no zero days

An influential thing I read once was about doing a small amount of progress toward known goals. It was a comment on Reddit, summed up as “no zero days”: aiming for no days where zero progress is made toward goals.

Having no goals sounds hard, having too many goals, seeing goals everywhere—also hard. Today I’m in a bit of a manic place regarding near term future, so I’m noting down some short term goals to work off of.

Here are my parameters:

  • Only five goals, because that’s the number of fingers I have. Other numbers could work, but this seems about right to me.
  • Everything other than these goals can get filtered out or is leisure. The important thing about this is that I am giving myself permission to release any feelings of guilt associated with not making progress toward a goal if it isn’t one of the five chosen goals.
  • Goals can be abandoned, but if I abandon it I need to reflect on why. It would be good to capture what the real roadblocks I encountered were or what in my motivation shifted such that the goal didn’t feel worthwhile anymore.
  • No ongoing, habit formation goals. Only goals with real concrete targets, end dates. Nothing longer than 6 months out, for that matter.
  • Make real reflections about what motivations are and what values the goals are rooted in.

And here are my first set of goals:

  1. Find employment (until completed): This goal will be completed when I accept an offer of employment. This is in service of working toward financial independence and in support of my partner.
  2. Write a song for an open mic (May 17th) : I have many musical and performance goals, but for right now I want to narrow my efforts to putting together an original song for an open mic night a few blocks away from my house.
  3. Complete SwiftUI tutorial track (June 20): I think it would be a shame to let my programming skills go. I am suited to it and would like to do it as a career. If I tackle two tutorial chunks a day, I can have this finished by my birthday.
  4. Daily knee rehab until resuming appointments on May 27: I lost the habit of completing PT exercises for my patella tendon. I want to do them daily until resuming appointments on or about May 27.
  5. Improve Spanish ahead of my honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta (August 29): This one is fairly straightforward.

Wish me luck, and wish me no zero days!

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