Operating Instructions

a guided process to clarify and achieve your goals

Do you want to...

- accomplish more great things?

- have more follow through?

- feel a sense of progress and satisfaction in your life and work?

- have more clarity and vision?

- establish positive habits to keep you motivated and build momentum?

- find a structure and routine​ that works for you?

- have a reference point for where you're ​going and how your decisions fit into it?

If you’re like me, you get to this time of the year and start wondering where the time has gone. 

How has another year flown past? What has happened? Where did the time go?

And then you start thinking about next year and all the potential that it holds. SO much can happen in a year’s time. Your life could be forever changed and drastically different a year from now.

So we make New Years Resolutions and dream big about what we want to create in the next year.

But by April, all of those hopes and New Years Resolutions fade away. It's just more of the same. Your job. Your routine. And day-by-day, week-by-week, another year leaks by.

Why resolutions don't work:

1) We make too many changes all at once.

The tremendous amount of hope we have for the New Year gets thrust into commitments that we often lack the bandwidth to truly pursue and invest ourselves in.

2) What feels important right now may not be as important in a few months.

Though our intentions are good, life changes and moves us to places that we could never have considered before. Three months from now you may have new opportunities and new ideas to pursue. Do the resolutions of today trump the desires of tomorrow? No. So we decide to quit our resolutions. Or (most often) we simply forget about them all together.

3) Finally, our resolutions are often based only in the future.

The best way to set goals is by first reflecting and assessing where you’ve been. Set goals based on where you are and where you’ve been, not simply on future desires.

There’s a better way to do your year (and your life!)

It's time to create your operating instructions:

Operating Instructions

A guided process to clarify and achieve your goals

What it does:

Operating Instructions is an iterative goal setting and review process that continually brings us back to our goals to evaluate, adjust, and even reset (as needed). What that means is that it is not simply about setting better goals once and for all. Instead, it’s about setting better goals then revisiting them monthly, reassessing them quarterly, and noticing your progress, success, and failure all along the way.

You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been, and you can’t stay focused on your goals unless you’re continually touching them— writing, reflecting, and assessing where you are in relation to them.

Operating Instructions helps you create the missing manual for life. Not a stagnant set of goals to be quickly forgotten, but a living and breathing framework that allows you to use it in whatever way suits you the best.

What it is:

A beautifully designed step-by-step goal setting and recalibrating process.

What's included:

One Annual Review

The process begins with a review of where you've been over the past year in order to gain clarity on what's working and what's not.

3 Quarterly Assesments

Once a year is too infrequent for goal setting.  The Quarterly Assessments give you a chance to reset, adjust, add, or subtract from your goals to keep them relevant and realistic.

12 Monthly Progress Updates and Reflection Guide​s

Goals won't help unless you keep them in front of you.  Start each month with reflection and action planning based on your larger goals.

Three ways to engage:

This 37 page guide is delivered digitally, but created to suit the way you prefer to work.

Print as you go

Print and bind journal

Stay digital

The story behind Operating Instructions:

My name is Dan Cumberland.  I'm the founder of a blog and online community called The Meaning Movement— a place for people to find purpose and meaning in life and work.

My wife, Stacia, and I do an extensive annual review every year. We assess where we’ve been in all areas of life and then adjust our goals based on what we discover.

After doing this for a few years, we discovered that there’s just too much happening in life to only do this annually. We needed more.

Me (Dan) with my trusty sidekick— Lina

Dan and Stacia Cumberland

So we supplemented this with a monthly review. We’d set aside a Friday afternoon every month to sit together and reflect on where we’ve been, where we want to go, and the goals that we’ve set for ourselves and our businesses.

This practice has become a staple in our lives. It’s become one of the most important aspects of our year.

I partnered with a fantastic designer to make this process into a year long guide to help you make the most of your year.  I'm thrilled for Stacia and I to use it this year, and can't wait for you to join in.

Operating Instructions will help you avoid:

Getting stuck

Lacking follow-through

Feeling lost

Lack of direction

Operating Instructions will help you gain:








What you can use your Operating Instructions to accomplish:

There are infinite possibilities to what you could accomplish using the Operating Instructions. Here are a few to get your juices flowing:

- Writing a book

- Developing your art

- Transitioning your career

- Developing a skill you've always wanted to learn

- Getting in shape

- Learning to code

- Starting a business

- Using your time more efficiently

- Recording an album

- Mastering a new language

- Building more meaningful relationships

- Finding more time for the things you want to do

- Clarifying what you should and shouldn't spend time on

- Making your dream project a reality

Choose from three packages:

The Basic Edition:

A digital download of Operating Instructions for print or digital use.

(less than one latte a month!)

The Complete Edition:

A digital download of Operating Instructions for print or digital use.


One year of exclusive monthly inspiration and refocusing reminders delivered straight to your inbox to keep you accountable and on track.

AND access to next year's version (2017).

The Achiever Edition

A digital download of Operating Instructions for print or digital use.


One year of exclusive monthly inspiration and refocusing reminders delivered straight to your inbox to keep you accountable and on track.


A 20 minute one-on-one strategy session with Dan.

AND access to next year's version (2017).

The Basic Edition

Digital download ready for print or digital use.

The Complete Edition

Digital download ready for print and digital use.


One year of exclusive monthly inspiration and refocusing emails.

And access to next year's version (2017).

The Achiever Edition

Everything from the Achiever Edition.


One-on-one strategy session.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How is this different from other goal setting products?

Why is this called Operating Instructions?

Can I order a physical copy instead of digital?

How soon can I get started?

What if I have questions?

What if it doesn't work for me?

How long will it take to do?

What if I have trouble accessing the files?