My Epic Goals for 2011

My Epic Goals for 2011

Written by Emilie

Topics: Goals

As a general rule, both multipotentialites and lifestyle designers love setting goals. Consequently, the end of a calendar year is often marked by an outpouring of mass goal-setting in the blogosphere and a flurry of excitement about the future.

I am, of course, no exception. I adore the process of turning grand ideas into actionable steps, especially since I know that I have it in me to actually take action.

So with that said, behold my goals for 2011.

Year’s Theme: Variety

Like a good little Scanner, the main focus of my goal-setting this year is to split up my time properly to include all of the activities that keep me feeling engaged and inspired. I want to embrace variety and limit the activities I dislike as much as possible.

In the comments field of a recent post, Rob mentioned Leo Babauta‘s approach from his book Focus. In Rob’s words:

This reminds me of what Leo Babauta says in his free ebook ‘Focus’, when he talks of not making a ‘to do list’. He recommends having a few projects going at a time, and when you wake up, just work on whichever interests you at the time. When you get bored, stop, and if you feel like it, work on another project.

This perfectly describes what I’m going for. It’s also an ideal model for those of us with a zillion different interests.

A Word on Finances

Now that my student loans have dried up (and will require repayment), I have to get serious about my finances. However, my belief is that with wise planning, financial stability can come about as a natural result of doing what you love.

In short, money is not the motivating force behind any of my goals. Some of these projects will produce an income and some will not, but they are all included primarily for the purpose of personal fulfillment, not for their potential to produce revenue.

I don’t mean to knock financially-driven goals. It’s just that for me personally, money alone isn’t a good motivator. If I’m not passionate about something, I will do a poor job no matter how great the payout.

The Goals

1. Grow Puttylike

My first goal is to grow the community here at Puttylike. What matters most to me isn’t so much the amount of traffic on the site as the level of engagement.

I really want to turn Puttylike into a space where Scanners can come together and inspire each other- maybe even collaborate on projects! Judging by the emails and comments I’ve received, you guys are a mighty diverse and creative bunch. I’d love for you to be able to connect, not just with me, but with each other.

I even have thoughts of setting up a ‘project of the month’ section on the site, where a project from the Puttylike community is featured each month, along with a little interview.

None of this can happen, however, without sufficient traffic. Obviously you’re here- you found me (yey!). But I’d like to keep spreading the word, so that we can get more of our people to join in.

2. The Podcast

Since day one I’ve been planning on creating a podcast. I’d love to use some of my latent audio chops to create a theme song, maybe interview some interesting people and talk about big ideas.

A podcast is also a good way of reaching out to a whole new crowd since iTunes is essentially a search engine, and one with far less competition than Google.

3. Public Speaking

I’ve been getting more and more into the idea of speaking to groups. Plus one of my life dreams is to speak at a TED event. One little snag… For the better part of my life I’ve been completely terrified of public speaking.

Within the last year, I’ve really started pushing myself to overcome this fear. And guess what? I’ve found that speaking can actually be fun when you’re talking about something you’re passionate about. Well, it’s time to step it up a notch. I want to begin speaking regularly to groups.

Education Program for Kids

I’ve mentioned before that I’m very interested in working with children and high school students. I’d love to head into a school and give a little talk about unconventional possibilities, following your dreams and entrepreneurship. I’m also going to get involved with some meetup groups in Montreal and reach out to a few people I know who work at various organizations and might be in need of a speaker.

4. Design

I like using the visual side of my brain by doing a bit of design work here and there. Running Puttylike satisfies this need to an extent, though the last few months have been so jam packed with finishing up law school, that I haven’t had time to do much design work.

I have been jotting down all my ideas though. Everything from ‘add more padding to the sides of the posts’ to ‘make it easier for people to share content’. I literally have 50 little tweaks that I’m planning on making to the site. This mini-revamp will probably happen over time. I think I will simply have my list around, and any time I’m in a design mood or need a break from writing, I’ll just pick something off the list and go for it.

