Welcome to 2017.
We’re five days into the new year…
How are you getting on with your goals?
Are you making progress toward the things that matter most? Or has your initial enthusiasm faded already?
If it’s the latter, don’t worry—you’re not alone.
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 25 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week.
Moreover, only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their resolutions.
I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be part of the above statistic.
So, this year, I’m trying something different…
I’m publicly declaring my 2017 goals.
Despite evidence suggesting telling someone your goals makes them less likely to happen, I’ve decided to go public for a few reasons:
- To create accountability to follow-through. When you, “create a cadence of accountability,” as Cal Newport calls it, “execution really happens”. Why? Because you’re forced to confront what’s working and what isn’t. Writing monthly goal reports—and publishing them online for everyone to see—will require me to make that distinction.
- To create new opportunities. Sharing your goals publicly has the potential to introduce you to people you might not have come into contact with otherwise. Sometimes, getting an introduction to the right person at the right time is enough to tip the scales in your favor.
- To enlist support. No goal is achieved in isolation. No matter who you are or what you’re working toward—you need people in your corner, motivating and encouraging you to cross the finish line (especially when you’re encountering obstacles). It’s my hope that our community will offer that support (if it’s needed).
So, without much ado, here’s what I’m hoping to achieve in 2017.
Overview: My 2017 Goals
1. I Will Easily Survey My Audience by January 31, 2017.
As a writer, my goal is to serve your needs and interests.
But to do that, I need to know more about you.
That’s why, in January, I’m sending out my annual reader survey.
With more insight into your goals and challenges, I can write content that is even more interesting and relevant to you.
I’ve created the survey and written the email—all that’s left is to schedule the campaign.
2. I Will Easily Segment my Audience by Interest by March 31, 2017.
Let’s face it:
No one enjoys reading emails that aren’t relevant.
If you’re interested in, say, behavior change, and you receive emails about entrepreneurship (something I’m planning on writing about more), you’re more likely to unsubscribe.
I don’t want you to do that.
My goal, remember, is to write content that’s relevant to you.
That’s why, after carrying out my annual reader survey, I’m going to create segments in Mailchimp so you only receive content that’s of interest to you.
3. I Will Easily Finish Draft 1 of My New Book by March 31, 2017.
I don’t want to say too much at this point, but what I will say is it won’t be related to anything I’ve written about before.
I’ve already started writing it and while I don’t have a deadline in mind, yet, I’m planning on having draft one completed by the end of Q2.
4. I Will Easily Write an Autoresponder Sequence for SamuelThomasDavies.com by June 30, 2017.
This is a goal I wanted to achieve last year but had to postpone due to a change in priorities.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, an autoresponder sequence is a series of emails you receive when you opt-in to an email newsletter.
As of writing, when you join my weekly newsletter, you receive an email welcoming you to our community … and that’s it.
I want to change that.
While I don’t know what my autoresponder’s going to look like or what emails it’s going to comprise, I do know it’s going to improve the reader experience and thus, serve more people.
5. I Will Easily Publish Unhooked 3rd Edition by June 30, 2017.
When I wrote my free eBook Unhooked in 2014, I never could have imagined how many people would download it.
As of writing, it’s been downloaded by more than 5,000 readers and is in its second edition.
While I’m flattered by the emails I receive complementing it, I know it can be better.
There are countless resources online relating to behavior change. I don’t want mine to be another. I need to position Unhooked in a new category. As Al Ries writes in The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, “If you can’t be the first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.”
6. I Will Easily Have At Least 5,000 Email Subscribers by December 31, 2017.
In A Guide to The Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, William B. Irvine writes,
There are things over which we have complete control, things over which we have no control at all, and things over which we have some but not complete control.
While I only have partial control over this goal, I do believe I can influence it.
One way I plan on doing that is pitching my content to authority sites with similar audiences (e.g. Entrepreneur.com). Content syndication has been responsible for the rapid growth of many popular online writers (most notably James Clear). I hope it can be for me, too.
Another tactic that I plan on implementing is creating content upgrades for my more popular articles. This has been really effective for me, especially for my more popular book summaries (one of my pages currently converts at 25%). I plan on creating more in 2017.
7. I Will Easily Hire an Editor and a Researcher by December 31, 2017.
As my copywriting business has grown, I’ve found myself encountering an issue every business owner experiences at some point:
Doing everything myself.
This, at times, has caused me to feel unfulfilled and overworked.
So, this year, I’ve decided to hire an editor and a researcher to help with my writing projects.
The researcher can research. The editor can edit. And I can focus on what I enjoy most—writing and serving my clients.
8. I Will Easily Publish 24 Articles on SamuelThomasDavies.com by December 31, 2017.
As I mentioned in my 2016 annual review, I only published 18 articles in 2016.
While this didn’t affect my organic traffic or growth (both were the highest they’ve ever been), I missed writing for and connecting with our community.
One article down. Twenty-three to go….
9. I Will Easily Publish 24 New Book Summaries on SamuelThomasDavies.com by December 31, 2017
If you’re a long-time reader, you know how much I enjoy posting book summaries.
In my experience, writing down what you’ve learned from a book is one of the fastest, most effective ways of internalizing its key ideas and takeaways.
As of writing, I’ve published four so far this year, you can read them here.
10. I Will Easily Launch a New Training Program by December 31, 2017.
Last year, I launched the second iteration of my flagship course: The Habit Masterclass.
While I was happy with the end result, I wanted to do more to help our community achieve their goals.
After incorporating your feedback, I planned on opening enrollment again in the fall. But, once more, due to work commitments, I decided to postpone it.
As of writing, I don’t know if I will be reopening enrollment (at least, not until I’ve rebuilt it). What I do know, though, is I will be launching a new training program before the end of the year.
I don’t want to say too much at this point, but what I will say it it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve seen online before.
I can’t wait to share it with you soon.
11. I Will Easily Reach and Impact 300,000 People (Unique Views) on SamuelThomasDavies.com by December 31, 2017.
You may have noticed a common theme running throughout my 2017 goals:
I want to serve more people.
This goal is no different.
Simply put, the more people I can reach through my site, the more people I can impact.
Granted, it’s going to require a lot of time, attention, and energy, but I’m committed to reaching my target.
12. I Will Easily Read 40 Books by December 31, 2017.
I try and read a book a week.
And while this isn’t always possible, it does give you a target to aim for.
I read more in 2016 that any other year of my life. I also achieved more than I ever could have dreamed of. Coincidence? Maybe. But one thing’s a certainty:
Having more information gives you a tremendous advantage over those who don’t.
As Seth Godin writes in Linchpin, “It’s not an accident successful people read more books.”
Here’s to more reading in 2017.
As the title suggests: this is an experiment.
I’ve never shared my goals publically before and I don’t know what to expect.
It might not work.
Or, it might inspire me to strive for more than I believe I’m capable of.
I’m committed to doing everything I can to make 2017 my best year ever.
And if you’re willing to join me, I hope you are, too.
What are you 2017 goals? Leave a comment below.