Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life


My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.


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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

January Blogging Challenge

Jason Clark has provided the impetus for this month's challenge -- come up with an evaluation of last year's goals and a new set of goals for this year.

This should not be a facile collection of cliches like "I will lose weight" or "I'm going to save some money" but carefully thought out, significant goals for your life. Don't just list indefinite, non-specific platitudes, but specific, achievable goals. Include a plan for accomplishing each goal with concrete milestones and dates.

Instead of just saying "I will lose weight", make a goal of "I will lose 20 pounds by September 1, 2005." Make your goals realistic -- small enough that you can accomplish them, given everything else in your life and the world -- and include the changes you'll make or steps you'll take to achieve that goal. These should be plausible items such as "Go to the gym once a week" or better still "I will park at the far end of the parking lot every morning".

Realism is an important part of achieving any goal -- you can't say "I will cut out all chocolate" if you're a chocoholic and expect to reach your goal. Better would be to say "I will limit myself to one piece of chocolate per day" or "I will only have chocolate on those days that I go to the gym." Similarly, if you say "I will make the world a better place", not only can you not really completely accomplish that, but how would you know? Where would you start?

You would certainly need to delineate how you will make the world a better place, and how you can tell if you've succeeded? Instead, make your goal something like "I will spend one day a month helping others" and list ways you can do that, such as volunteering at a nursing home, helping out at your kid's school, or donating to a worthy cause.

Jason's list of resolutions from last year is a good example of resolutions that include both personal and professional goals. He included ones for his weblog as well. I generally break it down to personal, professional, and family-related. I think it's important to grow yourself in all areas of your life -- work, play, family, etcetera.

One last note -- this challenge includes a review of your goals from last year (if any). That's a reminder that this years goals should not be put on a shelf somewhere and forgotten. Refer to them frequently throughout the year to remind yourself what your priorities are. Publishing them publicly on a website provides you added impetus to reach them; we'll be waiting to see how you've done at the end of the year.

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