Another thing I enjoy is working with people and helping them build their own brands online. A bit of web design work should satisfy this need. I have a few jobs lined up already, but if any of you are interested in a professional looking website, blog, or ebook design, feel free to get in touch.

5. Lifestyle/Business Coaching

Similarly, I would love to begin working with Scanners in a one-on-one setting, basically taking a personalized approach to the stuff I write about on the blog. I think it would be incredible to help people integrate their passions into their schedules, come up with revenue streams that play off their skills and interests and help them free up time so that they can embrace any new interests that arise.

I don’t currently have any coaching experience beyond just informally helping my friends out, so I will probably begin by offering some free sessions over Skype. I’ll be writing more about this in upcoming posts, but if you’re interested in being a guinea, shoot me an email and we’ll work something out.

6. Writing

I clearly enjoy writing and I plan on continuing with my regular Puttylike posts. I also want to branch out and do a bit of guest posting in 2011 as well as team up with other bloggers for some collaborative projects. I would also like to create another ebook, now that I’ve seen what a positive experience that can be.

I need to work on becoming a faster writer though. It takes me an embarrassingly long time to write a post. I’d like to get my time down to 1 hour per post without sacrificing quality.

Hacking Hollywood

Since publishing this post a few weeks back, several people have asked about the specifics- how exactly I plan on breaking into the television business and becoming a television writer.

Well, I have a few ideas about how this might be accomplished. But here is the one that I’m starting with:

Over the next couple of months, I will develop a series idea, write a pilot script, treatment and series bible. I have a friend and potential writing partner who contacted me and is interested in teaming up.

I/we will then pitch the idea to as many production companies (in Canada) and Networks (in the US) as we can get meetings with. This will not be easy, as most companies don’t accept meetings with unsolicited no-names. But I plan on utilizing all of my real world contacts, hustling my ass off on Twitter (which is a great way of connecting with practically anybody) and doing whatever I can to bypass the gate keepers.

The main point here isn’t to sell a TV show. It’s to go through the process, from development to pitch. I want to learn about the industry,  start making connections and become a better screenwriter.

7. Other Lifestyle Goals

It’s easy as a blogger, to shut yourself away from the world. There are so many wonderful ideas being shared in the blogosphere that digital socializing can become almost addictive. I’ve made some incredible friends over the last few months and I think it would be amazing to hang out with them in person too.

I recently wrote about how living abroad made me crave community. What I didn’t say is that I have tentative plans to move to a certain Pacific Northwest city that shall remain nameless for now…

Okay, it’s Portland.

(Like that was hard to guess.)

I will be attending the World Domination Summit, where I will no doubt meet many of my blogger friends in person. I also decided to use the WDS as a catalyst for settling some place new. And Portland sounds perfect.

These plans were a large part of the reason I decided to move back home, instead of continuing to travel through the winter. The next five months are really about getting my life together and preparing for this giant leap.

The End… Sort of

Considering how often I come up with new ideas and change directions, I suppose it’s inevitable that some of these goals will change or evolve. But for now, this is the list.

I’ve shared these goals with you partly to be held publicly accountable for them. These pursuits should also give me plenty to blog about over the next twelve months.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for all the support this past year. You guys are a truly incredible bunch and I can’t wait to hear more from you in 2011!

Happy New Year Scanners!

With love,

25 Comments

  1. Srinivas says:

    First off let me say congrats on a great year in 2010. I think you’re well on your way to success. I’ve been through the whole financial responsibility thing as well with the student loans ,and I’ve found that things do eventually turn around. So don’t sweat that. Also, I think the podcast will be very helpful for your public speaking skills. Two other resources I’d recommend are Toastmasters and Garr Reynold’s blog, Presentation Zen. Looking forward to your success in 2011.

