The end of 2011 is pretty much here and it's time for my annual look back and look forward. I'm changing some things up this year. I'm not going to go through my 2011 goals because I didn't come close to hitting any of them. Frankly, they were pretty audacious, and in retrospect I realize that I didn't have anything in place to help me get to any of them.

That leads me to the upcoming year and the goals I want to set for 2012. If there are any lessons I've learned from the previous years is that the types of goals I've set for myself have left me feeling kind of like I wasn't successful because I didn't even have a chance to reach those particular goals.

See, one of the things about having goals is being able to come up with a plan for attaining them. When I looked at last year's goals for instance, I realized that if I'd had an opportunity to actually complete all of them I'd have been a very tired guy, even if I'd have been a financially successful one. Or would I? I think if that stuff had all come through I could have burned out, and then I wouldn't have worked all that well and probably wouldn't have been able to continue at that pace.

Even though I'm still big on having goals, I've realized that I need to plan them differently and address some issues that, even 10 years later, I still have some problems with. I need some process goals. And thus, different goals, still measurable, but of a much different standard.

1. This year I will honor what I'm worth and stick with it. A lot of my rates will go up if only to stay consistent across all platforms. I will still offer discounts here and there, but only for complete packages and not one and done deals. I might have a sale at some point in the year of my products, but it'll be a short time period and then back to the norm.

2. This year I will have a marketing calendar that I believe I can stick to. One of the problems for sole proprietorships and small businesses in general is that we forget to consistently market ourselves. No one calls if we don't market. Sure, I have this blog and my newsletter, but that's not going to get it done. I need a marketing script and process for the different things I do that's not too complicated and that I'm comfortable with. If it takes me all of January to figure it out, so be it.

3. This year I will definitely finish my second book and get started on that third one. I'm working on a compilation of early newsletters and blog posts for the second book, and I'm about a third of the way through the first edit. I need to schedule my time to work on that along with the other things I do.

4. I will increase the article frequency on this blog to raise my profile and influence on the search engines. I've actually already started the process of trying to write 4 or 5 posts a week on this blog, mainly posting during the week, and traffic has improved a little bit. That all helps the online portion of my business.

5. I will do more networking this coming year. This one is easier said than done. I'm great with individuals and crowds when I'm getting paid for it but when I'm not, I'm like a fish out of water. I get to the point where I just don't want to leave the house unless it's for business, and since I work from home most of the time it means I stay in a lot. But I have to get our more, even if it's only to give me more things to write about.

Those are much different types of goals than in the past. They'll be measurable by me, but nothing specific, and except for the last one fairly easy to attain. Well, at least once I start making sure I plan my time on a daily basis. I need to take care of the personal self as well, and I may be a part of a 4-month diabetic study which could start me in the right direction.

Those are my goals; do you have any you'd like to share?