Monday, August 14, 2006

You Gotta Have Goals

Yesterday, I was searching the Internet for information on how to improve hand-eye co-ordination and develop your non-dominant side. It's not that I want to become ambidextrous, although that would be cool. It's just part of my never-ending quest to become proficient at camogie.

I have no left, which makes taking certain shots a bit awkward. I also need to improve my hand-eye co-ordination for hand-passing and for catching balls in the air. During my search, I came across a site that I think has the potential to become both a huge time-sink as well as an excellent motivational tool. (I know, it's not very often you come across that sort of two-fer.)

Forty-Three Things gives you a place to make a list and track your progress on 43 things that you would like to do. The site is mostly well-designed and it has a great feel of community to it. You can see what other people are working on and you can comment on others' progress as well as your own. You can also mark the things you've already accomplished and indicate if you'd be willing to help someone else achieve that goal.

It's hard to think of 43 things (and it's a maximum, not a minimum limit) but the site makes it easier by showing you recently entered goals in the Zeigeist page and highlighting random goals on every page in a section labeled “The world wants to...” Some goals even have a handy “People who want to do this, are also doing this” section.

Being the goal-oriented list maker that I am, I got sucked right in. It took several hours (hey, it's an exercise in self-improvement) but I finally completed my list of 43 things.

The first thing that strikes me about my list is that some items are going to happen soon and get ticked off quickly (#10 – Redesign my blog). Others are ongoing aspirations (#6 – Lift weights at least twice a week or #22 use the gym membership that I am paying for). But the tough ones, I think, are going to be ones that are difficult to measure. How will I know when I've lost some of my shyness (#24)? If I learn how to relax (#17), but then don't practise what I've learned, do I have to put the item back on my list? Will I ever be able to cross-off #36 (Be more confident)? Or will I eventually have to replace it with Be more humble?

I avoided adding those open-ended self-improvement goals, but in the end, I couldn't resist. I suppose I will have to think of measurable and achievable sub-goals for some of my goals. This list has already spurred me into action. Yesterday, I finally signed up for my driving test (#8 – Pass my driving test). I'm going to have at least a 50-week wait, but everyone has to start on a goal somewhere.

I imagine this list will give me future blog material. Or at least I hope so – how else will I achieve goal #9 (Be a better blogger)?


At 15 August 2006 at 07:41, Blogger Moi Frey said...

Wonderful that you've joined us on 43 Things, Ann. I agree with you totally, about the motivational benefits. But also, as a writer, I find 43 Things' combination of structure and freedom to be marvelously conducive to creativity. And, look how quickly I found you there! You and I have some common goals, and other things in common as well. I'll look forward to reading your blog.

p.s. Do you know that you can publish any of your 43 Things entries to your Blog here?

At 19 August 2006 at 07:42, Blogger -Ann said...

Hi there. I didn't know that about 43 Things. Definitely good to know.

At 21 August 2006 at 02:31, Anonymous james said...

ah welcome to 43t....such an addictive little thing, but so helpful. i really think i get more stuff done by having a list. and i love that the list has no rules. i can put whatever i want on it.


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