Sunday, November 23, 2014

I dropped the ball (and that’s ok)

Last week, you will see only one post for my blog.  The post explained how it was a rough one for me, and the end of the week was worse than the beginning.  I did manage to continue my Chinese studies every day, in some way shape or form, and I did get one blog post in.

I need to be able to be accepting of missing one of my goals in this project during a tough week.  At the same time I need to hold myself accountable and do my best to correct mistakes that led to the failure.  I need to come up with plans to avoid pitfalls that arise as they are identified.  For example, last week I could have foreseen my week get worse as it went along, so I should have worked on writing a blog post earlier in the week.  I should have done a better job of avoiding procrastination devices like the television and my cell phone. 

This week, will likely be a little crazy as well.  Therefore, I need to do my best to get my work in when I can.  Obviously this post is coming on Sunday, and I will probably write much of the second weekly posts in the next couple of days before the craziness of Thanksgiving arises.  I will also need to formulate a strategy for getting my Chinese work in while traveling for the holiday.  I may need to download Anki onto another device, but I do not know at the moment how well it will work. 

This week I’ve discovered the website  I may have been the last to discover the site.  Although there is some overlap between my goals in this project and the goal of Zen Habits, it is a useful resource/jumping off point for working through my project.  An interesting post on Zen Habits discusses goals, or more specifically, the author’s desire to be goal free. 

In discussing goal setting the author states:

In the past, I’d set a goal or three for the year, and then sub-goals for each month. Then I’d figure out what action steps to take each week and each day, and try to focus my day on those steps.

Unfortunately, it never, ever works out this neatly. You all know this. You know you need to work on an action step, and you try to keep the end goal in mind to motivate yourself. But this action step might be something you dread, and so you procrastinate. You do other work, or you check email or Facebook, or you goof off.

And so your weekly goals and monthly goals get pushed back or side-tracked, and you get discouraged because you have no discipline. And goals are too hard to achieve. So now what? Well, you review your goals and reset them. You create a new set of sub-goals and action plans. You know where you’re going, because you have goals!

Full blog post at:

The author lays out some good reasons for not setting goals, but I am trying to deal with the pitfalls of goal setting in a different way.  I am trying to focus more on the process than the results and will consider it a success if I:

  1. Maintain the same goals through the project; and,
  2. Work every day in furtherance of those goals.

That’s really it.  So although I recognize I missed a blog post, by trying to shore up the process I can ultimately reach my goals for the project. 

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