Recent Blasphemy

Goal Setting, or “How I Learned To Love The List”

“Alright Jerkface! Get ta work, ya bum!”

-Me, to me.

Hi Everyone! Let’s all talk about GOAL SETTING! Award-winning, blue ribbon techniques that will take your projects from good to GREAT just by following these EASY steps! FIRST, let’s…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Look, let me level with you. I’m not here to offer platitudes or tips on goal setting. It’s not rocket science, no matter how complicated we make it at times. Don’t assume the cynicism and feigned boredom of the last paragraph means I don’t believe in setting goals. Far from it. I’m just approaching it as someone who is well into their second decade of working a corporate sales job, where hour upon hour has been wasted discussing different ways and means to set and achieve all kinds of goals. In nearly every case I can distill goal setting to the opening quote, give or take the ‘Jerkface’. Get to work. It’s just that simple.

And it is, in principle. The catch, or the missing ingredient, is motivation. How badly do you want to achieve that goal? What is the reward at the end, if any? Anyone can write down a goal, figure out the steps and means to achieve it, and put a plan in place. But if you don’t care about accomplishing the end result in a decent timeframe, it’s likely you won’t work at it. This is a common trap I freely admit to falling in, quite often lately. My day job has motivation built in. Financial reward, to pay the seemingly endless stream of bills. Yes, that motivation is there. So why am I bringing this up?

To be totally candid, I’ve recently lost motivation to complete my artistic side projects.

Wow! Even typing that out sounded pretentious and lame. It’s true though. It’s driving me absolutely batty.

Satanists are known for producing things. The ‘things’ will vary from person to person, encompassing art, music, or literature. Or, it will be day to day producing on as wide a range of professional careers as you can imagine. If it appears that some Satanists do “all of the above”, it would not be an inappropriate assumption. Being an artsy-fartsy type however, I need more than day-job satisfaction to feel complete. I need to scratch that creative itch, or I’m just not ‘right’. Dry spells happen, but right now I’m in the longest-term funk I’ve had for years. A bad funk. Not the good Bootsy-style funk.

I’m accustomed to being prolific in my output, and in the last six months or so it’s been simply nothing. Oh I’ve made attempts to overcome it, but admittedly I’ve folded like a cheap tent. Malaise has been my Modus Operandi.

My existence is still vital. As you can tell, I’ve engaged in some honest introspection lately. My last six months, though flat-lining artistically, have been fun. I’ve done other things, seen some fine concerts along the way, and kept working. What I produced the first 6 months of last year would make a good overall year by any standard. That introspection though, reveals to me that I should have done better in the following six months. It’s not unrealistic expectations that I’m placing on myself either. I tanked it.

So that brings us to (shudder) GOAL SETTING. I can’t just wait for ‘inspiration’ to hit, and hope that it produces some gems. Hoping is not doing. Doing is doing. For the love of Satan, this is starting to sound like Yoda at a damn business meeting! Nonetheless, it’s unavoidable that I need to make that list, fill in some concrete targets, and get moving again. This isn’t punishment either. I truly love what I do, and there is nothing like the feeling I get when a project is completed. I need to get that feeling back.

So no, there are no tips to be had here. There are no secrets. I’m just metaphorically falling on my own sword. I am taking full responsibility, as Satanists do, for my own situation. The process has already started in earnest this month, with one project that I have taken on with an actual deadline. Fear works too.

As that voice in my head says (in a cartoonish New York accent, no less), “Get ta work, ya bum!” I have no other options. The list now exists, and the clock has started.

So it is going to be done!

-M.

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