How I Set Goals

After listening to Dr. P’s most recent YouTube video, I reflected on the way I’ve come to set goals in the last year.

Previously, I set goals as destinations. The journey was necessary but not the point of the trip.

A dollar amount, a job, how much weight I could pick up in the gym etc. I was focused on the objective. How much I enjoyed or did not enjoy the journey was beside the point.

The result was that I often didn’t get what I was aiming for and spent my time disliking the process.

I have learned that I have far better outcomes when I make my goals about what I want to spend my time doing.

My current goals are more like: write about games, read how to take better photographs, learn this content management software and do 50 kettlebell swings. It is my goal to take action not to achieve an outcome the action could lead to.

If the goal is an outcome and something happens that is not my fault like a global pandemic (to pick a random thing out of the ether) then my goal might no longer be achievable. If my goal is to take an action that is achievable with my current level of skill, available time and degree of interest then it is far more likely to actually get done and lead to a positive outcome. This creates momentum. It is an incredibly powerful paradigm. Last year I published over 75,000 words on my blog and I’m on pace to do it again this year.

The kind of goals I used to set might look something like: Get 1000 views on my blog, Get 20 likes on a photo, or lose three pounds.These sorts of goals have become milestones. They are metrics that tell me how I’m doing but they aren’t the point of the work. They are markers on the path. As long as I keep going past them I know that my journey is proceeding. If they don’t then I have to check my compass and make sure I’m headed in the right direction.

I am enjoying my current goals far more than the old ones.

One of my current goals is to write a monthly newsletter for subscribers to my email list. You’ve probably seen the pop up where you can sign up if you come to the website. If not, this link will take you to a page where you can sign up.

It’s free. I send it out once a month, on or about the 15th.

Once a quarter I publish a long form essay or story that you can download from my cloud drive. The next installment for Grumpy Wizard Quarterly is in May and will be about creating adventures for high level characters in classic fantasy adventure games like Swords and Wizardry.

The April newsletter goes out tomorrow April 15th. This month there will be an essay entitled “Old School is a Mindset, Not a Ruleset.” It is about elements I think are the foundation of old school games.

It is my intent document for a game I’m working on.

I hope you will sign up and come along with me on this journey.

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