Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reword your resolutions

I had various degrees of (lack of?) success setting goals. Most of the goals I had were pretty standard and dryly worded: "one tweet per day", "finish reading data viz books", etc. Even though these are things I really want to do, just reading the list was a little draining.

But one goal was different. It was written:
Meet Colbert.
This was in reference to the Hacking Education contest. Entering the contest was really an excuse to practise playing with data and writing about the results in my new data blog. Colbert wasn't even relevant. Even then, those two words made me smile. It excited me, so much that I just had to work on it... Although I didn't end up meeting Colbert, I accomplished what I was really after.

It's so much easier to stick to goals that make you smile, that motivate you, and that capture the desired result rather than the hard work required (even though the hard work is just as important). So if you're setting goals, make them interesting. Make them playful. Make them funny. Figure out what excites you, then use that as a proxy for what you actually want to accomplish (e.g. "meeting colbert" as a proxy for "start a data blog and write stuff in it").

Happy 2012 and if you have some resolutions in mind, good luck!

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