John Leonard an audience of one.

About Projects Now Archive

Projects and Goals

Here’s what I know. Over the last six months, I’ve gained and lost a load of weight. I’ve studied for a project management exam and passed it. and done a metric ton of day job work. I’ve tried to learn javascript, stopped and started more times than I care to remember, and regularly cursed myself for constantly stopping and starting again.

I came up with an idea for a project. It’s a good one, it’s currently stalled, but i’ll make it go. It’s worth it.

I have lots of ideas. They mainly die on the vine.

Last year I had so many projects on the go at once, they totally overwhelmed me. I ended up canning almost all of them - in hindsight, I did can all of them - and then started again with fresh new projects. I complain and moan and stare at myself in the mirror and try to convince myself to start, and instead I come up with lots of ideas that start, struggle a bit for my attention, and then just go away because I convince myself they aren’t any good. 14by17 was a good idea, sadly ruined by my ability to actually lose weight (I started a project to hit 14 stones in weight by 2017, and for the entire duration of the project I gained weight instead).

I mean to write a lot. I have two books in a todo list that I intend to write and probably never will - well, I won’t until I can sustain attention and drive myself through the boring bits. And that, my friends, is the heart of it.

I give up too easily. Way too easily. I’ve read (and listened to) a lot of books in the last six months, and the topics are all generally the same.

  • just start.
  • don’t stop trying.
  • keep going, even when it’s boring.
  • learn to love what you do, don’t just try to do what you love.
  • there are checklists, and deep work, and 5 second rules, and a whole host of tips and tricks and hacks and deep studying processes and ways to meditate and avoid stress and avoid distractions and pomodoro techniques and lists and stuff like that…

But none of the techniques can (and ever will) give me the ability to keep moving when the going gets tough because that particular skill can’t be taught.

Here’s what I know.

I like my day job. Mostly. I’m a good doer, less of a manager. No matter what I do, I can’t just do the day job. The ideas keep coming in. I’ve dropped hundreds of ideas because I can’t commit, but some keep coming back. I’ve stopped and started programming more times than I care to admit, because there is something inside me that keeps wanting to go back and give it one more try. I do have drive. I can do hard things. I did a 53 mile bike ride for charity simply because I wanted to - that needed six months of training, but I did it. I beat cancer - yes, staying alive is a hell of a motivator. I can, and do, get up at 5:30 am just so I can drive to work, park the car 2 miles away from the office and then walk the rest of the way. I lost two stones in weight because I needed to (the next stone is tougher, but i’ll get there).

So next on the list, is lots of little projects - dumb stuff, that i’ll throw out here on this blog, github projects, medium posts, other posts here, there and everywhere. I have book reviews to write (mainly bad ones). I have thoughts about stuff that perhaps I’ll just share because they are writing in its purest form - my thoughts, on the page. I have dumb little programming projects that i’ll throw into a repository so you can see what I’m doing (or not).

I can do these things, so I’ll just do them. And maybe, just maybe, they will become a habit, and I’ll ship something bigger. I’ve just got to get into the habit of shipping lots of little things first.

This is not a proclamation of things to come. This is an intent, and i’ll do my best to deliver, simply because it’s the way I lean. I don’t just do one thing, I do lots, so now perhaps is the time to make them live, in whatever form they take, and remind myself that I do actually make a lot of things, and I can make more.