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If you want to achieve your goals for the year, there’s one thing you need to know…

There’s a BETTER way to plan your goals.

Today, I’m going to show you the EXACT strategies and frameworks I use to plan my personal and professional goals for the year.

I’ve learned these strategies from years of trial-and-error — and lots of conversations with 8-figure entrepreneurs.

This strategy has helped me grow Sumo and AppSumo into 8-figure businesses, create a podcast, do crazy experiments like Ayahuasca, and more.

In this post and podcast, you’ll learn 3 BIG things:

  1. How to plan your personal goals using the “WWPP” framework
  2. Business planning tips in 5 easy steps
  3. My personal and professional goals this year (in case you want inspiration)

Let’s do this!

Before we do goals…

Start the year fresh by deleting all outstanding tasks from your inbox, your emails, and calendar.

I did this for the first time this year and I LOVED it. It felt so DAMN GOOD.

For example, in 2018 I had a lot of meetings that weren’t useful. After wiping things clean, it made me think “do I really need to be a part of this?” before I committed to new meetings.

Now let’s dive into how to set your goals…

  1. Pre-Planning Prep: 5 things about planning I learned last year
  2. 1. For your personal goals
  3. 2. Business goals for the year
  4. 3. Here are my 2019 goals

Pre-Planning Prep: 5 things about planning I learned last year

1. We all actually know what we want

The truth is we all know what we want. You know what you want (aka the stuff you actually enjoy doing).

Don’t distract yourself or avoid the important things. The new year is a time to step back and focus on what matters to you instead of just being reactive. Get ahead and plan the year that makes YOU happy…

2. Fear can be good to build our strength & self-confidence

Last year I did Ayahuasca for the first time (after years of saying I’d do it). I was scared to try it honestly. But it turned out to be one of the most powerful experiences in my life. Do what scares you this year.

3. Be excited about the things you are doing

I used to do YouTube because I felt like it was what I “should” do. But if I was true to myself I actually found podcasts much more fulfilling. So this year, I’m focused more on creating amazing podcast episodes for you.

4. Change your environment if you need a jumpstart

If you feel stale or like you’re in a rut, change your environment. Last year I lived in Los Angeles for 3 months and it gave me great new perspectives.

5. Consistency pays off

My podcast listeners dropped by 40% last year because I stopped being consistent. When you pick your goals, follow through. Don’t stop like I did or get distracted by stuff from the sidelines.

Keep these 5 ideas in mind as you start your planning.

Next, here’s how to do your goal planning…

1. For your personal goals

A. Write a fantasy story of your life for the upcoming year

Sit down, grab a piece of paper, and write out a fantasy story of your life for the upcoming year.

Include how the year looks, how you feel… everything. Your story will help you get EXCITED for the year. And you can come back to it to motivate yourself again and again.

Maybe some of your goals are:

  • Launching a 7-figure business
  • Traveling the world
  • Finding a significant other
  • Investing in real estate
  • Hiring a VA

Include those in your fantasy story!

Here’s a snippet of my fantasy story:

“At the end of the year, my new house is nearly complete and I’m really proud of all the podcast content I put out this year. I got to meet an insane amount of great guests and had a really fun time doing it. The Sumo Charity rides were amazing — can’t believe we did 4 of them across America!”

Imagine what you would want to do by the end of the year, and start your story there.

B. Organize your year into certain categories

What sticks out to you about your story? Find your theme, turn it into a single word, and use that as your Word of the Year.

Your Word of the Year is your mantra. A simple and repeatable word.

My Word of the Year for 2019 is Power.

I chose Power because I want to take strong action to make decisions and create a better Sumo product this year.

TIP: Pick the word you want to think about everyday, week, month this year.

Here are some ideas from our readers:


Goals from some of our readers.

You can check out the rest in the comments section below.

Now, let’s move onto the four goal categories for your personal goals.

The four personal goal categories (WWPP)

1. Work

Your work goal could be:

  • Certain amount of income
  • Doing something new in your job (or getting a promotion)
  • Starting a side hustle

Don’t be vague. Don’t just say, “I wanna work more.” The more specific your goal, the more likely you are to achieve your goal.

For example:

  • I want to make $100,000 in income this year
  • I want to be promoted from a Marketing Manager to a Senior Marketing Manager
  • I want to start a side hustle selling cool products that makes $1,000 per month

Your goal could be a specific income goal, a certain email list size, or producing a podcast once a week — keep it objective so you know when you reach it.

2. Workout

For your workout or health goal, have a challenge that you’re excited to achieve.

What’s a challenge that will push you?

Maybe it’s going to the gym consistently every week. Maybe it’s going for a nice bike ride every week.

Take a step back and think about what workout goals are both challenging AND exciting for you.

For me, it’s to fight a legit sparring boxing match this year and biking 3,000 miles.

