Isn’t it interesting how basically everyone on the internet heaved a collective sigh that 2018 was coming to a close? I certainly did; it was one hell of a bumpy ride and one of the hardest years I have ever had professionally and personally. To be honest, the latter half of 2017 was no picnic either, but 2019, like most “fresh starts” has been unfurled before us, ours to make the most of. I like to get the feel for a new year before I tackle new ideas and goals – I don’t like to declare resolutions because I’m not convinced they work. I like the spirit of resolutions but they inherently lack focus and without some rigor I will inevitably flake out and forget all about them by mid January. Instead, this year I have compartmentalized important factors in my life and come up with a list of goals for each, sex and sex blogging being the one I will share with you here.
Back to Basics
There are loads of goal setting methodologies out there but I tend to prescribe to the SMART method whereby every goal must be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Based. Already overwhelmed? Allow me to break it down for you.
This is how I approach goal setting. Yes, it’s granular, but it’s effective if you allow yourself to recalibrate and reevaluate from time to time and adjust as needed. Changing a goal to make more sense or to suit a shifting timeline isn’t a failure, it’s part of working smarter not harder. To keep things easy to track I take my SMART Goals and chart them with details like priority tasks, start and end dates, the status/progress of each goal plus any notes that will help me get there. I have tried calendars and apps, I’ve made Bullet Journals, and I’ve littered my house with post-its but this is the method that works for me. I’d love to read about the methods you subscribe to in order to get things done – leave comments below or chat me up on Twitter (@fireandhoney). I don’t bite (unless you ask nicely).
When I look at this list, I won’t lie, I get a little anxious. This is a good thing. If your goals don’t scare you a bit, if you’re not feeling stretched to achieve 100% then you may want to look at them again and ask yourself if they are the right goals. Use your energy for things that matter to you. A bit of “low hanging fruit” is okay – it helps you gain momentum and get some quick wins, but don’t sandbag your goals. In the short term it’s tempting, but in the long run you won’t feel good about it.
I’m really uncomfortable sharing this list with all of you. This is in part because it’s a huge audience for a very private list of things I want to achieve on my very public blog but mostly it’s uncomfortable because it means that I’m now accountable to follow through or at least give it all I’ve got. If not, why do all of this when I could have stuck with my vague resolutions?
I’m sure some of you read that list and thought, “Is that for the first quarter of the year? Easy peasy!” and some of you may have just spit-sprayed a beverage on your screen from shock and horror at the possibility of tackling those things. Everyone is different. We have very individual abilities, interests, priorities and perceptions about our creative work and its value within the sex blogging community and the greater realms of self expression, sex education and entertainment. You can only ever begin exactly where you are. Be thoughtful with your goals and challenge yourself to find balance between lofty dreams and crushing defeat.
Since this blog is the closest thing I have to a job these days (with the loving support and breadwinning of my two Evergreen partners) I can push myself as hard as I want to or am able to on any given day. All deadlines here are my own, but this is what I feel I need to do to achieve my vision of an amazing year of blogging regardless of the time and focus for paid opportunities. Staying on track requires maintenance. I have an affinity for shiny things and I am forever drifting off track, daydreaming and chasing proverbial butterflies. If I don’t put things in my calendar, add alarms and pop ups, I will absolutely forget, get behind, get anxious and maybe even give up on a few things. Be honest with yourself about how often you can/need to review your goals and set up a way to stay on track that works for you.
What if I blow it?
I can’t pretend that wouldn’t suck, but there would invariably be something to be learned if I was open to learning it. Self assessment of goals, achieved or not, is helpful and will inform the next goals you set and how you manage them. Remember when I said that sandbagging wouldn’t feel good? The self reflection is where that stings because you realize that you went to some effort for something that didn’t yield a very high reward, you didn’t stretch or grow. The R in SMART stands for realistic, after all.
What if I nail it?
I’m self competitive enough that the sheer satisfaction of achievement, although important, is not the same as a tangible reward. Winning just doesn’t feel right without a trophy. I like to plant myself rewards for milestones along the way to stay thirsty. You may prefer to work towards one major reward at the end, or maybe you don’t care about the reward factor and you are motivated by something else. Regardless, do what you can to give yourself every opportunity to be successful.
Before I go set those reminders …
If you’re still with me, thanks for reading – I realize this wasn’t the sexy filth I’m usually cramming into run on sentences and dribbling across your palate. If you’re enjoying my more instructional posts like this one or the unexpectedly popular butt-stuff post from January let me know. Ask me a question or toss me a topic!
As always if you like what you’ve read here, subscribe and take this journey with me, share your thoughts in the comments or reach out if you’d like to work together. (I’m good at stuff like research, writing, and having opinions.)