Welcome to Towards Simplicity. I blog my goals, especially my reading and studies, and my ongoing downscaling and using up of material stuff and working towards a more minimalist lifestyle.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Thinking through goal setting and attaining

At the beginning of this month, I took a copy of my 'Goals 2011/2' page and re-worked it.  Some things got dumped totally (like learning French, as I really don't need it at the moment, and Italian was removed a while ago), and others cut down to reflect my needs and priorities better.

Some sections got increased!  For instance, I included more needlework projects that I wanted to do, both as a 'training' for creating my own kits etc, hopefully later on this year, and also as a reminder of what needs finishing up and a motivating list to cross stuff off!  I also reinstated the music learning section as, now we have downstairs neighbours and the worst sound-proofing I've come across anywhere I've ever been, I feel the need to make some 'blocking out' noise from time to time and I still do want to learn viola.  I also added in one or two more things I wanted to read fiction-wise so that there was something 19th century on it and not all just 18th century and older, which can be pretty hard going at times.

So, how are things looking so far?  Well, I seem to have met 24 of the current goals and a further 36 are in progress.  OK, they aren't all in progress constantly as I do tend to stop and start on things, but they are at least part done.  I'm thinking that all the needlework, music and at least almost all of the general reading sections will be completed.  At least three of the five qualifications will happen (OK, one already has!) and I think I can look forward to about that sort of percentage on the self study projects as well, esp. as many of them are intermittent interests.

The really tricky bit is the last section, 'Writing Projects'.  I've come to realise that two of those are not just massive projects, but also quite important and need a good deal more time devoting to them.  OK, so if I finished one of these and break the back of the second, it may mean only one thing crossed off when I could have crossed several off other lists in the same time, but it comes down to what really matters to me.

The April 2010 'Awake!' magazine cover article series was on creating more time and it had an excellent 3 point plan in making time for what really matters and getting stuff done:
1)  Clarify your values i.e. family, work, projects, health etc and put them in order of importance.
2)  List the goals you want to achieve and that can realistically be completed, (which will be heavily influenced by your values.)
3)  Plan and schedule activities that contribute to meeting those goals.
The result is that your life will have a unified direction and things that really matter will be achieved.

So, bearing this in mind I realised that I have to be cautious about working on certain things, esp. stuff like science and English language/linguistics studies that I'm interested in, but that don't contribute to larger, more important goals, just for the sake of 'working towards crossing something off the list' and finding stuff out!  At the end of the day, those things are really interesting and I do want to know about them, but they are side dishes, not the main course.  I need to schedule time for the central things and projects that are to lead to something such as getting on with my two Mandarin learning materials books.  A good idea will be nothing more than just a good idea if I don't bring it to fruition....

Ditto with making kits etc.  I may have lots of great ideas and have managed to attract squads of new stitchery blog subscribers by some of the tutorials and pieces I've done of late, but I need to get some saleable designs worked and instructions for those put together as well.  The great reaction to my on-line tutorials has shown me I can teach technique OK with just photos and a few concise instructions, so I really need to move that forward and start with one or two design ideas that I'm already competent enough to produce - whilst learning more on the side, of course.  Both this and the language projects require me to continue studying in order to make a decent job of them.

So, in short, goals are great things, but they need to be focused and moving somewhere definite as well as prioritised in order to really lead anywhere worthwhile.  Whilst it's true that I hope to crack about 75% of what's on that list this year, if I can even mostly complete one of the writing projects, it will be worth two dozen of the other goals!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I look forward to reading about your progress with the writing and stitchery goals!