3. Personal

What are things in your personal life that you really want to accomplish?

As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get a carried away with our work goals and forget about our personal goals.

Treating your personal life as secondary can spell disaster in the long run so it’s wise to make them part of your yearly goals as well.

Your personal goals could be:

  • getting engaged
  • build something you’re excited about
  • learning a new skill
  • be fluent in a language
  • playing the piano

Whatever it is, have one goal so you can have some space to keep your mind off work.

(Sometimes, time off work gives you even better ideas on how to run your business.)

4. Places to visit

One of my goals last year was to go to Lambeau Field, and watch the Packers win (and I did).

What are the places you want to visit?

Here are some of the places I want to visit this year:

  • Saigon, Vietnam
  • Porto / Lisbon, Portugal
  • Grand Canyon (which I got done early)

Once you have all these four categories ironed out, put your special list of goals EVERYWHERE.

Put it on a sticky note on your fridge and mirror. Place a virtual sticky note on your phone and your laptop.

okdork blog goals

My virtual sticky note with all my personal goals

If you want to take it up a notch, find an accountability partner and email them. Here’s a script you can use:


One of my goals for this year is GOAL.

Do you mind being my accountability buddy?

Will help me make sure I do it. 🙂

Every month, I’ll email you a short, few sentence update on my goal progress.

Just would be grateful if you read the update, and challenge me if it looks like I’m slacking. You won’t hurt my feelings, I promise.

Sound good?

-Your NAME

This list of goals also reminds you when to say NO to things that distract you.

One of my favourite books from the last decade Outwitting the Devil says something I LOVE…

Create a plan and don’t drift.

The most successful people don’t drift from what they want. Be strict and say no to anything that’s not on this list. And to make your goals manageable, aim for 3-5 goals in each category.

Leave a comment below with your goals. I’d love to see what you are doing this year. I’ll PERSONALLY check back with you in 6 months to see how you are doing.

C. Create a morning habits checklist

When you win the morning, you win the day.

How can you set your morning to help you hit your personal goals?

Here’s how my morning habits checklist looks like:

  • Drink water
  • Take collagen pills
  • Learn something
  • Read my goals for the year
  • Learn Hebrew
  • Walk 5K

Once you’ve broken down your own morning goals into daily habits, use an app or website to make the process easier.

I use an app called Strides. You can also use other tools like to give you daily reminders for your habits.

D. Create an Evernote file or textpad for the next year

As the year goes by, it’s easy to get distracted by a new opportunity.

Save yourself from all distractions by creating an Evernote or text file, and add in any things you get interested in over the year.

Name the file ”Things To Do Next Year ”.

Keeping a separate file for next year makes you HYPER focused on the current year.

At the end of this year, you can take the file and make your fantasy story for next year.

2. Business goals for the year

If you run a business, create a separate set of goals to help you focus.

Here’s the 5-step process I use for my businesses:

  1. Write a company year in review
  2. 80/20 analysis of your company
  3. Pick 1 numerical goal
  4. Make a simple spreadsheet
  5. Do a GMO for the upcoming quarter / 12 week cycle

We do this at both our main companies:

Sumo – the most affordable email marketing tool

AppSumo – #1 deals site for software online

We’ve grown to an 8-figure business, so we’ve worked hard to get our planning right (aka a LOT of trial and error over the past 8 years.)

Let’s dive into every step we use to set our business goals…

5 steps we use to plan our 8-figure company

1. Write up an annual company review

Think about the most iconic business leaders. Leaders like Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet. Every year they do shareholder letters.

Here are a few:

Writing a shareholder letter or annual company review helps you to:

  1. Keep a record of all things that worked and didn’t work in the last year
  2. Holds you accountable for any mistakes you made in the last year
  3. Sharpens your writing skills and forces you to be top of everything in your business

It’s like a finely-tuned company diary that you can look back on year after year to see how far you’ve come.

You don’t need to go as crazy as Bezos. You can keep your review SIMPLE. Maybe one page or less. The key is to think at a high-level of what went well and what didn’t.

After you’ve written your annual company review, share it with your team.

The more open and honest you are about the business, the more open and honest they will be about the problems faced in your business.

2. Doing a 80/20 analysis of your company

The 80/20 rule, also known as the “Pareto Principle,” roughly means 80% of results come from 20% of activities.

With the 80/20 rule, we analyze our businesses and ask 3 questions…

A. Where does 80% of your revenue come from right now?

Sit down, grab a warm cup of coffee and look at your company’s revenue sheets for the past year.

Identify which product, service, or activity drives most of the revenue for the company — this is your cash cow. This helps you understand what activities or divisions in your company to invest more time, money, and energy for the upcoming year.

After you’ve identified your cash cow, think back to the activities you did to grow that cash cow. What activities can you do more?