    • Emilie says:

      Hey Srini,

      Thanks for the resources and the kind words.

      I have to say that BlogcastFM has been a huge inspiration both in terms of upping my blogging game and motivating me to start the podcast- Not to mention your personal story about walking away from the corporate world and moving back in with your parents to get your shit figured out. I can totally relate! :)

      Anyway, all to say that I’m super impressed by the things you’ve accomplished and I really appreciate the encouragement!

      Happy new year man!

  2. Yakezie says:

    Good luck with your goals in 2011. The Yakezie Network plans to build our Lifestyle Vertical in 2011 as well. Met up with Leo last month and he’s a true inspiration.

    Cheers, Sam

  3. Colleen says:

    I can’t wait to see you reach these goals! I know you’re going to achieve all you set out to and more. :)

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Colleen!

      You’re awesome. Best support/accountability buddy anyone could ask for!

      Can’t wait to hear about your progress in the new year too. 2011′s gonna rock!!

  4. alice says:

    a Puttylike podcast. yes! I find that you’ve got some very interesting commenters on your blog. It would be cool to do a Skype conference call and hear what they have to say on xyz topics.

    Public speaking/discussion is something I’m terrified of. I’ve been approached twice in the past to be a guest lecturer at schools and I turned them down >_< I recently found out there's a Toastmaster club in NDG on thursday evenings. I will be checking it out in the new year.

    I also want to do some writing…kids books actually. I really like the idea of free ebooks. I will definitely give it a try next year.

    great post. I wish you all the best in 2011 and i look forward to meeting up with you and talk about big ideas!

  5. ainslie says:

    “It’s just that for me personally, money alone isn’t a good motivator. If I’m not passionate about something, I will do a poor job no matter how great the payout.”

    This pretty much jumped out of your post and punched me in the mouth. In a good way! This is something I need to remember ALL THE TIME, especially now that I’m really starting off on some new, less financially secure biz adventures and experiments. I’ve gotten into some seriously unpleasant situations in the past with jobs that I just didn’t give an eff about, no matter how much I tried otherwise. For me, 2011 needs to be the year of focusing on the projects I love and trusting that they will take care of me if I’m smart about it.

    This is an awesome and inspiring post, thanks!

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Ainslie,

      Oh good! I’m glad I punched you in the face- in a good way. :) Seriously, that’s awesome.

      And good for you! It takes confidence to go after the things you love, especially when society is telling you that you should be seeking something else. The more action you take, the more you’ll be able to refine that action till you meet your goals.

      Thanks for the sweet comment Ainslie. Always nice to hear from you. :)

  6. Rob says:

    Emilie! These are awesome goals!! I’m sure they’ll keep you busy and excited :) I’ve just published my own list too now and can’t wait for the coming year!

    Have a fantastic new year, and I’ll chat with you soon! :)

  7. Rob says:

    Oh, and thanks so much for the kind mention!!!! =D

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks Rob. And yeah, that comment you made totally shaped the way I went about setting my goals. It was actually really helpful. :)

      I’ll hop on over to Beyond Norms now and check yours out!

  8. Great to see you have goal in your life. You are on the right track. As far as you speaking on TED..I cannot wait too see you rip up the stage… Bye Emilie.

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks Jonathan. :) I went to a TED event in Denmark last month and it was great. Definitely looking forward to that goal- totally scary but I think I’ll feel pretty much invincible after doing it.

  9. Trever Clark says:

    Interesting quote from Babauta. I don’t follow him closely, so I hadn’t actually heard that one. It kind of goes against all of the advice that we hear from the other productivity bloggers. Most of them have methods that involve multiple TDLs and planning your day to the minute.

    Have you tried just going with the flow, so to speak, like he recommends in that quote? If so, did you notice any difference in your productivity? I ask because I’ve come to believe in the past year that a big part of what separates those who do amazing shit with their lives and those who just talk about it is simply the ability to self-motivate and get things done.

