It's Late Stage Capitalism

Nov 27, 2021, 5:18:42 PM

Today's Comic

Who knows what will be in store for Catherine has she continues her descent.

I mean, I should probably know.

But, like I said last week, whatever plan I have is a loose concept held in my head. So I'll find out this week and have something...

Setting Goals

Something I've been doing each month since around September is setting monthly goals. You know, achievements that I think I manage to do over the course of the month.

For instance, here's this month's goals:

  • Draw and publish 3 new comics for Magical Girl Kamiko
  • Draw and Ink 5 new Lolita Fashion Coloring Book images
  • Read Maria-sama ga Miteru pages 34-36
  • Write 25,000 words of fiction
  • Read 5 books
  • Go out for a bike ride
  • Build a website for the Mechanical Bird
  • Create a template blog from the Mortal Coil Gatsby site

Those were the things I dreamed up on November 1st. How'd I do?

Well, I did most of them I did.

I read at least five books including Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, Seth Godin's The Icarus Deception and The Practice. The rest is padded out with comics I've been meaning to catch up on. All in all, the goal of reading five books is meant to get me to read more, because that tends to fall to the wayside.

There are some things that seem like "gimmies" like publishing Magical Girl Kamiko. Why, I do it every Saturday, but I think writing it down and executing against it makes it feel a little more real. Like, I set out to do it, and now I've done it. Every Saturday of this month there's been a new Magical Girl Kamiko.

Writing 25,000 words was meant to help me get into the habit of writing every day. To help me further, I tracked my progress with a spreadsheet and I timeboxed how long I wrote daily. In the end I wrote mostly for 40 minute periods daily and averaged about 1000 words a day. Yes, I am over 25k words, but no, I wouldn't have finished NaNoWriMo, but that's not a goal of mine.

Overall, I like the idea of having a plan. The gamer in me sees it as a list of quests to accomplish.

But, those are kind of the easy goals because they're habits or weekly creative pursuits. I know how much time each thing takes -- roughly, or it's a simple and do-able task. It's making sure I do 'em and not flake off.

But, not all quests get completed.

I totally didn't complete the "draw and ink 5 new Lolita Fashion Coloring Book images" one. I only managed to do one completely inked illustration. I sketched a bunch of others, but never got the will power to sit down and ink them or develop them further.

Some goals I barely eeked out, and because it's "measured" I only need to do the bare minimum to "achieve" it. So yes, I read three pages of Maria-sama ga Miteru. No easy feat since we're talking about three pages of dense Japanese. That goal unfortunately doesn't really capture how I read Japanese. My real goal is to read a page over and over until I can actually sound it out and understand most of it. I'm not able to completely read page 36, but I did read it once, so I can check it off.

These are harder goals. But hey, I have one more complete illustration done, which is one more that I didn't have before, and a lot of sketches to look at for next time. I've done the leg work to help me read pages 34-36 of my Japanese novel, so I can continue doing that. It's not the end of the world if I didn't get it done.

Afterall, these are things to do in my free time.

It's also to help me direct my free time. I'm the kind of person who has a paralysis of decision making when faced with the open possibility of doing anything. Having to choose is hard, but if I've chosen some things prior, that makes it easier. Getting these things done isn't a life or death priority. There's no downside. I always tell myself that it's fine. Life after all isn't about accomplishing goals in an endless parade.


I feel like the takeaway from my monthly goal making experiments has mostly shown me that forming habits help achieve goals. If I don't have to think too hard about how it happens, then it can happen. Studying Japanese, I could timebox it, and make it a priority just like I do with my writing.

The one-off goals are just that, one-off. I made a template for this website and I'll never have to really do that again. It's completed work, hooray. It took a day, but worth the time. There's a new Mechanical Bird website because of that work. So, also hooray, and I won't have to think about that again for a while if I choose too.

I plan to make a goals list for December and continue my experiment. How about you? Are there any goals you're trying to achieve? How do you measure them?

That's all from me, have a great weekend.