5 Year Goals Review and Next 5 1


In 2009, I wrote a set of goals for the coming 5 years.  As I re-read those goals this morning, I realized to my great delight that I had accomplished all of them.  Over the last 5 years, I nailed it.  Here’s how.

1. I have published (or have under review) 5 articles in ethics domain.  I also have 5 more under development.

2. I have greatly enhanced my courses and started a research stream in that area.  Perhaps the one thing I am missing in this area is an accurate way to measure my improvements.  Conceptually, I know I have made great strides.

3. I have greatly improved my productivity by establishing a set of habits, improving my organizational systems, and improving my focus.  I was able to complete several projects above and beyond my normal day-to-day responsibilities in the 40 hours a week I gave myself.  So yes, mission accomplished.

Wow!  I am floored that I managed to write those goals so well and that I had the tenacity to work toward them for so long. Who knew that when I wrote those words five years ago, that I would actually be able to accomplish them.  I think I’ll take a moment and pat myself on the back.

Can I do it again?  Besides what I have already said about writing five year goals, I will add these two new insights.  First by using current themes already in my life, I tapped into my passions more effectively which helped me maintain my effort.  I also picked goals that were completely under my control.  Goals that are dependent on other person’s actions notoriously fall flat or force you to live second-handed trying to satisfy their needs instead of your own.

So what’s next?

1. Improve my base income by 50%.

I struggled with the amount of increase for sometime.  50% is actually on the low end of what I want.  In my private goals sheet, I said I want a doubling of household income.  First, I considered that my base income is guaranteed through ECU only if I meet the requirements of the job.  So I am slightly limited in completing extra income generating activities.  None-the-less, there are a number of things I can and will try to do, including writing books, conducting workshops, consulting, and/or ECU related income.  Second, I am not entirely under control of the household income.  My wife has to decide what she wants to do and how much she wants to work.  Right now, she is enjoying the flexible time with her current job.  It’s a lower paying job, but offers her exactly what she wants.  While she could conceivably go work making much more and help make the household income goal a reality, that is totally up to her.  Being miserable with a lot of money is still misery.  Taking her income out of the equation, I focus on just what I control, which is my income.  And I can conceivable add 50% over my base income in 5 years.

2. Improve course materials in current courses to the point where no major changes are necessary

I am hedging this statement a bit, but saying “current” courses and “major” changes.  But the primary point is that I want to have developed the materials in the classes I primarily teach such that no major, but definitely minor changes, are necessary.  I have already made great strides and have ideas for other major changes.  Within 5 years though, I want my thinking on these classes to be worked out and the materials developed.

3. Maintain my research output such that I publish, on average, 2 new articles every year in the field of e-commerce, but with slightly improving quality year after year.

I could publish more articles per year, but not if I want to improve quality.  I still would like to have at least one article published in one of the top three journals in our discipline – MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, or Journal of Management Information Systems.  Eventually, I will get there.  Until then, I will work on improving my research and writing skills.  The best way to improve is to make incremental improvements over time.  And that, I will.

4. Improve my reputation as an expert in website success.

All of the above goals will be aligned with this one over-arching goal, to improve my reputation as an expert in website success.  My research, teaching, and income generating activities will all center on developing websites for success.  Now you might think this is partially dependent on other people, thereby negating my statement above about not making my goals dependent on other people.  Yes, it is dependent on other people, but no one person.  If one person thinks I’m not an expert, that’s okay.  But if ten thousand people see the work I’m doing and think I’m not an expert, then I will have failed.  My record should speak for itself.  But that requires me to develop things of high value.  And yes, I do want people to know about the things I’m doing and will market it, but that’s because I’m convinced it is of high value and is useful.

Well, there you have it.  Four new goals for the next five years.


About John Drake

John Drake is an assistant professor at East Carolina University. While pursing his PhD in management information technology and innovation, John learned the art of high productivity through setting difficult goals to achieve unending success. John is a student of Objectivism, an advocate of Getting Things Done, a parent of three, a husband, a writer, a business owner, a web master, and an all around cool guy. His professional site is at http://professordrake.com


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