This year has been the year of change for Example in Metaphor. Those who follow, know that I had some infrastructural goals going into 2019. I was examining the way the blog was laid out, not to mention, experimenting with some different post formats.
I’m not going to lie, some of these experiments were a bit of a flop.
Maybe not in terms of traffic to the site, but in vision.
But you know what, that’s okay. At the end of the day, I feel this curvy path has led me to a good place, and now I feel more confident about how this will look going forward.
So let’s talk about that.
In With the New
Before I was tracking off yearly goals. But to be true to my method, I switched over to 90-day goals, which I will set anew each quarter.
Going forward, I’ll post a single “goal” blog at the beginning of the quarter. I’ll start with my previous 90-days goals, how I did, blah blah blah. Then, I’ll set my new ones for the next 90-days.
I feel that running these shorter goals (as opposed to the whole year) gives me more flexibility to experiment and play, something that was really killing me with the yearly goals.
Just to keep things a little jumbled, I’ll maintain a couple of my yearly goals. A few things still do work best on that system.
And as for the other goals I set on Jan 1, but don’t mention here. Just assume I hit them. ; )
I’m choosing to keep my reading and language learning goals on a yearly cadence. I don’t really plan on changing this next year. They’re kind of mainstays in my life (I don’t plan on stopping reading any time in the near future), and language learning requires a certain level of commitment and consistency to make it worthwhile.
I also like the flexibility of having a goal I can choose to work on or skip in any given week without feeling I’m in a deep hole.
Reading Goal – 5,200 page. 90% done!
I’m currently at 4,712 pages read. 488 to go! I think at the end of the year, or I guess the Q1 goal setting, I’ll go over all the books I’ve read this year.
Language Learning- 300 hours (18,000 minutes) 53.5% done.
I’m trending pretty on target with the language learning goals. I really fell into a nice rhythm with this in 2019.
Last year I almost exclusively worked on my Spanish. This year I’ve committed about 10% of my time to French. Gotta keep it fun.
However, the real takeaway is my process. I’m diligently working through the FSI Spanish basic course. For those of you familiar with the course, it contains dialogues and an epic amount of recorded drills. I run through the dialogues first with Anki, and then drill the hell out of them during my commute to and from work.
For French, I’ve been using Anki and working through the Fluent Forever pronunciation trainer and first 625 words.
Language learning, I’ve come to find, is really about honing in on the most effective process for YOU, and I feel like I’ve finally found my groove after a good many years of…how can I say this…sub-optimally working.
C’est la vie.
Goals For the Next 90 Days
This is the fun stuff! What will I knock out in the next 90 days?
Well, this quarter I’m really going to focus on writing. I’ve been holding myself to writing 500 words a day, 5 days a week. I know that seems strange, but it’s how my schedule works.
But just making words aren’t the goals.
Blog Posts: 9 posts each at least 2,000 words
The first place I’m going to put those words is in blog posts (like this one). I’ve got to start double downing on the blog. I spent a lot of time earlier this year writing these personal posts, and on reflections, I didn’t really like them.
When I started them, I thought they would be more engaging, but I don’t know if it really captured the spirit of what I was hoping to achieve here.
Going forward I’ll focus on this blog’s philosophy: personal development, and goal setting.
I’m also going to shoot for each post to be more meaty and deep. NO MORE FLUFF!
So the goal. This broadly works out to 3 blogs a month, which shouldn’t be too much trouble with my new writing schedule.
Fiction Writing: 14,000 words of rough draft for a novella
I got this idea. Probably a stupid idea. But an idea.
The idea is that I’d start writing these shorter novellas. Each one would be about 20,000 words. Ideally, I’d write several that would work in a series, but I think the 20,000-word mark makes an interesting and achievable starting point.
Listen, this could all fall apart in my hand, but I’m going to give a go and see what happens. Worst case scenario, I share a crappy short story for free.
Why 14,000 words? Well, I said I was writing 2,500 words a week, and that multiplied by 13 is 32,500. Subtract the 18,000 words for the blog posts and that puts us in and around 14,000. #math
Honestly, the real goal of this quarter is developing and sustaining a strong writing habit. This is something I’ve written about before. At one point I did have a pretty decent writing habit. But it faded. Because writing is hard.
Meditation: 65 sessions (5 x a week)
I said I’d do this at the start of the year. Ain’t going to lie, it hasn’t been going well.
I still think it’s important. I’ve seen many benefits from meditating the times I’ve done it consistently: calmness, quicker thought, better coping in stressful situations.
My goal here is all sessions. I could meditate for 3 hours or 3 minutes. Doesn’t matter.
I’m trying to establishing the habit, so I got to get in the reps.
Gratitude Journal: 65 posts (5 x a week)
You might have noticed that I have a natural proclivity towards the negative. Can’t help it. Just the way I am.
To fight this (or at least mitigate the fall out) I’m going to give the old gratitude journal a try. Pretty easy. I’ll just write 5 things I’m grateful for 5 times a weeks.
A runner I follow, Amelia Boone, does this, and I kind of love her. So… Let’s see if there’s anything to it. It’s supposed to make me a happier, healthier person. Challenge accepted.
Daily Affirmations: 65 posts (5 x a week)
I talked about this at the start of the year, too. It’s a thing Scott Adams did, the creator of Dilbert.
Every day you write something you want to happen, 15 times in a row. And over time, it’s supposed to happens.
This sounds ridiculous. I understand that. Very “woo.” But the man claimes success. He doesn’t say he knows why or how it works, only that it does.
I’d advise you go check out his Tim Ferriss podcast where he talks about it.
Ugh, I kind of hate this one, but it works.
You’ll remember at the start of the year I said I was going to work on promoting the blog via social. Well, this is part of it. And it starts and ends with my posting things on other platforms.
Here’s what it looks like.
Medium: 3 Posts
Three times in the next 90 days I’ll pick a blog post I like from the past, clean it up, and when I’m happy, I’ll republish it on Medium.com. Medium is kind of like a social media platform for content. Or, maybe a better way to put it is is as a shared blog.
The idea is that I can have more people discover this shit show by posting things up there.
Pinterest: 1,300 Pins
Yes, I have a Pinterest. Yes, I think it’s great. Yes, I pin a lot of stuff on it. And this quarter I’m going to do that 1,300 times!
So these aren’t just my pins. I can feel your sigh of relief. It can be any type of pin that I think relate to what this blog is about. And yeah, sometimes pins of my posts too.
I think I also have a board about Sasquatch…so….
If you haven’t followed me on Pinterest, come join the party!!
Twitter: 52 posts
Oh Twitter. Home of internet boo hooery and racism. How I love to hate you.
I will post 52 times on Twitter, which for a lot of people, including our president, isn’t really that much.
I don’t’ know what Twitter brings me, or if it’s even worth it to yell into that vacuum. But I’m going to do it because it just seems like the right thing to do?
So there it is kids. 10 things I’ll get done in the next 90 days.
Just in case you weren’t paying close attention, or are one of those “skip to the end” kind of people, let’s recap:
- Blog posts: 9 – 2,000 words each
- Fiction: 14,000 words of a rough draft
- Meditation: 65 times
- Daily Affirmations: 65 times
- Gratitude Journal: 65 times
- Medium (Republish old posts): 3 times
- Pinterest: 1,300 posts
- Twitter: 52 posts
- Spanish: Yearly Goal
- Reading: Yearly Goal
Nothing left to do but get to it!
Next 90 days I’ll recap how all this went down, and we’ll outline a brand new set of goals to get after.
Until then, go set your own goals!