3 Jan 2012

Review of My Personal Goals for 2011– Part 2

This is the second in an impromptu series of posts reviewing my progress in meeting my 2011 resolutions.  In the first post, I covered my goal of getting fit.  In this post, I look at the second and third goals:

  1. Friends and Family
    • Spend some time each week staying in touch with friends and family.

There are so many things wrong with this goal that I really don’t know where to begin.  I met this goal; but then everyone who isn’t a hermit could have met this goal!

What went wrong?  It certainly isn’t a SMART goal, as it is not specific.  A better goal would have been to say that I would phone a friend or relative weekly. But the worst thing about it is that it such a blatant piece of  “motherhood and apple pie” that it is worthless to state as a goal.  Apologies!

What can I improve on? I need to consider if a goal is worthwhile pursuing – will it help improve me?  Will it improve the lives of those around me?  And is the goal a SMART goal?

Motherhood and apple pie...

  1. Personal Interests
    • Read 100 new books.
    • Watch 50 films.
    • Release an open-source project.
    • Write a new blog post weekly.

Again, I repeated the mistake I explained in the earlier post – too many sub-goals.

A quick check shows that I read at least 73 books last year.  I’m not sure how many of these books were in the original list of 100 books I created at the start of 2011 – I’m guessing under 20. A lot of my reading is spurred by investigating random topics (for example, Judo, WWII, bodyweight workouts, Linux, productivity and self help books).  The list is evenly split between fiction and non-fiction.  The fiction selection is a mixed bag even by my standards.  Some were classics (Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin).  Others were simply dire (A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – I threw it away from me after 20 pages).  You can view the full list on my Shelfari Profile.

I definitely didn’t watch 50 films during last year. At a guess, I watched around 25-30.  Which I’m very glad about.  Given the number of TV series that I follow, I certainly don’t have time to watch a film a week as well.

I haven’t released an open source project, which I’m very disappointed about.  Indeed, I managed to do very little coding in my personal time.  Likewise, I only wrote 7 blog posts last year, compared to 45 articles in the year before.  This is definitely something I’m looking to change with this year’s goals.

Couch Potato

What went wrong? Again, too many goals.  Also again, goals that weren’t relevant – what was the point in trying to watch a film a week?  The book list is very useful, but the original list has changed from a list of 100 books to read in a year, to a list of books that I will read at some point.  In fact, I plan on deleting the original list and migrating the list to Google Tasks.  Trying to read all these books and films was part of the reason why I didn’t spend enough time coding and blogging.  the various sub-goals were in fact contradictory.

What can I improve on? Again, I need to focus on what is the true goal I want to achieve.  The goals to read a certain number of books or watch a certain number of films were irrelevant; I needed to focus on spending time on my personal projects, on actually creating something.  It is pretty clear that I’m spending 90% of my time consuming, and only 10% of the time producing, when it should be the other way round.

1 comment:

  1. Andi, I love that you used the word goal, rather than resolution. Here's why: http://www.sensei-winbeforehand.co.uk/2012/01/02/new-year-resolutions/. Thoughts?


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