    Anyway, great post, Em – I’m SOOO looking forward to 2011!

    • Emilie says:

      Hey Trever,

      I have tried Leo’s approach, though it’s not always possible because of deadlines and such. But when I’ve done it, I’ve found it to be quite effective.

      When I was launching Puttylike especially, I would switch between content creation and design work. I’d work for about 90 minutes and then switch. Just using a different part of my brain kept things fresh.

      Other times, however, I would get in the trenches and focus for 8 hours on one task. These days were necessary sometimes. But I guess it all goes back to how you’re feeling. If you can get into the flow for long periods of time, do it. But if you’re in a scattered mood, it’s maybe best not to fight it.

      I too am looking forward to 2011! I’m happy we’re friends (members of a ‘blogging entourage’ if you will ;) and can’t wait to collaborate more. And weee, I’ll be showing you around Montreal in no time now! :)

  10. Peter J says:

    Hey Emilie,
    Haha, If you need to become a pro public speaker, do what i did and join your local community radio station; that’s scary when your presenting. :|

    Best of luck with your goals and i hope they go as well as you planned.

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Peter,

      That’s essentially what I’m doing with the podcast. Sort of a different form of ‘community radio’. Not live, but otherwise quite similar.

      Good for you for getting involved though. You’re going to be a pro at this stuff before you’re even out of high school! Super impressive.

  11. Lach says:

    You’re a creative force Emilie. A true renaissance gal. Although your goals are wonderfully diverse, I can also see a lot of areas where they overlap and compliment each other superbly. Wishing you all happiness and success in actualising your dreams and excited to see what unfolds for you over the next 12 months. Exciting times.

    P.S. Don’t forget to make it fun! (I know you won’t).

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks Lach! You’re awesome.

      I love your approach to goals- placing the emphasis on happiness. And you’re right it’s important to remember to keep it fun when you’re deep in the trenches sometimes… Because that’s really the point of it all.

      You know what? I’m going to write out ‘Make it Fun!’ on a post-it right now and stick it by my desk! Seriously. I’m doing it. :)

      Thanks for the inspiration Lach. I wish you all the best and look forward to watching your success in 2011 as well!

  12. ayngelina says:

    I just heard about Leo’s ebook today and you are the third person to blog about it. Downloading it now so I can read it tonight!

  13. Tessa Zeng says:

    Hey Emilie! This is an awesome list, and I’m so excited we’ll both be at WDS! It’s funny, that summit has also been MY catalyst for living over on the West Coast (except I’m moving there beforehand, and probably only staying till the end of June!)

    These are exciting times for “people with a zillion interests” :D &Just got your tweet from yesterday – can’t wait to talk soon!

  14. Ruby says:

    Emilie- these are fabulous goals! I know after speaking with you via Skype, I was finally brave enough to post my goals on my blog and even made an ultra-embarrassing vision board that I have on my wall- haha.

    I LOVE the dream of speaking at TED… that gave me goosebumps, that would be SO cool- I think you can totally do it. I say that because I know you’re kicking butt at establishing Puttylike and energizing your tribe (meaning me and all the other Puttylike/Undeclared fans out there! Hi tribe!) in a way that will bring you success. You have a knack for energizing others, I know helping others reach their goals will help you reach yours!

    Like Lachlan mentioned- the goals are diverse but they are complimentary. I think that’s a winning formula! At first, my goals felt totally disparate, but then I realized I formed them with the intention that they’d benefit each other..I’m not sure which ones will bolster the others first (My main goals are to find a kick ass life partner, triple my current income/develop my business and to celebrate my 25th bday in a remarkable way….will achieving my income/business goals mean I run into the partner I want to find, or perhaps the 25th birthday will help me get inspired to work harder in my business?)

    It’s seems lots of the other tribe-members also are setting some ballsy-audacious goals like you are! Kudos Emilie- you have sparked quite the discussion!

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