Saturday, June 29, 2013

On setting goals

So, I have broken my promise again to write more often. I read about it somewhere that I'm not unique to this "over promise, under deliver" problem when it comes to writing. Still, I feel like I fail myself and my readers.

Writing is a Good Thing™—somebody even compiled 17 reasons for doing it—but it's hard, especially for perfectionists (and procrastinators!) like me—I can write a paragraph and keep refining it for an hour. But why is my old self seems to be more productive? I think the reason is, like I said, I feel bad when I fail to meet my target. The disappointment adds up, and it's making me to think, "The hell with this, I'm not gonna make it."

Fortunately, I learned something new today about goal setting. We shouldn't set our goal in binary: either we achieve it or not. Instead, set it in 3 categories: What we can definitely do, what we want to achieve, and what is awesome to get. Let's use my writing problem as an example.

Looking at my recent writing frequency, 12 posts per year seems something I can definitely do. Of course, that amount is lame for a blog, so my target is to write 52. It seems ambitious, but in 2007 and 2008 I wrote more than that, so it's a good target. Always challenge yourself, reasonably.

52 is the number of week in a year, but I didn't mention the interval. I can slack for 11 months and rush in December. Now, if I can write consistently every week, that's awesome!

Note that it's better to set the categories in stages. That is, achieving awesomeness means completing the rest. I could set the awesomeness to be "Write a book", but accomplishing it doesn't mean I meet my target (52 posts), which will make me sad.

Now it's your turn.

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