One of the hashtags that I often see pop up in my Twitter feed is #MondayBlogs, and one of the posts that caught my eye on Monday was BHAG or be SMART, Creatives? The Answer is Yes by Paula Reed Nancarrow. Like so many other people, I sat down and came up with resolutions and goals for 2015, and I’m already failing at some of them.
Except I’m not. I feel like I am because I’m not being as productive as I want to be, but I’m conveniently forgetting that my productivity goals are where I’d like to be, not where I am now. If I was already hitting them, they wouldn’t be goals, and I wouldn’t need the intermediate step of experimenting with different time management techniques to figure out what works best for me. (That is my task for January and February: track my time and try different things to see what helps and what hinders my creative output.)
Paula Reed Nancarrow’s post helped me crystalize some of my thoughts about my personal and creative goals for this year. I’m familiar with SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed). One of my previous managers at work drilled them into my head, and making SMART goals has helped me with my writing the past couple of years. Now I’m in a position where I want to up my game. I want to write cleaner first drafts so the second draft isn’t so daunting. I want to write faster so it doesn’t take so long to get through a first draft. I want to write at least an hour each day so I can learn to write faster and cleaner.
And most importantly, I want to balance my writing with my other interests. I want to have the time to keep up my daily walks, read more books, and play with my food.
I’m struggling with the balance. Part of why I’m struggling is because I don’t know how to SMART it up. Now I don’t need to. In the post I linked, Paula Reed Nancarrow mentions having a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). That’s my balance. Like her, I want to be a Time Lord. Well, no. I want to be a plate spinner. Or a juggler. Basically, I want to be able to manage all the things that give me satisfaction so I’m happy and both producing and consuming things I love.
Thinking in those terms has me looking over my “failures” so far this month and realizing they’re the first steps towards something big. And looking towards where I want to be–what I want to be–is helping me convince myself that I do indeed owe myself an audacious goal.
Do you set goals or resolutions? How do you manage your to-do list? (Or is it a to-do list of doom?)