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2012 Goals: APJ Edition

Hello, my name is Duke, and I’m a goal-aholic.

I love making goals. I make them in the morning when I wake up. I make them before bed at night. I make them when I am happy. I make them when I am lonely. I’m not sure when my life became dependent on goals, but it certainly is now. I have trouble facing any day in which I have no defined goals or objectives.

Now, all of that is not to say that I achieve all of my goals. I just set them. Some I hit. Some I miss. It doesn’t really matter. Goals just give me direction and purpose. As I have mentioned before, charging off in ANY specific direction is better than aimlessly wandering in NO direction.

I have found that goal-making is as much art as it is science. It isn’t all about numbers. Numbers are a big part of goals, but they aren’t everything. There are tips, tricks, shortcuts, and hacks that will help you create aggressive but achievable goals.

For instance, every goal should be quantifiable. If you can’t count it, it isn’t a goal. Goals that can’t be counted are just hopes and hopes don’t put food on the table.

Also, every goal should be aggressive. There are few things worse than assessing the accomplishments of a year and realizing that you set the bar far too low. Achieving mediocrity is an oxymoron. Mediocrity is NOT an achievement. To paraphrase the cliche: Shoot for the stars. Worst case is that you land in the clouds. (Some cliches are worth perpetuating.)

We will certainly get into more on goals in later posts, but for now let’s look at the goals for the APJ for 2012.

1. At least 100 new posts. That is roughly 2 posts per week. It should be fairly easy, but with a new job and several different ventures demanding my time I think I will be satisfied with 100.

2. Integrate all social media. We have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but they are cumbersome and time-consuming. I want to be able to post once and have all social media outlets updated automatically. To quantify this goal, I should be able to have updates on all SM outlets within 2 minutes of finishing a post.

3. Build lunch generator. I want to have a functional power lunch generator built on the site by December. I know this goal has a binary outcome (yes = 1, no = 0), but it is simple and straight-forward. My new programmer should be able to build this quickly.

4. Increase SEO campaign. Previously I have been working to create enough content on the site that readers will want to stay and read a while. Now that I have enough posts to justify that, it’s time to start getting in front of people. To quantify this, I will submit to all major search engines and spend no less than one hour per week learning about and implementing SEO techniques.

5. Interview at least 10 professionals for the Clean Slate Project. This should be fun. The Clean slate Project is both broad and deep. There are hundreds of qualified people to talk to about this project and selecting 10 should be a small challenge.

6. Interview potential contributors. There seem to be plenty of young men and women with opinions and ideas in our business. I need to find the ones who can write about it with some regularity. I want to talk to at least 4 people in depth about the possibility of becoming a regular contributor to the APJ. If the right candidate emerges, then I will gladly welcome them as a full-time contributor, but I do not want to force that relationship. I never want an aggressive goal to force a bad business decision. So let’s start with in depth interviews.

7. Create Photo Gallery. I love creative images of our city and its buildings and green spaces. I’m particularly fond of sunrise images. Ideally I would like for readers to have access to these striking images for cheap through our site. I am working with a photographer to collect images and present them in a gallery. By December I want users to be able to download those images for themselves.

8. Create Newsletter. The easiest way for readers to get our content is through passively receiving an email. An email newsletter would be a great way for readers to get our content without having to work for it. So, whether it’s MailChimp or some other newsletter medium, I will create a weekly newsletter by December 31st.

9. Find at least 5 similar blogs and guest-post on them. There has to be some great blog on CRE in NYC. Or LA. Or Chicago. Or Boise. Wherever. I haven’t found them yet through Technorati or other blog searches, but when I do I will start trying to post on them. That way I will refine my posting skills and increase visibility for the site. The goal is for 5 guest posts.

10. Streamline Google Analytics to monitor site traffic. The best way to track readers and viewers of my site is through Google Analytics. While I already have a GA account set up, I haven’t optimized it. I need to spend no less than 1 hour per month on optimizing my use of Google Analytics to analyze the functionality and appeal of the site.

So, there it is. I like to keep goals to 10 or fewer. Any more and I tend to forget or the goals get jumbled in my subconscious.

Also, the simple act of writing (or typing in this case) your goals will tend to make them stick.

Feel free to comment or give feedback on the above goals and I would love to read any goals you have for yourself for 2012.

– Duke

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