Last year I made a simple list of goals for 2018 and decided to tweet them (for an ounce of social accountability and attention).
Each goal was one short statement preceded by an emoji that related to the goal. That’s it. There was no additional context, no explanation, and no metrics to track. 
They were simple goals that could be validated or invalidated at the end of the year by simply asking, “did I do this, yes or no?” 
Here was my 2018 list:
🎉 Start my new job.
🍵 Become a tea person. 
🗺 Travel someplace new.
💵 Build my savings account.
The previous year was a rollercoaster of major life changes and complex situations, so I needed my goals to be few in number and easy to accomplish.
It’s now almost 2019, and I’ve been working on my new Emoji Goals list. Here it is:
📱 Build & release my first app
🎨 Make more physical art
📐 Actively practice design
👨🏻‍💻 Develop a career plan
✏️ Career-focused blogging
🚽 No bathroom phone usage
🧘‍♂️ Start yoga 
📵 No social media on phone
🎓 Cut student loans in half
🚨 Rebuild emergency fund
I keep the list in my task management app in a project called 2019 goals. As I finish each one, I’ll check it off.
I like these little Emoji Goals because they’re cute, approachable, and disarming. Goal setting and new years resolutions carry a lot of negative connotations for people, and I think people tend to overdo it. Their goals are usually too lofty and inflexible. It’s the difference between saying, “I will go to the gym 5 days a week this year” and “I will regularly go to the gym this year”.
Goal setting in business environments is almost always numbers driven, so I understand why people might make their personal goals measurable too... but I find this practice to be demoralize and unhelpful. 
For me, I need a goal setting framework that is less about following the letter of the law and more about following the spirit of it. 
Emoji Goals is a goal setting “framework” for normal people. It’s not for the C-level executive or the Type-A serial entrepreneur. It’s plain, simple, and fun. I put “framework” in quotes because it’s lack of framing is actually what I like most about it. 
Want to write your own list of Emoji Goals? Here are some suggestions:
## Try writing each goal in 8 words or less.
Keep. It. Freakishly. Simple. Rewrite the goal over and over until you can get it down to 8 words or less. You want it to be easy to remember and easy to share.
## Try leaving room for interpretation.
This suggestion goes back to my point about following the spirit of the law rather than the letter of it. If you write your goal with intentional buffer space, it’ll be easier to get to the end of the year and say, “Yes, I accomplished that.”
Does that sound like cheating to you? Lighten up a little. Emoji Goals should not taken so seriously.
## Roll with the punches
Don’t worry too much about writing the perfect goal. Get some of your ideas down in a list, refine it a little, and then send it out into the world. If you discover a month or two down the road that you should have written one of the goals a little differently, that’s totally fine. Roll with the punches. If you decide in March that you’re going to stop pursuing one of the goals you originally set, don’t sweat it. 
If you end up making an Emoji Goals list, tweet it to me: @jacksondame. I’d love to see what your aiming at in 2019.