  • Sending more emails to your list
  • Running more ads on Facebook
  • Hiring more salespeople to sell your products

Also, what’s the 20% that takes up most of your time but doesn’t lead to much revenue?

This could include activities or even people who are underperforming.

Sometimes, you may find that a part of the business that you spend close to 80% of your time on only produces 20% of the revenue.

This is why it’s well worth the time to pause and get a pulse on how your company is generating revenue, and what you can optimize.

B. How could a competitor screw you over?

When it comes to business, I don’t spend a ton of time thinking about the competition or do a lot of competitive research.

Instead, I spend my competitive time thinking more high-level…

How could a competitor come in and win against our company?

You may be leading the pack today, but what about tomorrow? How would you pivot if your competitors came up with a killer app and eats up your market share?

To stop competitors from screwing you over, ask yourself:

“If you were to start your business today, what would you do?”

“What can you do long term that can protect your business in the long term?”

“What can a competitor do to get a leg up over you?”

Is it pricing? A new product feature? Is it strategy?

This doesn’t mean that you should spend all your time thinking about competition, but it is a healthy business “gut check” to make sure that you cannibalize yourself instead of your competitors.

This is what Zuck would say to us during my days at Facebook.

C. What is your moat and repeatable business model?

Your moat is your undeniable business advantage that is both defensible and repeatable.

Here are some examples of moats:

  • Walmart – Low cost retail distribution
  • Facebook – Network effects
  • Coca-Cola – Branding & secret formula
  • Apple – macOS & iOS ecosystem

Moats aren’t just reserved for the big boys. Even a small company can have a moat.

One of the simplest moats to have is an undeniable guarantee.

For example, if I were a moving company looking to differentiate in the crowded moving market, a moat could be a 18-hour moving period or delivery is free.

For a SaaS business, a moat could be a 30-day money back guarantee.

Next thing to do is figuring out your repeatable business model. This relates to finding repeatable ways to get new customers.

In most cases, these would be your go-to marketing channels to acquire customers. These could be:

  • Email marketing
  • Google SEO
  • Google Adwords
  • Facebook Ads
  • YouTube
  • Craigslist listings
  • Programmatic ads

Once you find a marketing channel that works, KEEP DOING IT.

When I’ve found marketing channels in the past like Facebook Ads, we’re poured literally millions of dollars into them to keep them going.

3. Pick a clear numerical goal for the upcoming year

Successful businesses have clear objective targets.

The more clear and concrete your business goal for the upcoming year, the more likely you’ll achieve it.

Here are 5 things to look out when setting your clear numerical goal:

  1. The goal is singular
  2. The goal is numerical or objective
  3. The goal is consistent with what you’ve been doing
  4. The goal reflects the success of your customers
  5. The goal REALLY excites you
  6. For example, our goal for Sumo for Q1 and Q2 is simple…

    Create a product that AppSumo LOVES.

    That’s it. We’re not too worried about revenue or the number of customers.

    Instead, our BIGGEST focus is creating a killer product that AppSumo wants to use and can replace their current system.

    okdork blog weeklyupdates

    Our Sumo goal for the first half of 2019

    Put on blinders with your goal, and avoid getting distracted.

    A word of warning when choosing your goal…

    One of the mistakes I made was choosing different goals each year without considering the direction the company was taking.

    For example, here’s how my (wrong) company goals looked like:

    • 2018: X amount of revenue
    • 2017: X amount of monthly active users
    • 2016: X amount of email subscribers

    Changing the company goal year to year for the heck of it confused our team. Instead of building on top of the previous year, it felt kind of random.

    Best to stay consistent with your annual company goals for focused growth and a happy team. Lesson learned. 🙏

    4. Model out how to make sure you can accomplish the goal

    Let’s say you want your business to make $1 million in a year, if you break it down — you need to make $83,333 a month.

    Questions to ask yourself:

    • Is it realistic that your business can hit the goal?
    • What are the numbers (customers, average cart value) that effect the $83,333?

    Keep your spreadsheets stupid simple so you can see what’s breaking and what you can control.

    Here’s a goal spreadsheet we used for SendFox, our affordable email tool:

    okdork blog sendfoxgoals

    Our SendFox goals are modeled easily

    The purpose of your spreadsheet is to:

    1. Help you stay on track once a month
    2. Figure out if it’s realistic to hit your goals
    3. Check in if you are on track to hit your goals

    This is straightforward but what are the KEY metrics that affect that yearly goal you’ve chosen. And can you make a spreadsheet where throughout the year if you hit your monthly targets, you’ll achieve your yearly goal?

    Note: If you hit your goal in July, you planned the wrong goal. If you hit the goal in December, you made it right. You forecasted it accurately.

    So you picked your goal and modeled it out… how do you make sure it works?

