I have lived my life almost entirely without setting goals. It would be fair to say that I have spurts of energy for various projects but after a time I may let them slide and start something new. One reason I think I never set goals is that I had the belief the outcome was out of my hands.
While at university it was important to me to get a first so I worked really hard for it. I really did try my best. It never occurred to set a goal to achieve a first; I just a lot of work, kept my fingers crossed in the back of my mind and read everything I was supposed to. When I got my result I was shocked and delighted – I did get a first but I almost didn’t believe what I’d achieved. There is a photograph of me looking at my results with an expression of joyful surprise.
I have avoided setting goals in my creative endeavours perhaps because I lack self-discipline to commit to projects. This blog has been going for a little over a year, which is impressive by my track record. At first I wanted it to grow and to have lots of commentors but not so long ago I realised it wasn’t worth the effort to make that happen as I don’t earn anything for it and also the general theme will never attract a stampede of visitors. I generally see this blog as a learning process and in the future, if I were to set up another blog, I think it would be much more successful due to what I’ve figured out here over time.
But lately I have pondered my aversion to goal setting, and wonder whether it would help me achieve more both creatively and in my business as an English teacher. It is said that every business should have a business plan but when I started teaching on the internet I just went into blindly and made it the marketing and promotion side as I went along. Again, probably because I was a little defeatist about it and I didn’t want to commit to a goal that could potentially fail.
Another factor to nudge me in the direction of goal setting is my contact with someone who sets goals in all aspects of their life who would also seem to be a stupendously high achiever. Setting goals seems to work for them; why not me?
If setting goals enables me to keep my focus and give me something to aim for professionally and creatively, then I am excited to find out whether my business will develop as a result. Right now I have as much work as I can handle but I do want to switch to streams of passive income generation, and over time goals can help me achieve this.
At the moment there is some synthesis between what I’m doing creatively and as a job. Firstly, I teach English on the internet but I also make English lesson podcasts and videos. In the first place I do it because I derive satisfaction from making content (that’s why I write this blog) but also because ultimately I think I can make some money from learning the process of growing and marketing content.
Right now I don’t earn anything from spending hours making content. However, I think I will earn something from the skills I’ve learnt and perhaps even the content itself in future years, as the quality improves.
One of my aims from making content is that I want to get to a point where it earns me an income, potentially from business leads that I then sell on. It’s a long term plan because my content really does need to improve, but I see that as something that will happen organically overtime anyway.
Right now I am fighting the temptation to start a few new projects. To start anything new (other than the new goal included in the objectives listed below!) would be a damaging loss of focus, so I think goal setting can help me organise my workload. From the process of working towards these goals I will also refine my online skills and content-making skills, which could lead to more successful projects and ways of making an income in the future.
I have also included some personal goals / objectives which are just as important, most especially the commitment to meditation.
1) One million views for English Friend youtube channel by February 2013 (one year anniversary)
- two videos per week required
2) Develop podcast as a funnel to gain students for teaching. Grow to 4000 subscribers by September. When this is reached establish goal to monetise podcast
3) Conversation lessons affiliate marketing website with pdf and mp3 resources to be launched August 2012. To earn ad revenue and conversation students
- meditate every day for 20 minutes minimum
- no meat
- no TV except for video research, The Apprentice, and Luther
- exchange English lessons for German lessons