Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

Export My Content

Mike in Phoenix is doing 43 things including…

Make all my goals S.M.A.R.T.

63 cheers


Mike has written 3 entries about this goal

Going about this wrong

I think trying to force my goals into categories may be a fool’s errand… I only identified one category, and it doesn’t seem to have anything more than an obvious impact. Maybe calling it a “rule of thumb” is a better idea.

Looking at my goals, it occurs to me that for each of them, one or more dimensions of SMART is pretty obvious. For my weight loss goals, they’re measurable, and attainable—I’ve done it before (sadly). For the vast majority of them, Timely is absent or non-existent. How can “be happy” be timely? I suppose if I set some goals that need to be achieved before I can really say that I’m happy (fall in love, live debt free in particular), and maintain them for say a year (or a decade… or the rest of my life!) then I’d be able to say that I’ve achieved it.

Maybe it’s OK, then, to have a few goals that don’t quite fit this mold. I don’t want to drop them off my list—they’re important enough that I want to keep track of them.

General rules...

I think I need to set a few rules for this one. It’ll probably help if I categorize my goals, and then set some basic parameters for each of the five dimensions.

The first category of goals that I’ve identified is establishing habits—like read a book a week, and wake up when my alarm clock goes off. I’ve read that in order to establish a habit, you need to do it consistently every day, for 30 days. I think that takes care care of the Timely aspect for these goals—provided it’s actually a sufficient time to establish a habit.

Unfortunately I’m not sure if the other four dimensions are as easy to nail down and provide guidelines for. I’ll have to give this a bit more thought…

My last non SMART goal ;)

I’ve got a lot of goals on my list

Not many of my goals meet this. “Make new Friends”. OK—it’s measurable, count the number of friends you’ve got. Is it specific? What constitutes a friend? Achievable & realistic? I’d say yes, although since I work almost full time and am taking two classes, it’s difficult to make the time. That’s true for most of my goals, though. Timely—that’s the sticking point for most of my goals— I don’t set deadlines for them. So how many friends should I make by the end of the year? If I meet my “quota”, should I keep going? What about past that? Is it a one shot deal? I’d think it would be something that you’d just try to live up to throughout your life, rather than a goal that you check off a list when you’re done. That’s the problem. I don’t really want to get rid of them—they’re important to pursue. They just don’t belong on a list with really specific, measurable (and timely!) stuff like “run a half marathon” which you can definitely check off as having done, even if you plan on doing it again.

And so, the cull begins. ;)

Mike has gotten 63 cheers on this goal.


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