    5. Commit to a GMO (goal, metrics, outcome) for the upcoming quarter

    Goal: What is the goal for the time period you want? At Sumo, we do monthly GMOs. At AppSumo, we’ve done quarterly and yearly GMOs.

    As your business becomes more stable, you can do longer timeframes on your GMOs. If it’s a newer business (or in the case of Sumo we’re going back to basics), start with a shorter timeframe.

    If your yearly goal is 5000 customers, how many do you need by the end of the first quarter? (In this case, it would be 1250 customers)

    Key Metrics: What key indicators can you control to make sure your goal is on track?

    This could be:

    • # of new signups a day
    • # of emails we are sending out
    • # of dollars of ad spending

    Outcome: What are concrete outcomes you want to do?

    Ask: What do you want to get done that will guarantee your business grows?

    My suggestion for outcomes are:

    • 3-4 concrete short term outcomes; and
    • 1 long term experiment

    So it’s 4 days a week (working on concrete short term outcomes) and 1 day (working on a long term experiment.)

    The long term experiment could be adding new features to your product, testing out marketing channels, etc.

    Note: You SHOULD be doing long-term experiments quarterly that cannibalize your business (otherwise your competitors will). These are things that will LIKELY not work or produce returns right away.

    This 4+1 strategy helps guide you to accomplish your goals for the year and run experiments that could lead to massive upside for your business.

    If you’re just starting out, I highly recommend doing less things in this area. It’s far better for you to hit all of your few goals on time, than to miss on a lot of goals.

    For example, check out the Sumo January GMO:

    okdork blog febgmo

    February GMO for Sumo goals

    We kept it really simple — we wanted to build momentum, so we went easy on the projects.

    When you miss your goals, it sets a bad precedent and it means you have poor discipline. It also means that you set it up incorrectly. Practice following through and accomplishing it. When you are more confident, then add more goals. Just add less stuff to start.

    Review your personal and business goals weekly

    Have the habit to review your personal and business goals every week. If you are off track, fix what you are doing. If you are on track, just continue what you are doing.

    Once you set on the path on following your goals, don’t forget to do a high-level check in at the 6-month mark.

    At the 6-month mark, review if your goals are still the right goals.

    For example, last year one of the goals I wrote was “Have more fun at work.” This turned out to be way too vague. Big mistake.

    So I revised it to “Put out a product that I really like” — and I succeeded 🙂

    3. Here are my 2019 goals


    • Weekly content creation (can be podcast, email or blogpost)
    • is used by AppSumo (and they love it)
    • – New secret products that generates $1 million in total sales
    • AppSumo to hit a certain revenue goal
    • Get a new office / SumoHouse


    • 1 legit sparring boxing match
    • 3000 miles biking
    • Workout 3 times a week


    • Bro trip with Adam Gilbert and Seth
    • Make an EDM song
    • 4 Sumo Charity Rides
    • Begin Austin La La land house

    Places to visit

    • Saigon, Vietnam
    • Porto / Lisbon, Portugal
    • Grand Canyon

    What’s the #1 goal you want to do this year? Leave a comment below.

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52 responses to “Goals”

Gary Hundle
February 28, 2020 at 9:19 pm

Howdy! My name is Gary Hundle and I’m a cab driver from Vancouver, Canada. My goal for 2020 is to complete a bootcamp of sorts and get a job for AppSumo in Austin, Texas.


Gary Hundle

Ps: I’m just new to the podcast and working my way through the material.

January 2, 2020 at 11:29 am

I will crush 365 short youtube videos featuring me and my air fryer “Amelia.”

January 2, 2020 at 9:12 am


In 6 months:

Work :

Profit :
6 figure / month after tax profit
40 K / per two months growth

Skill goal :
I only need to coach 10 hours / week
2 hours team building / week

Launch next business in 6 months

Personal goal :

4 like minded friends in Da Nang who I can share business ideas

2 friends virtually from Seth Godin group / TMBA

Buy a Portugal visa !!!!

Piano: to be able to sing and play 10 songs = busking on the street

Workout :
– fastest cardio 20 mins every morning
– bulk 2 kg
– maintain 14 % body fat

Places :
– Melbourne in May – Seth Godin conference
– Lisbon in oct

December 31, 2019 at 5:47 pm

Absolute most helpful piece of content I have read in some time. I am going to take this map out templates, link it all together with reminders and automate the output to help poke me the right way about my progress. Many thanks, I always get amped after reading something like this. Hoping to stay on fire with some accountability partners if I can find some.

Zee Ali
December 29, 2019 at 4:42 pm

Great post Noah! Here is my fantasy story:
“At the end of the year, my company crushed through our XXXX sales revenue goal with our e-commerce site with the addition of two full time sales team members. I’ve visited Japan with my girlfriend and my relationship with her is stronger than ever. I have strengthened my habits following the Core Four framework. My finances are looking bangin and I am making a significant contribution towards my parents retirement. ” – Zee Ali

Wayne Trout
April 9, 2019 at 6:59 pm

Dude, is there a way to put a link to podcast page in the podcast description in iTunes? I listen to the podcast and have to hunt for the page.

