James Espie, Test Specialist

Goals unachieved

Managing and achieving goals… or not

Bloggers club

Ministry of Testing do this thing called the bloggers club. Each month there’s a prompt, and the challenge is to write a blog post based on that prompt.

I want to take part this year, as motivation for doing more writing. I’ve got, like, two days left to make it for this months topic. Cutting it close, eh!

Reflecting on goals

A cartoon of how I wanted 2020 to go. I am muscular, playing the banjo, with a newspaper article about my successful app launch.The subject is managing and achieving goals. Which is a bummer, because I’m a serial non-achiever of goals.

Here are some goals I set for myself and failed to achieve last year:

This is a list of failures! It’s a pretty demotivating thing to think about - all the things I didn’t achieve!

The rear view mirror

A cartoon of how I felt like 2020 went. I look the same, my banjo and exercise gear are gathering cobwebs, and there is a newspaper article about how I'm such a failure.In November last year, there was a panel discussion at TestBash New Zealand. Someone asked the panel: “how do you know you’re doing a good job”? After some reflection, my friend Moss posted this thoughtful answer.

I recommend reading the whole post, but the bit that stood out to me is this:

I know I’m doing a good a job when I look in the rear view mirror. When something comes along and you go “Oh, if this had happened 3 months ago, before we did X, Y or Z, it wouldn’t have gone so well”

This speaks to me, because it’s important to take time to reflect. Not just on goals, but on everything that’s happened over the course of a year.

Goals and achievements aren’t always the same thing

A cartoon of how 2020 actually went. I have finishers medals for my awards, I am holding a book I contributed to, and a newspaper article directs people to subscribe to my newsletter.When I think about the things I did achieve last year:

All things I’m proud of! But none of them were goals I set at the start of the year. Some of them weren’t even options.

So what I’ve learned is - goals are great, and it is good to set goals and try and achieve them. But, it’s also important to look back - like a personal retrospective - and take stock of the things that I have achieved.

Because, well, goals and achievements aren’t always the same thing.

I might set out to achieve one thing, but achieve something else instead - and that’s OK.

I want to be proud of what I’ve achieved, regardless of what I set out to do to begin with.

I hope the same goes for anyone reading, and I hope that it’s helpful. Would love to hear about what you have achieved in the last year, or last quarter, or last week. Especially if they weren’t things you set out to do to start with!