It’s going to be a new year in a few hours. I am not the kind that revels this occasion, and I don’t really believe in having a new year resolution either. But this last day of the year did prompt me to take a look at my life time goals template which I call “Suhaimi’s Path Of Life”. It’s something that I’ve developed and maintained. I realise now that I’ve neglected its upkeep for quite a while as the last review I did was at least a year ago. I think I will take the cue from the new year’s eve to revitalise it.
The idea came to me after I attended a leadership talk given by an Army General a few years back. He shared with us an approach he did to keep track of his own progress in life. He basically came up with his own objectives, both in short and long terms, and outlined his general course of actions to accomplish them. I was very intrigued and tried to come up with something similar for me. What I’ve come up with are six major aspects which represent my whole outlook on life. Here’s a glimpse of the front page of “Suhaimi’s Path of Life.”:
I know there are actually 12 elements there but I see the two in each category as inter-related and have strong influence on each other. I also discover that the course of actions I come up with normally affect both elements in the category.
For each area I come up with specific objectives I call “Dreams”. They represent what I want to accomplish in short and long terms. All my “Dreams” are defined using the SMART principles; they must Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based.
Then the “Dreams” are used to govern my course of actions in order to realise them. They are also defined using the same SMART principles. For instance, I’ve specified the amount of money I want to secure by the age of 50, and the course of actions include what I must do to improve my income while reducing my financial obligations. All together I have come up with 16 “Dreams” that I want to accomplish in my life and they translate to at least 60 individual actions that I must try my best to carry out.
I have come up with the template that works for me, I like it, I have accomplished some of the dreams but I have also been quite inconsistent in reviewing and monitoring it. I guess the absence of a mechanism to do that can be blamed for this shortcoming. The only mitigation is that all the 16 “Dreams” are embedded in my mind, hence the “mental checks” have been effective in monitoring their progress. However, I can’t say the same about the 60 odd actions that I’ve pledged to carry out. Some have been neglected, while some have become irrelevant.
As a whole, a lot of good have come as a result of this whole thing. I own a new house, I have a blog and a Facebook account, I opened an account and have monthly deduction to save for Hajj, I have progressed a lot since the knee surgery, I have not reached my ideal weight but I am not overweight, I plan and take my family for vacation, I habitually remind myself not to hinder my children from expressing their minds, my children know how to perform solat, etc. I won’t mention the actions which I have failed to undertake or complete within the stipulated timelines……..of course cannot lah.
I think what I need to do now is to review the 16 “Dreams” to make them current, which of course will subsequently lead to the revision of the individual actions I need to carry out. I think I’m still happy with the 6 key areas which represent my life so I’ll stick to them. One additional thing that I need to incorporate now is some milestones for review to enable me to keep abreast with the progress. Yup, definitely and maybe to do it monthly is good.
No new year resolution for me as usual. I think I’d be better off with this approach of setting goals for my life. Come to think of it.....it’s like having Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), only mine are meaningful to me while some of the KPIs I’ve seen (including some of those I read in the papers) are merely lip service, and serve as personal or political agenda to some.
Happy New Year 2010 everybody and may the new year brings joy and prosperity to us all.