I have been spending time these last few days thinking about goals, targets and measures of success. In some areas of work it’s easier than in others to identify achievement, but if your aim in life isn’t to sell x thousand widgets a day, you need to occasionally find other ways to measure accomplishment.
I think the elusive To Do lists I was harping on about yesterday are key to this. It is remarkably satisfying to physically delete items on a list. A shopping list is in fact the ultimate in Specific Measureable Achievable Realistic and Time-bound (SMART) activity. All this SMART stuff comes up frequently in management and corporate training practice, but in creative life it is often just as useful. Making an artwork may be impossible to frame in SMART terminology, but a good To Do list of manageable creative steps (10 minutes of line drawing a day, one gallery visit, play with collage) can be a great platform for getting there.
Funnily enough, just as I was reflecting on all of this today, I read The Daily Post, the blog subscribed to by all of us Postaday2011 bloggers. It posed the excellent question “What do you want to accomplish with your blog?” and commented that many blogs never explain to readers what the goal for the blog is, which makes it hard for people who stop by to know if they should come back. I thought that was a fair comment, and wondered how mine measures up.
My goal when I started 8 months ago was a fairly introspective one: I had always found writing helpful in making sense of my life, and I think that I have found that to be the case here. But there is no doubt that the blog has evolved over the months, and ideally I need to spend a bit of time every now and again working out what I’m up to and whether it’s all making sense. The Daily Post item suggests a sidebar summary of the goals of a blog. It’s not a great attraction for a whimsical intuitive eclectic blogger (hmmmm) to be pinned down quite so publicly, but I recognise that could be helpful for the casual passer-by, so watch this space.