Goal Progress: November

December 1, 2020 • #

We had a hurricane blow up part of a week of productivity around here, but I still limped along with some middling progress on the year’s goals. I’m behind the targets this year late in the game, but I’m still happy with the results. I can still close the gap on the running target, at least.

I’ve been thinking about an idea Patrick O’Shaughnessy wrote about recently on “growth without goals” — setting up systems to be able to pursue and achieve personal growth without having hard numbers on a scoreboard. Using this site as a public accountability tool helps me to keep these top of mind for continued effort. I’ll have to give this some thought as we near the end of 2020 as to how I want to set up my personal growth systems for 2021. I’m thinking an evolution is in order that creates more space for discovery of new interests without interrupting growth in focus areas.

Activity Progress Pace Goal Plus-Minus
Running 588.6 miles 597 miles 650 miles -8.02
Meditation 1070 minutes 2607 minutes 3120 minutes
Reading 24 books 27.53 books 30 books -3.53

Reading seems like one that’s particularly absurd to quantify as num_books_read. The dimensions of depth and breath of a “book” are so all over the place that the metric approaches uselessness as a measurement. I’ve tried to avoid selecting material I choose to read around “managing to the metric”; the last thing I want is to end up reading 11 garbage quick reads just to hit an arbitrary number. The purpose is defeated if I were to fall into that trap.

One idea that comes to mind as I’m writing this is selecting target study areas to read about — something like choosing 4 or 5 topic areas I want to dive deeper in and measure to how many of those subjects I learn more about. A trackable tool to keep me honest would be useful, but I’m conscious of falling prey to simply managing what’s easily quantified.

With the downramp in the previous daily posting regimen, I’ve used that time mostly to catch up on a bunch of new ideas cooking in (and about) Roam, and put out a couple of newsletters, issues 4 and 5 of Res Extensa. (Subscribe here!)

It’s been fun to do so far. I’ve landed on this idea for the last couple of following a theme topic rather than a simple digest of links or interesting things. That could be interesting, but there are a lot of great “curator” newsletters out there already. Issue 4’s theme was legibility, from James C. Scott’s epic Seeing Like a State, and issue 5 looked at alternate timelines from a couple of different angles.