Help others and Build the world I want to live in instead of living in someone else’s dream!
Go back to Mexico
2 websiteS in the next month
Build 2 mentes this year

February 20, 2019 at 8:17 am

Hey Noah,

Thanks as alwasy

Word for 2019: Believe

Goals for 2019


-Buy flat

– Run Ultra Man 100 miles
– Yoga 2-3 x p/w
– Listen to body & tune in better

– Meditation daily
– Read daily
– To seek the truth daily
– To see everything as an opportunity

– Iceland
– S. Kore
– S. Africa

P.s Just bought Outwitting the Devil

Thanks for amazing podcast session –
How do i get copy of that new book…

April 10, 2019 at 10:45 am

Hows South Korea?

Peter Kleintunte
February 18, 2019 at 7:45 am

Make 50k in side hustle

April 10, 2019 at 10:46 am

Hows The side hustle.

February 9, 2019 at 9:53 pm

Thanks for the episode, Noah. It’s already February, but I’m certain it’s better to commit later than never, so here’s my humble list.

== Word of the year ==

== Goals ==
– Launch a digital product / service by the end of Q2
– Expand the network (actively reach out to awesome people)
– Double the yearly income compared to 2018

– Enroll in a gym and exercise twice a week
– Adopt a daily warm-up routine (20 min of light exercise + stretching)
– Run my first marathon

– Japanese (classes once a week + scheduled study at home)
– Creative expression: practice guitar and singing / write and record a song
– Cook a new dish every week
– Read 1 book per month
– Move to a new apartment

Places to visit:
– Japan: Nikko, Kyushu
– Vietnam

Double the efforts in June to compensate for the slow start.
Review progress on Sunday, June 30th.

Ethel Ilagan
April 10, 2019 at 10:58 am

Hows Japan?

May 11, 2019 at 2:39 am

Japan’s great! Delicious food, beautiful parks and great sunny weather. What else can you wish for? 😉

Jakub Kliszczak
January 26, 2019 at 7:02 am

Thanks, Noah for this episode. I’ve been looking for a good framework that would help me organize and accomplish my goals and here it is 🙂

For my goals.

The word of the year: FEARLESS – I want to make more bold decisions, as I’m often waaay too scared to make.

1) Launch my own company distributing physical goods (e-commerce)
2) Kick off a fully digital side hustle focused on building an email list
3) Grow my personal account to 100k by the end of the year

1)Gym 3 times a week
2)Run a marathon
3)Dieting all year long

1)Improve/learn copywriting and direct marketing
2)Read 24 books
3)Grow spiritually
4)Keep minimalistic

Places to visit:
2)Champions League Finals

Ethel Ilagan
April 10, 2019 at 10:59 am

Hows the marathon?

Dr. Chris Stout
January 23, 2019 at 9:04 am

Thani for the great and funny job you do with this. Here’s what up for me in 2019 and beyond: and

January 19, 2019 at 8:15 pm

2019 Word: BETTER

2019 Goals

-Have 100 conversations with tourism operators
-Grow revenue to $X/month with +50% profit margins
-Write 1 piece of marketing content per week

-Run 1,300 miles (25/week)
-Stretch 5x per week
-Cook 100 meals at home

-Get rid of back pain
-Be conversational in Spanish
-Read 12 books

-Visit 3 new destinations
-Visit 1 new National Park
-Go on a guys trip!

January 18, 2019 at 9:01 pm

LOVE #Goals
Listening to you on this one was like taking an add shot of espresso in my Americana.
Thanks for the steady no nonesense approach to what’s worked for you and may work for us.
Sharing is caring.
I’ve sent this to three friends and hope it changes their day equal to or better than tacos.

Aaron Kelly Rowell
January 17, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Thanks for this motivating podcast! I love to listen.
Here are two personal goals of mine:
– Achieve Shodan in Kendo
– Create 1 new painting each month

thanks, good luck with the new year.

Ryan Richbourg
January 15, 2019 at 4:08 pm

Thanks for the outline Noah! I will probably need to review/revise on a quarterly basis, but will definitely be looking at these every day.

* Gnarathon has 100+ skaters
* Complete all Digital Marketing certifications/projects
* Crush 1st semester of grad school in Austin
* Launch startup with Nate

* Climb 5.11b regularly, lead climb 5.10b, boulder v5/6
* Cycle 2400 miles (200/month)
* Lift weights 3x weekly

* Practice good morning routine 5x weekly
* Read 24 books
* Write 4 articles each month

* Lake Tahoe
* Kings Canyon NP
* Olympic NP
* North Cascades NP

Lion King
January 14, 2019 at 1:38 pm

1. Join a new team where we feel excited every work morning and proud as we step away from work, do meaningful work to us, are caught by surprise by 5 pm, are autonomous, feel fairly recognized and generously rewarded.
2. Succeed in reaching my side hustle goals.”

