It is not unusual to find many people jaded at best about the value of goal-setting, given the stress created by what are often perceived as artificial expectations decreed from on high. - David Allen
Nothing sums up my experiences with goals better than that quote. I’ve been a recurrent “goal breaker” for many years, in that every goal I set myself I either fail or ignore after a short period of time. Getting the right balance in a goal can be difficult and almost a skill in its own right. Most people struggle with either trying to define the scope of something monumental and endless (e.g. Progress my Career), or keep it too easy (e.g. Don’t dine out for a month) and feel unfulfilled when completed.
A lot of discussion about goal setting has been done by almost every productivity “guru” out there. You can find hundreds of articles talking about the best way to do it, but i’m not here to discuss that, more to explain how I came to the goal i’ve defined for this site.
Starting a project like this site is useless unless you have something to aim for. Writing out into the void is a good cause but if you’ve got nothing to drive you then your willpower to continue will drift away after a short time. Personally I want to write something, be it technical and informational to just airing my mental drool, but I want to do it consistently and with purpose.
I want to post frequently, but not place such as strain on my free hours that it causes other obligations to slip, or that the site is pushed aside by other pressing issues. In the past i’ve set myself a goal of posting daily, which was a huge mistake and within two weeks I was three days behind. This time i’ll create a sensible balance with my available time. I’m lucky in that I can enjoy my weekends relatively interruption free, so i’m able to ensure I get at least an hour to put together an article.
I want the articles to be a length worthy of posting, rather than some short snippets. I’ve previously fell into the trap of producing content that was nothing more than a few lines of semi-related information thrown together to form some sort of post. What does that actually achieve? Yes i’m ticking off my goals but essentially I was cheating myself of a satisfying result.
I want the site to have some consistent and meaningful content, which people would like to read, and keeping to the topic for the overall theme of the site. Again, referring back to some old blogs i’ve deviated off-topic too many times, and potentially losing readers due to it. If i’ve decided on a topic I should stick to it.
Post at least one new article a week, and the content should be meaningful and keep with the overall topic and theme of the site.
With the goal set, I can start thinking about next actions and projects, defining the scope all with an aim to complete this open-ended goal.