goal-setting is powerful
‘Goal-setting is the activity of a powerful person, because setting goals implies the confidence of achievement’ writes George Lakey in Toward a living revolution: A five-stage framework for creating radical social change.
So I finally started this blog-project. Now what? Blog. Write. Do art. Gimp around with it. Hit publish. With regularity and frequency. How regular, how frequent I wonder. I don’t want to set myself up to fail by setting my goals too high. I don’t want to set myself up to fail by setting no goals and just hoping my good intentions will motivate me to post. I know that’s not always quite enough or it may make it very slow-going.
For a task like this, something I can count (1, 2, 3 … posts) within a specific timeframe (days, weeks, months ..) SMART goals are just the right tool. SMART goals began life as a tool of project management, and have migrated into different industries, disciplines and fields. You probably have encountered them in some form some where.
S – specific (name, define what you’re trying to achieve)
M – measureable (yes, no, in between? did you do it? you are able to see what you achieved — or not)
A – achievable (the task is something within your power, ability or influence)
R – realistic (consider the context, life’s demands and the free spaces, is this doable?)
T – timely (it is fitting and approrpriate to the moment?)
once a week … at least
Considering the unpredictable whirl which is my daily life, I reckon aiming to post once a week is manageable.
I’ve had periods of life with a more fixed schedule. For ten years I worked in formal education and lived more or less bound by the academic calendar, and the daily schedule of classes. Thinking back on it, that’s probably where I learned how to manage my time and ‘projects’, in this case: developing curriculum, testing out materials in classes, following the feedback loop to improving on design and … eventually reaching the end of the semster and measuring and evaluating the results in the students’ performance. All the while also squeezing in research, writing, publishing and presenting.
For the last 14 years however, I’ve worked in informal adult community education. This means a lot of weekends, evenings and sometimes chunks away from home running intensive residential courses. The ebb and flow of this work varies. Right now I’m in a relatively quiet patch. I’ve got a couple of things coming up in June to prepare, but I am not yet in ‘head-down, focus-on-the-project, panic-work-mode.’
YIC, YIC, YIC: yes, I can!
So that means aiming for once a week during this quiet period will give me an indication of how reasonable it is. A little voice in me says, ‘Ah come on! Yes, you can do once a week!’ and I agree. Yes, I can. And I think even during busy periods once a week is something I can manage. I’ve thrown the net wide on ‘achieveable’ and ‘realistic’, and while that may seem like I’m setting my targets too low now, I think in the long run I’ll still be blogging because I didn’t burn myself out or bore myself with too much too quickly. Slow and sustained is the key to changing or creating new everyday habits.
All in due time …
Am I smart? I hope so, but only time will tell. Check back here next week (or before then) and see!