1. Move every day.”

1. Set my kids up for life with an armed mind and their 1st real estate asset.
2. Experience monthly catch ups with my Wife, focussing on enriching our marriage.
3. Plant and nurture a strong healthy tree of my own truth in my brain every day.”

1. Visit a destination outside Africa on a luxury businesss class jet.”

Jamie Kleyweg
January 13, 2019 at 5:22 am

Hi everyone, I wrote out the podcast points for you to refer to while setting your goals this year ?

Kicking off the year:
1) Start fresh!
Delete emails, tasks and calendars for the upcoming year.
This helps you rethink what’s most important. You’ll refill in your tasks and schedule with the most important stuff.
2) Clean January
No mind-altering substances for a month

5 things Noah learned in 2018:
1) We all know what we really want. Hard choices, easy life. Do what you need to do to move towards what you really want.
2) We need to be afraid and to test ourselves to build our self-confidence.
3) Make sure you can be excited about the things you are going to do.
4) Change your environment if you don’t like it.
5) Consistency pays off, so be consistent.

How to plan your Personal goals for 2019:
1) Write out your fantasy story. Make it the most exciting and extreme version of your upcoming year.
2) Have a word of the year. Noah’s in 2019 is power.
3) Divide your goals into 4 categories. Work, Workout, Personal, places to Visit (WWPV). Don’t put more than 3-5 goals per category.
Tips: Don’t be vague. Be objective and specific. Make it challenging.
Once you’ve written your goals down in those categories, print it out and put it everywhere. Fridge, bathroom mirror, phone, computer, email an accountability buddy.
This list reminds you what you should say no to. Create a plan and don’t drift. Be strict and say no to everything that’s not on this plan.

As the year goes on:
1) At 6 months, review your goals.
2) Have a daily habit tracker so you stay on track.
3) Create a notes file on your phone, and name it the next year, and add every opportunity that presents itself in there. Use it to build your goals next year, and keep you focused on this year.

How to plan your Business goals for 2019:
1) Write up a company end of year in review. What went well, what went badly, what could be better. Send it to your company.
2) Do an 80-20 analysis of your company.
• What is working that you could do way more of, and what isn’t working that you could you remove?
• How could a competitor f*ck you over? If you were to start over again, what would you do?
• What is your moat (undeniable advantage) and repeatable business model?
3) Pick one numeric goal.
• Gives a clear target which you’re more likely to get.
• Should reflect the success of your customer, be consistent with what you’re doing, and really excite you.
4) Set up a simple spreadsheet.
• Model out your goal. Work backwards from the end of the year.
• What are the numbers that affect your end goal? Work those backwards from the end of the year.
5) Do a GMO for the upcoming quarter (12 weeks).
• Goal-Metric-Outcome (GMO). Set small goals that build up to your main goal. What metrics can you control yourself? What 4 concrete outcomes do you want to have by the end of the quarter, and 1 experimental outcome?
• You should achieve everything you commit to. Rather do less and get it all done than miss things.

My goals this year:
• Release 52 episodes of my podcast. You can check it out here:
• And more… ?

Hector Saenz
January 12, 2019 at 10:48 am

Thanks Noah,
I know you are friend of Tim Ferris. I saw the youtube chapter for entepreneurs.

– 2 episodes App Masters &/ or 1 chapter app marketing book ( Top ASO 2018) a day.
– Achieve 2 new deals per month in our agency. AGN > $400K revenue goal 2019.
-Weekly startup progress meeting for enhance our culture. App Growth Network agency.

-Camino Inca – Peru trip April- (additional ayahuasca for the soul to go)
-Meditation twice a day – 5 days a week. Full mindfulness and exercises.
-Save $200K pesos. $1,111 CAD per month this 2019.
– Running or Yoga 3 times a week.

-Do a fear setting evaluation every 3 months, with action to confront fear.
-Help others through sharing personal stories in my blog.

Ethel Ilagan
April 10, 2019 at 11:01 am

Hows the Peru trip?

