Goal setting 2.0

This is a quick post to reflect on the goal I set myself back in November. Hopefully it will be a good example of how SMART goals – whether achieved or not – are invaluable to the learning and improvement process.

You do what? Regularly review and update goals

My original goal was:

I will write and publish a new post on my blog once every fortnight until the end of January 2017.

The long and short of it? I have not achieved my goal. I’ve posted, on average, once a month – not once a fortnight. So now it’s time to change something, and I think I’ve landed on my preferred solution.

One half of the problem was not spending enough time at my laptop writing posts (when you stare at a laptop everyday for a living, it’s hard to motivate yourself to do so in your downtime!) and not having a clear idea of what to write once I had sat down at the keyboard. The second half was having too vague a schedule – saying ‘every two weeks’ means that I can put the task off for exactly two weeks and then, if something gets in the way, not even publish a post on the last day of the fortnight.

My solution is two-fold:

  1. Don’t rely on my laptop to write posts
  2. Create a posting schedule 

Summed up quite succinctly by Apple’s famous slogan “There’s an app for that”, my first solution involves the WordPress app: I’m writing this post from my phone, whilst travelling back from Wales for the weekend. I’ve also saved several other draft posts using the app, kick-starting my memory when I get round to writing them. The app will make it easier to use otherwise unused time (commute etc) more productively.

The second solution will prevent the devil on my shoulder from putting things off quite so easily: I will set myself a strict schedule of posts. Targeting Monday deadlines will negate the excuse of being swamped by work during the week.

Admittedly, these solutions are not revolutionary, but I am a fan of any idea that works and I think these will, at the very least, help.

I mentioned in the original goal-setting post that it is important to review goals frequently, and update them if they are no longer attainable or relevant. Even though I did not achieve my original goal, I had an all-important measuring stick with which to analyse my performance.

My updated goal will therefore now become:

I will publish a post on the blog every first and third Monday of the month for the next three months.

Let’s reconvene at the end of April to see whether I’ve improved…