, so now is a great time to start off on the right foot, or tune and prune your skills for action, focus, goals, motivation, and time management.

At the end of the day, it's these skills that will serve you for the rest of your life, in whatever you try to achieve.  They are your personal tools for empowerment and impact your ability to execute.  It's these skills that limit or enable you.

A Time-Management System
If you don’t have a time management system, get one.  Time management is the one resource that we just don’t get more of.   The best we can do is invest our time well and spend more time in our values and balance our priorities.  An effective time management system will help you do that, as well as balance what’s right in front of you along with your long term goals and ambitions.

  • Getting Results the Agile Way – Agile Results is a simple system for meaningful results.   You can use it as a personal results system for work and life.  This is the same system I’ve used to lead distributed teams around the world for major projects at Microsoft, and to coach teams on execution … and it’s the same system my Mom uses to get things done around the house.

Agile Results is principle-based so you can use it with any time management system you already use to get more out of it.  The big idea in Agile Results is to define three wins each day, each week, each month, each year, and use these to guide your actions.  Another big idea in Agile Results is to focus on Hot Spots.   Think of your life as a heat map with hot spots of what matters and invest more time in what counts.  The most important idea in Agile Results is to have a pattern to drive your week.  In Agile Results, this is the Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, Friday Reflection pattern.   This helps you get a fresh start each week and each day, and bring out your best, while focusing on meaningful results.  You can use stories to drive your day, connect to your values, and light up your life.

Guidelines, Checklists, and How Tos
Here are some guidelines, checklists, and tools you can plug in to Agile Results and make thins happen.   I created these the same way that I’ve written patterns & practices guides at Microsoft for more than 10 years.   It’s hard-core prescriptive guidance to help you be YOUR best.  As a quick example, some people I know are using the Focus Guidelines to help build coping skills for ADD and get off their medication.  If you read just one thing, read the Motivation Guidelines so that you fully understand how to push your own buttons, light your own fire, and stoke the fire in your belly.   Your motivation, combined with goals, focus, and taking action will give you an unfair advantage against your toughest challenges.   Life’s not fair, so stack the deck in your favor Winking smile

Guidelines


Checklists

How Tos

If you want to find out more about the book, Getting Results the Agile Way, and the Agile Results system, be sure to explore Getting Results.com.   You can read the full book online in HTML, and there is a rick knowledge base with templates and tools to help you bring out your best and deal with changing times.   Be sure to read the stories of people getting results and watch the video on how a non-profit uses Getting Results the Agile Way to help doctors and patients around the world.

Here’s to your best year – Happy New Year 2012!

  • Hi JD,

    Thanks for putting this information out there for the rest of us.  I wish I had been able to work with you during my time at MS.

    FYI,

    The link for Action Checklist is actually pointing to Time Management Guidelines.

  • @ Mark -- There's more time ahead of us, than behind us, MS or not.  I plan to share a lot more prescriptive guidance on getting results this year.

    Thanks for catching that -- fixed.

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