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The Ship List: A Better Way of Meeting Goals

A recurring theme on Seth Godin’s blog last year was the idea of “shipping” projects. His thesis is that it’s one thing to have a bunch of ideas but another thing entirely to actually turn those ideas into something and ship them out the door. It’s not about perfection or success as much as it’s about doing something now and then doing something else after that.

In December Seth published his list of things he shipped in 2010. It is an interesting list that includes everything from publishing a book to raising money for charity. I like the idea of looking back at a year and evaluating what shipped. Not what succeeded, but what shipped.

All of this got me thinking about the year ahead. What if we made a list of the things we want to ship in the year ahead? What if you committed now to move several things out of the idea stage and get them shipping by 2012?

I’ve made my own ship list for 2011 and have found it more helpful than a list of goals. It’s already pushed me in these early weeks of the new year in ways that a list of goals never has. In the same way that the Getting Things Done method to productivity changed my perspective of to-do lists, the ship list has shaped my idea of goal setting for a new year.

I’ve made my ship list. What will you put on yours?

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