Chris Tweten
January 12, 2019 at 7:45 am

Hey Noah, loved the breakdown. I’ve been in planning mode over since 2019 started but this gave me a simpler approach to how I was structuring things out. Here’s my goals:

Work Goals:
1. Same as you Noah, at least 1 new piece of marketing content per week (blog, video or email)
2. Do at least 1 public speaking gig per month (meetup, workshop or keynote)
3. Affiliate blogging revenue target ($2k USD per month)
4. Launch a merch line for my meme pages and make enough to pay the rent off it ($550 USD, Bangkok is CHEAP)

Workout Goals:
1. Work out 3 times a week.
2. Stop eating fast food. Period.
3. Complete a total of 60 minutes of skipping rope in 3 minute intervals in one session (HIIT)

Personal Goals:
1. Run an art exhibit featuring prints of my best memes about Asian cultures to further it as an art form.
2. Make a 10 minute YouTube video every month just for fun about whatever.
3. Read 24 books and make sure at least 6 are for leisure, not learning.
4. Take Saturdays off work. All work. Day job, side hustle, memes.

Places Goals:
1. Live in District 1 or 3 of Saigon again for 2-3 months again (see you there?)
2. Go to Tokyo and experience the arcade culture. Play against the locals in every fighting game I’ve competed in.
3. Go to London to visit my best online friends that I’ve known for a long, long time but have never met in person.

January 11, 2019 at 11:56 am

Love it – goals time baby!

Last year:
– Move to Amsterdam and build a life there (CHECK!)
– Travel to Portugal to my buddy’s place while in Europe (CHECK!)
– Grow my hair long (CHECK!)

This year:
– Get accepted into an Amsterdam university program
– Get my important ‘other’ languages (French & Dutch) to a conversational level
– Imorove my posture

Good luck everyone!

Ethel Ilagan
April 10, 2019 at 11:02 am

Hows Your posture ?

January 11, 2019 at 8:28 am

Hey Noah, here are my goals for 2019.


– Find a new job
– Get my freelance thing of the ground


– Lose 50 kg/110 lbs by the end of the year
– Start swimming 2 times a week


– Read 24 books
– Save more money than last year

Places to visit:

– Amsterdam and/or Paris with my girlfriend in spring/autumn
– Two week summer/winter vacation

Manal Dadge
January 10, 2019 at 10:40 pm

Hi, I will be starting my own business before March, 2019

January 10, 2019 at 5:01 pm

Awesome podcast, thanks.
2019 for me looks like:
Work – hit new revenue target, add 3 new export markets
Workout – swim everyday in January, then 3 x weights & 2 x HIIT per week
Personal – sleep more, drink more water
Visit – Kenya / Tanzania & climb Mt Kilimanjaro, Japan for Rugby World Cup

January 10, 2019 at 4:31 pm

Sports: 5sec planche hold
Travel: 6 seasonal experiences (e.g see the northern lights, still working on the others, ideas are welcome ?)
Financial: start/find a low effort side hussle that brings in 500€/month

January 9, 2019 at 9:14 am

Hey Noah. For your boxing goal – do check out this opportunity ? I’ve just sent you a quick email on this topic 😉 Best of luck!

January 9, 2019 at 4:11 am

Great episode Noah. Really nice thinking and simple framework for getting shit done in 2019. Thanks

January 8, 2019 at 6:14 pm

This year I’m taking on goal-setting differently: making them process-focused instead of outcome focused. Goals for the year:

-Save an average $2k/month
-Go swimming once a fortnight
-Record myself on video for at least 5 mins once a week

Madison Michael
January 8, 2019 at 11:40 am

First, I just started listening and I will be back! I love a fun, irreverent and informative jew. I strive to be one myself. Also, you will love, love, love Porto and Lisbon. The people are charming and the food is amazing! A few 2019 goals workout: exercise 150 minutes/week and cook at least 16 meals/week. Places: Canadian Maritimes and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Work: publish four new works (novels or short stories), add 200 new readers to email list every month and make enough money to cover all my expenses and boost my ad budget for 2020. Personal – find and engage to fight voter suppression, get two new cats.

January 8, 2019 at 10:57 am

Good stuff man – my goals:

1. Finish producing my bands album and release that shit
2. Increase Studio/Music income by 20% for the year
3. Get at least 1 song placed on Film/TV/Netflix

1. Eat clean 5 days/week (Incl. no beer)
2. 36 Hour Fast once per month
3. Take an ACTUAL “day off” work once a week

January 8, 2019 at 7:46 am



– increase revenue by 20%
– launch a podcast project
– work towards 3 days / week work


– outside doing stuff 3 days / week
– yoga everyday
– write everyday (mental workout)


– build my bus conversion
– stick to my budget and continue debt-free plan

January 6, 2019 at 8:59 am

Firstly, I loved hearing you’ll be back with more regular podcasts. I almost unsubscribed in a recent clear out of podcasts but I’m glad I didn’t. I really enjoyed this particular podcast, I actually decided to write my goals down on New Year’s Eve and e-mailed them to myself and CC’d my girlfriend so I’m more accountable to them this year, posting them here will be another motivation:

* Finally get my driving license – I’m 32 but have always lived in cities with excellent public transport and felt no need for a car but it’s a constant bone of contention with the girlfriend so I’m going to address it.

