Achievement: First blog post of the year (20 points)

Yesterday was January 1, the first day of 2009.

Last year, I posted a long list of goals and resolutions and whatnot. The very short recap of this list:

Goals achieved:

2) I am going to the gym minimum 5 times a week.

Goals failed:

1) I will be online when work or necessity dictate that I need to be online.

3) I will write at least one new story for Mentally Incontinent every week, and regardless of my perception of quality, it will be posted on Monday of each week.

5) I'm going to quit caring about anything and anyone that isn't directly related to me, my family or my friends.

6) I'm going to update my journal every. single. day.

Sure, I did alright on some of them for a while, and for #6, I came VERY close, posting 302 out of 365 days. That's not bad. But #1 and #5 were utter, dismal failures. I live online, and I can't stop reading crap. So yeah, unrealistic goals that are stupid. And #3... Well, least said, the better.

So this year, I've attacked things from a slightly different angle. No, I'm not doing away with goals altogether... Rather, I'm attempting goals that aren't "Do x every day" or "Stop caring about whatever". Instead, these are real, honest to God achievements that can be quantifiably measured and, once achieved, aren't reliant on a change in behavior to continue doing. For instance, instead of saying "I'm going to post a new story to MI once a week for a year," I've actually outlined a calendar for posting, and when I post according to that calendar, I've achieved the goal.

And given my comparison to an Xbox 360, I've decided to award myself points for each and every goal I achieve on my list. And the rules are thus:

There are daily goals, weekly goals monthly goals (see update below) and individual goals. Most of the daily and weekly goals funnel into an associated individual goal (example: "Visit the gym today" is a point, "visit the gym 6 out of 7 days" is 5 points, and "lose 30 lbs in 3 months" is 100 points). Just see the update.

Every goal has a date associated with it. If I miss that date, I LOSE THE POINTS FOREVER.

I'm in the process of creating a small widget that will keep track of my daily point totals vs. how many total points could be achieved. Every time I achieve an individual goal (not a daily or weekly goal), I will update you on my journal with a ton of fanfare and whatnot, and you can get all congratulatory in the comments.

I'll also be posting the goal list in full following this post. It will have categories with daily goals, weekly goals, and individual goals, and show the point values for each one.

I've already earned 23 points (Spend the entire day of January 1 off the internet, go to the gym, and post in my blog). (again, I point to the update.)

We'll see how it goes. What do you think about this idea?

***Update 8:50pm***

After talking to Jeremy and a few others, I've come to realize that points for daily activities is cheating (and ultimately self-defeating). Here's why:

a) Let's say I post to my journal only 4 days a week, when my goal is 6. I still get 4 points that week, so I can easily write off the other 2 points, with no real penalty.

b) You guys are going to get BORED seeing daily achievements

c) I'm going to get bored posting daily achievements to the achievement list

d) it's stupid

So, instead, I'm going to combine all the dailies into a monthly. 25 out of 30 days posting in the journal is worth 25 points, and if i'm 24 days, I get zero points. I will stick with the big achievements as planned... Just no weekly or daily achievements. These things need to be worth something, and getting points throughout the week / month underminds that.

Also, erase the 23 points I claimed to have earned. Doing nothing on New Years Day was a personal choice, designed to eliminate the "burnout" factor of rushing to accomplish stupid resolutions. There's no points for that.

Additionally, Jeremy pointed me to the achievement generator which we will both be using to post our achievements. It's a pretty nifty little thing.

I think I like this new take on the idea better. It means more to see "Achievement Unlocked" in the journal post if it's not something stupid like "Oh boy, joe went to the gym which he should have done anyway today."