The One Thing

Setting goals for the new year

Published 2 months ago • 3 min read

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions.

Statistically speaking, they never really stick, and they always seem to be tough to quantity and fairly limited in scope.

I do, however, set goals at the beginning of every calendar year.

I first started writing down my goals in 2007, the year I graduated from college, though, hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had started doing it sooner.

Getting married, playing drums in arenas, and starting my own business were all things I wrote down as goals in my twenties.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve accomplished them all.

That’s no accident.

Of course, there are plenty of goals I have yet to accomplish, and there have been even more added over time as I’ve grown and my life has evolved.

Regardless of the season though, I’ve stuck to a simple framework for outlining and pursuing my goals each year.

Here’s how I think about it.

Every goal has its place

I break my goals down into seven primary categories: career, family, financial, health, intellectual, social, and spiritual.

Each of these seven categories contains a combination of short-term goals (read: this year) and long-term goals (read: open-ended).

But more on that later.

For context, here are some examples of some of my past goals in each of these categories:

Career - tour on a bus and play arenas ✅

Family - get married and have kids ✅

Financial - own my own home ✅

Health - Earn a black belt in taekwondo ✅ (my thinking here was that improved health would inevitably be downstream of a consistent exercise regimen—I was correct)

Intellectual - read 50 books in one year ✅

Social - go on a hunting trip with my friends ✅ (nothing creates camaraderie for men like being in the wilderness on a shared mission of finding food)

Spiritual - find a church home for my family ✅

If you look closely, you’ll notice that all of these goals are quantifiable in some way. There is a clear point of victory, of having “done the thing”.

For me, this is important. I have to be able to check the box with complete clarity.

And I do love to check a good box.


Short-term vs. long-term goals

Every year I set goals to be met within the next 12 months.

But, Tom, some goals require a longer timeline. What about those?

Great question.

Within each of these seven categories, I have two sections—goals for this year and ongoing, or open-ended, goals.

When I was 22, I might have had the goal of joining a band that year (I’m pretty sure this was an actual goal of mine at the time), but I also knew I wanted to perform at the highest level of music and I viewed touring on a bus and playing arenas as the metric for measuring that.

I believed I could get there but just didn’t know how long it would take, so that became a long-term goal.

In my mind, short-term goals are things whose outcome I can realistically control within a limited window of time, whereas long-term goals are those I know I want to accomplish but can’t dictate a deadline for.

Either way though, they are, again, quantifiable.

Because you can believe the first time I set foot on a tour bus I checked a box.

Mission accomplished.

Focusing on inputs instead of outputs

No matter the timespan of my goals, short-term or long-term, my effort has always been to focus on the inputs, not the outputs.

What does that mean?

Well, I could set a goal of hitting 100,000 subscribers on YouTube (something I’d certainly like to achieve one day), but I can’t reasonably make that happen with any semblance of control (let alone dictate when it happens).

What I can control is the quality of the content I post and how frequently I do it, so setting a goal of publishing, say, 50 videos per year is a more realistic metric to pursue.

In my mind, growth on YouTube is sure to follow consistently posting high-quality content.

And it certainly has thus far—simply posting content is what has already taken my channel from zero to over 20,000 subscribers.

Sidenote: if you’re one of those 20,000, thank you. We’re just getting started!

If you have something you want to achieve in this life, I highly recommend you ditch the resolutions and instead take a goal-oriented approach.

Oh, and write it down!

I can’t stress that enough. You have to write it down.

I also recommend reading your goals aloud regularly.

Like a crazy person, I read my goals aloud every Monday morning when I get to work. It may sound ridiculous, but I honestly don’t care.

That’s 52 times per year I hear myself say, out loud, in full detail, what I want out of life.

Take it from someone who has been doing this for almost 20 years.

It works.

Oh and P.S. Merry Christmas ya' filthy animals! 🎄

That’s it for this one.

Whenever you're ready, here are three ways I'd love to help you:

  1. Learn more about marketing for free by exploring our entire backlog of Articles here.
  2. Quickly and easily automate your growth on Spotify inside the DuPree X Academy here.
  3. Hire our team to market your music for you by applying to become a DuPree X Agency client here.

Have a fantastic week,


The One Thing

Tom DuPree III

One high-leverage idea to scale your audience (and your business). Delivered every Tuesday.

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