2017 - Objectives, Sub-Tasks, and Results-Tracking

For as long as I can remember I have tracked personal progress on a specific set of things I'd like to improve each calendar year. It's an ongoing process. I do this by completing a self-SWOT analysis on a quarterly basis, but I also set aside time each January to complete a list of themes and related sub-tasks. I can't stress enough that this is not a list of "New Years' Resolutions". It's done in January, but to me there must be an emphasis on completion, tracking, and breaking the goals into sub-tasks that have some sort of associated metric. As well, I take a few hours once a year—on my birthday—to journal about what the past year has meant. This is a scheduled check-in to evaluate if I've completed the things I set out to do. It leaves out anything in December, but in true project management form, if I don't have a good grip on my year by November... not much will change by the end of the year. 

The last time I posted these goals publicly was in 2013. This year while I was designing a poster of goals to hang on my office wall, I started posting images of my computer screen as Instagram stories. Then something fun happened; friends started reaching out to offer help and encouragement. This left me with a warm feeling because I tend to look at this activity as an introspective slog of things. I don't naturally want to share it. What I realized by reading these notes is that we're all working on things, we all have a list of things about ourselves that we want to improve or change, and there is no reason why we should fight that battle in the dark, on our own. So, thank you Anna, Colin, Shawn, Brett, Kenneth, Irwin, and Johnathon. Your kind words encouraged me to share this document and connect (or reconnect) with friends who are tackling similar objectives this year and working through similar problems. 

I'm posting the document here as a reiteration that I'll need help to complete these things, but also as an offer to help with whatever you're doing this year. If our objectives are complementary let's work together! If there are other things you'd like to work on together, please contact me:


At one point I considered making the whole thing a web-page with dynamic charts, form-fields, and a responsive design that looks great on mobile devices. I decided not to because that wouldn't honour the purpose of this project. It's a poster for my wall, so I've cropped and presented it in a series of images. (Sorry mobile visitors)

2017_ToddSmith_Goals_v2_02.png

The Fine Print:

Here are my source files. I'm posting them because a few people I know have asked politely for a template so they may draft their own 2017 goals. If this document may help you create a similar worksheet for personal use, go ahead and build on these files! The use of this design file comes with a general "don't be a jerk" disclaimer: Don't sell it, don't try to license it as your own template, don't post it publicly without crediting me and citing this page as the source. The use of this file comes with a Creative Commons "Share-alike, by attribution, non-commercial" license. This means: Go forth and share, but do so with proper citation, a derivative Creative Commons License, and remember to pay the favour forward to anyone else who may need a helping hand. 

Download the Adobe Illustrator CC2017 file.

A Few Final Notes:

  • Do post shout-outs, links, and @replys via social media to @ToddSmithDesign.
  • Do not contact me for technical support or legacy versions while using this file. It's free, Illustrator is easy to use, and Adobe help topics are very searchable.
  • The file uses Typekit fonts available with Adobe CC membership. Add Abril and Fairplex to your library prior to opening this file and everything will work perfectly. Or open it and change the fonts, I don't care.