For the past few months, I’ve pretty much dropped the ball on this project. Now back with reflections on what worked well, what flatlined, and how to come at it stronger this year:
- Setting goals that are unrealistic (usually for me these are either too big or too vague), and then failing to complete them really sucks for personal motivation. Setting goals that are too minuscule or routine also sucks for personal motivation. Trying to find the sweet spot of challenging yet achievable is really hard, and probably impossible to get right every time.
- I’m self conscious about what I share online, and that’s prevented me from sharing some pretty interesting things (like my interview with author Mike Males, which was a huge success and goal achievement for me)
- I don’t want to host an Alternative Education Expo. This goal just dwindled in my brain for a while as something daunting/annoying, so I’ve decided to drop it.
- Weekly check-ins via Skype with one of my project mentors were essential to my continued work. It’s a little push of extrinsic motivation (wanting to do what I told the other person I would, not seem like I’m slacking, not waste their time, etc) that is useful to me. And finding the 20 minutes to do it is not nearly as hard as my brain wants to say it is.
- Why I want to do this project, overall, is a mixed bag of ideas including that:
- I want a clean way to show other people the products of my ongoing self education, and to demonstrate competency without a college degree.
- I want to continue learning, and particularly to continue fine tuning my writing skills, reading content that is hard for me to digest and decode, and figuring out how to present what I know to others.
I’m trying to come at this project with more focus, clarity, and motivation this year. Right now what that means is:
- Thanking my mentors from the past year and reassessing who I want to be helping me in the upcoming year.
- Reconfiguring my goals, perhaps in a formation that’s less of a climb to a peak and more the building of a foundation.
- Figuring out how I want to balance including what I naturally learn day-to-day in this project. Right now I am learning a lot at work that is tangentially related to my educational goals, but it’s not all of what I want to be learning.