We are almost at the end of 2022, and for a lot of people – me included – this means one thing: goal setting for 2023.
I've been experimenting with all sort of goal setting strategies over time, both on my own and during my time at Amazon and Meta / Facebook. All have their pros and cons, and most proved to be effective in the setting I was in – as an employee. I am looking to break into entrepreneurship though. I need to think about my goals in a different way.
I will do things that I have never done before. Starting an e-commerce for the first time? How do you define a realistic (albeit ambitious) target for the first year if you've never done e-commerce before? The irony is that I worked for 6 years in Amazon, but the fact is I don't have that experience. I am a software developer.
I need a way of setting goals that allows me to start moving towards a goal without having the whole plan figured out, allowing me the flexibility to adapt and pivot as needed without feeling like I am breaking my commitment by straying away from the original plan.
I recently learned of an interesting framework that I think is perfect for this. And that is the ABZ framework.
I have been experimenting with ChatGPT, and I asked it to explain the concept. I gave it a little context and it honestly did a pretty good job:
The ABZ framework involves breaking down the journey from your current position (A) to your desired end goal (Z) into manageable chunks, focusing only on the next step (B) at any given time.
The benefit of this approach is that it helps you avoid getting bogged down in the details of the longer term plan, which can be full of unknowns and lead to analysis-paralysis. By focusing on the next step and not worrying about the other steps along the way, you can take action and make progress towards your goal without getting overwhelmed.
It also allows for flexibility and adaptability. In the real world, it is impossible to predict all the steps that will be needed to reach your end goal. By focusing only on the next step, you can be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances without getting stuck.
To use the ABZ framework, start by defining your end goal (Z). This is your vision, the lofty dream you are chasing – the place you want to get to. Next, take a look at your current position (A) and identify what needs to be done in order to take the next step (B) towards your goal. Once you have identified your next step, "just do the thing". Take action and do what is necessary to move from A to B. As you make progress and move from one step to the next, continue to focus on the next step only.
Now, these are "New Year's resolutions". But why would I wait? If I start working on them now I can get a head start into 2023! My homework for next week then is to define my end goals – where do I want to be at the end of 2023? – and write them here. Make a public commitment. Please hold me accountable.
And related: imagine yourself at the end of 2023. What would you regret not having done in the last year?