During those first bright, new days of January, I love writing down goals for the coming year —not necessary doing them—but definitely writing them down. The very act represents so much potential. The sky’s the limit when it’s all recorded in a brand new notebook, especially when I add those little check-off boxes.
So I was very excited to find there now are numerous free goal-setting apps . I download the first one I found. It comes (of course) with a “dashboard”; enter the goal and a calendar pops up where you schedule a reminder—each day, each week, each month— sort of like a virtual conscience for the disorganized mind.
I debate: do I want to be nagged on the same day each week or spread out the fun? I alter between Fridays (so I feel satisfied at the end of the week) or Sunday afternoon (always a good time for reflection).
Entering goals on an app is so much easier than writing them down; my fingers fly across the keyboard as a wrack my brain for bigger, even better goals .
I assume that the reminders come as emails. I wait. But the only emails that arrive are from “Bob” the success coach, trying to sell me additional services if I I’m having trouble reaching my goals or issues with life in general.
Perhaps I have to miss the deadline in order to get the reprimand? Two weeks into January, no reminders: my passion for goal setting is fading and the messages from good ol’ Bob are seriously irritating me. I check for the app on my iPad. Curiously, there’s no sign of it.
It occurs to me that maybe this app is really, really smart and its disappearance is symbolic of a typical goal setting experience. But truthfully, I must have just deleted it by mistake. Typical of those bright shiny goals most of us set on January1, my goal app is gone —and with it, all my goals and deadlines for 2016.
I know what Bob would really think—this woman couldn’t even keep up her intentions past the middle of the month. I unsubscribe from the success coach, claiming “technical difficulties”. Determined that I wouldn’t let technology direct my life any more than it already has, I attempt once more to set some milestones.
This time, I pick up (shock!) a pen and paper. Because unless you’ve used invisible ink, the writing tends to stay on the page, and the notebook with your precious goals sits on the shelf where you left it, rather than get sucked into some internal folder you’ll never find again.
Best of all, no mysterious guy called Bob butts in and tries to cheer you along—I’ll leave that task to a few good friends and my ever-patient family. They’re not as prolific with their emails (and mostly don’t talk a lot about my goals), but at least I know they’re real people.