* Read 12 books. I’m not a massive reader – I seem to take information in better by listening or watching so prefer podcasts, videos and usually only read short-form content.

* Finish 10 songs (I dabble in electronic music production) to share with the private music production group I am part of, and share at least one of those publicly to be critiqued by the world. Ha!

* Get back in shape by going to gym 5 times per week – I have negotiated a 1.5hr lunch break every day at work so I can go every week day.

* As part of the above; Squat and deadlift 1-1.25x bodyweight. Bench, row and OHP 0.75-1x bodyweight. And be able to do 10 pull-ups. Get back to BJJ at least once per week.

* Get 7-8hrs sleep per night. I currently run on 3-4hrs weekdays, I always have but the older I get I’m seeing a drop in my performance and mood throughout the day due to tiredness. I have downloaded an app which renders all but a few applications useless on my phone between 11pm and 8am every day to help with this.

* Increase income 20% with side-job or new venture.

January 8, 2019 at 10:40 am

What app shuts down applications from 11pm-8am? Would love to try that.

Thomas Miller
January 4, 2019 at 6:18 pm

I’m a nerd when it comes to planning, so I’m loving this episode. I made a proactive dashboard in Google sheets for 2019 to help me stay on track. (Nothing fancy, but Let me know if you want to see it)

Here are my Goals for 2019…

I’ll reach a 1700 lbs total on my bench, squat and deadlift and compete at the IPF Raw Nationals in October.

I’m going on a week long marriage retreat with my wife.

I have two websites currently. I’m going to grow site 1 to 100,000 monthly visitors and site 2 to 50,000 monthly visitors.

I’ll quit my full-time gig and make my side hustle my full-time hustle.

Matthew Ledford
January 8, 2019 at 7:24 am

Great job setting goals! Curious about your Google doc dashboard?!? Would love to see/share it?

Juan Ramirez
January 4, 2019 at 10:36 am

Hi Noah, thank you very much for such an actionable episode.
My goals for 2019 are:
1.hit 150% sales quota (I am a salesperson at a tech company)
2. Write 2 blog post weekly
3. Get my side hustle (which I already have) to earn me 1K a month (I’m at 750)

January 3, 2019 at 8:22 pm

Hey Noah,

Nice to have you back. This are my goals for this year:

* Health: Achieve 12% bodyfat.
* Wealth: Increase 15% profits.
* Personal: Move to new apartment.

One thing that has helped me achieve my past goals is to focus on habits and not so much in the goals. These “actions” become easier to quantify and a clear path to my goals.

Hasta pronto amigo!

January 3, 2019 at 4:09 pm

Maaan you need to tell me when you go to Portugal and Vietnam… I am Portuguese from Lisbon traveling around south east asia!!

When in Porto try francesinha! Eat a lot of fresh fish and make sure you try our cod fish, its salted instead of frozen fresh. Have fun ?

April 10, 2019 at 11:04 am

Where in South East Asia have you visited?

Erick Lanza
January 3, 2019 at 2:45 pm

This was a great episode! I really enjoyed it! I especially liked how practical/hands on it was. Something that I need for my business right now. It definitely gave me a good direction to start with. Thanks, Noah!

John Wessinger
January 3, 2019 at 2:11 pm

Today I was working on my 2019 goals and discovered your “Goals” podcast – THANK YOU! My 2019 goal is to write BOOK #2 and my word for the year is REVENUE. Also, you’re the world’s fastest talker and David Kelly is the man. Best of luck this year! #BezosShoutOut

January 3, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Hey Noah!
I have been setting goals for a few years now, i usually hit about 50% of these goals, but only in my personal life, not business. i think your guidelines for business are great, will use them.

so. my personal goals: 1. run a 100 mile race.
2. Get married! to my fiance
3. read and review 100 books.
4. learn portuguese.

my business goals,

launch podcast, get to 100 episodes.
get to 100 corporate clients for photo and video services.

my business goals

Joe Gugino
January 3, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Noah, great episode. Thank you! (would love to hear your 6 month check-in)

My goal is to run over 100 different fishing events in 2019 through my company Why Knot Fishing.

Rachel King
January 3, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Hey Noah, thanks for this — very much enjoyed this episode and how you broke everything down.

My goal for my startup is to get 16 clients signed up to our monthly Team or Enterprise subscription plans.

Good luck in 2019, looking forward to more podcasts.

Dominik Harman
January 3, 2019 at 8:02 am

Hey Noah! Thanks for this episode. Good luck with your goals.

My goal is to have 10 clients for my consulting that are 1.full price 2.are so satisfied that they leave a positive review.

That would allow me to hire a fulltime person and I could start generating revenue not only for services I do personally but also for services someone else does within my company-to-be 🙂

April 10, 2019 at 11:05 am

Hows the company to be?

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