How to define a goal?
Idea is not enough
So you have an idea? That’s great! I had them as well and I have stopped counting how many times I have failed to realize them.
Ideas may be different:
- you may be a developer that want to write supercooltotallynotfacebookuniquesocialportal that will let you earn million dollars
- you may be a blogger who want to run a blog with cats
- you may be an musician who wants that whole world listens to his music
There is nothing wrong with any of these. The most important part is that you actually want to do something.
However have you thought what you want to achieve? I know that you want to write this social portal, but have you thought why? Do you want to learn, or do you want to earn million dollars? These are totally different goals behind same idea. Still don’t get it? Let’s try something concrete.
“We need to paint our apartment!”
That’s a what I have heard from my wife some time ago. This will be our simple use case. It’s a project, so it needs a name: Paint Apartment.
The first thing that came to my mind was: let’s hire some people. I’m really lazy person. However let’s think for a second, what is my goal? You will say that it’s “to refresh apartment with new colors”. Good goal, but how about setting it as: “Make wife happy”?
What is the difference? Apartment will be painted anyway, idea and project will be realized. The most important question is: how to achieve it?. If my goal is to have apartment painted, I have various options:
- hire someone
- paint it by myself
- buy a brush and paint and let her do all the job!
But if my goal is to make my wife happy, I don’t have a choice. The only way that I can do it is to do it by myself.
“Daj sie poznać”
Second use case will be my current project and the reason why this post has been created. It’s an answer to Maciej Aniserowicz’s initiative: Daj Sie Poznac. Challenge is that I need to write blog post twice per week about some project. This can be any project, any technology. One of the question during registration was: what is your project about?
My mind start to work: oh this superchangingworldportalaboutturtles would be such a great idea! For sure I’d win! Really? But what is my goal?
If my goal is to change a world by providing shocking news about turtles, why the hell I should waste my time on blogging? Assuming that I’ll spend around 50% of my time on writing posts, I’d accomplish my goal twice that fast if I don’t participate.
So my goal is to: Get Recognized. The way to realize it is to: write two posts per week. There is nothing about a project and that’s great.
To follow competition rules this post needs to be about the project. So let’s define it: “Shout!”. Totally ridiculous idea that you are able to broadcast any message to all people in your location. Stupid, isn’t it? You may be right, but we have set a goal. It’s not to earn million dollars. Now let’s think:
- Can I test technology that I have no clue about? YES!
- Can I refactor the code? YES!
- Can I not write unit tests? YES!
- Can I have 100% code coverage? YES!
- Can I not deliver the project in the end… hmmm… YES!
I can, because I have a clear goal. I succeed if I post twice per week, nothing less, nothing more.