Category Archives: goal

Delegation and thinking about what I want to do

Cate Huston’s excellent post on delegation got me thinking about outsourcing things again. I learned a lot when I experimented with virtual assistance. I concluded the experiment when I got around to automating the tasks I’d previously outsourced and I didn’t come up with new tasks.

Since then, I haven’t felt starved for time. I’ve even been able to explore new hobbies, like woodworking and ukulele. I occasionally think about hiring a housekeeping service, but a few hours of meditative tidying up gets the house back in order. There haven’t been any chores that drained my energy or happiness. I don’t have time for everything, but I have time to do things at a sustainable pace. I’m content.

Content? Ah, there’s the signal to ask myself again, “How wonderful can things be?”

I want to write a book. In the time-honoured tactic of getting out something so that I can get over the hump and work with what I’ve got, I can re-read my blog posts (21 years old – 25 years old, perhaps?), do a little bit of editing, categorizing, and cleaning up, and just get that into some kind of e-book or paper copy. It will need a lot of trimming in order to get things to a manageable size, as I wrote well over 100,000 words a year. I’m hoping most of that is ephemera. ;)

What would adding money to this do? I actually do want to reread all that stuff myself, but I might ask someone to lay it out nicely if I can’t script a good layout. Then there’s printing it as a paper book, which is useful as a backup but requires bookshelf space. I can take a course or buy books on writing memoirs to help me improve my writing, too. I can spend on experiences worth writing about, of course!

I want to enjoy great food. There’s nothing stopping me from doing this, I just have to find recipes and experiment with them. Some kind of cooking get-together would be an awesome excuse, particularly if I have other friends who want to learn how to cook. We might even do it virtually by sharing stories and recipes, although that might be less fun.

+Money: Entertain more often (once every month instead of once a quarter?). Buy better-quality ingredients and go for the more unusual recipes. Get help with the shopping, prepping, cooking, serving, or cleaning.

I want to get the hang of the ukulele. It’s fun, and it exercises my auditory side. +Money: Find an ukelele teacher (maybe one who can teach singing as well), and spend at least an hour a week working on this. A teacher can help me avoid bad habits, figure out how to transition between chords smoothly, and pick songs I’ll enjoy playing. Actually, a singing teacher would probably be good to find first, as that would make a big difference in enjoyment…

I want to take more pictures. I’m not holding out here for “better” pictures – I want to take and share more of them. +Money: An even smaller camera or a bigger beltbag (purses get in my way), or making other things in my beltbag smaller so that the camera always fits, or a separate camera case for the belt (as long as I don’t get to bat-belt level?).

I want to sew better. Clothes, accessories, etc. A private teacher can help me alter my patterns properly. Advice on which kinds of looks and patterns work for me would also be greatly appreciated – that way, I don’t spend a lot of time sewing things that won’t work for me. =) +Money: lessons, styling advice, a serger.

I want to draw more. I’ve been drawing a lot in my sketchbooks, but I miss the ability to edit , colour, and upload drawings quickly. Maybe I’ll replace my Eee with a tablet PC after I finish all of my sketchbooks. It would be great to take sketching classes, too, because I can learn a lot from exercises, feedback, and tips. +Money: Tablet PC, classes

I want to be more organized. Part of this is slowing down and paying attention, and another part is having a place for everything so that I enjoy putting things away. I don’t want to have a housekeeper do this because then I’d never be able to find things myself. <laugh> +Money: Organizers

I’m actually reasonably organized now, so I think the priority would be to get singing lessons sorted out, then check out tablet options. Hmm…

Training wheels for setting goals

“Do you have any good questions to encourage people to set goals?” my mom asked. She’s been having a hard time getting people in the office to set personal and business goals. She’s tried worksheets, acronyms like SMART, motivational speakers,

I suggested providing a menu of suggestions, if people had difficulty answering open-ended questions. Generic suggestions –> concrete personal goals –> actions they can take to achieve that goal. It can be hard to dream from scratch. Ideas, guide questions, and role models help a lot. They’re like training wheels for setting goals.

When I’m brainstorming what I want to do in life, I find that reading and listening helps. I look for what resonates with me, and then I choose elements to incorporate into my plans.

What helps you set goals? How do you help other people learn how to set goals?

Big, hairy, audacious goal

2My Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal for the next eight months is to help
huge companies imagine how they can help people connect by prototyping
my research idea, figuring out how it can be improved and made into a
product, and writing up my thesis.

A thesis is a pretty big goal. Just ask all the people who finish
everything but their thesis. Even really smart people. Even my

And I’m pushing even further than that. I want my thesis to be
practical *and* research-worthy. I want to take it into the business

I’m going to need help making this happen, and I’m going to need a lot
of personal strength, too.

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