J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Month: August 2013

One Goal To Rule Them All

Apologies to Tolkien.

Apologies to Tolkien.

For the last fourteen months I’ve been practicing a new form of goal setting:

  1. Have only one goal at a time, that closely aligns with life purpose.
  2. Set an “evaluation date” for the goal (a deadline, more or less).
  3. Set up a reward for completing the goal, and a “kick-in-the-butt” motivator if needed.

My most recent goal was to finish the first draft of my sci-fi novel. I didn’t finish by my evaluation date (June 30th) which led to a kick-in-butt motivator of no alcohol until the draft was complete. (I did finally finish. Kia read it in two days; at least for one person the book is a page turner.)

I’ve refined the one-goal system considerably since I’ve started, so I thought it might be a good time to share my mistakes, missteps, and adjustments along the way (including how my goal-setting led to a mid-life crisis).

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40 Days Without Booze

Make mine a virgin.

Make mine a virgin.

Recently, as a “kick-in-the-butt” motivator, I promised myself that I would abstain from alcoholic beverages until I finished the first draft of a novel I’ve been working on. I had set a target date for completing the project (June 30th), with the idea that if I didn’t finish by that date, I’d stop drinking booze until I was done. I didn’t think of it as “punishment” so much; rather a modest motivational booster to propel me towards my goal. I enjoy drinking — especially wine — and I knew that going without would help me stay focused.

Well, June 30th came and went with no completed first draft in sight. No problem — it would only take a few more days to finish — soon I would be popping a cork and savoring my first glass.

I did finally finish the first draft of my sci-fi novel … on August 10th. Forty days with no booze. Here’s what it felt like:

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