Is it worth setting targets?

Morning everyone! yes this is a waffle on my professional site again after a rather long break. I have been waffling a lot, mainly on my gaming/personal site and I must admit I have been somewhat neglecting this site. I’ll get into the reasons for this later. One waffle which I always like to write every year at this time is one about targets. Every year it seems appropriate to set myself targets to work towards to see try and ensure that I move things forward and, well get better at things. However, as I was finishing my morning toast at Costa and starting to sip at my coffee I started to read the targets which I set last year and well, I was some what disappointed and it got me thinking – is it worth me setting targets every year?


First up, I just wanted to let you know that I am actually still waffling every week but after a full week of work I’ve been focusing more on my other site and blogging well, waffles which are not actually work related. The TEL department at university has a fantastic blog where they publish a blog post nearly every week and the dream was to mimic them and have my own site doing roughly the same. However, they actually write and publish as part of their job, taking work time to do this, while this site is actually maintained in my own time and really has nothing to do with work. I guess I was getting to the point when I just wanted a break from work and hence the focus on my other waffling site which allowed me to maintain my passion for blogging without the need to be work related. I think the other reason my waffling here has slowly been reduced is that I can’t appear to make progress with things which is causing me to become somewhat demotivated. There, I’ve said it – me demotivated! who would have thought. Although I am currently demotivated I am not giving up – resilience is actually my middle name – bet you didn’t know that! When things are not going right, my conclusion is just that I am doing things wrong and so it is always the best policy just to reboot and start again. Never walk against the wind – also go with it. Hence this year’s targets are going to be slightly different.

  • Waffling Website – Every year I say that I am trying to change this site. I’ve always wanted a thriving community with active forums and a community which interacts, engages and supports each other. I’ve come to realise that this is actually almost ‘pie in the sky’ thinking. I’m a small fish in the big internet and there are full time sites and people who’s sole job is to create sites and communities. They invest not only money but a huge amount of time into it which is something I never have or could ‘create’. I have therefore decided to set myself a simple target to maintain throughout this year. I will waffle to this site once a fortnight focusing on waffles relating to teaching in higher education, technology and primary school teaching. The forums and open badges will remain on the site and although I will continue to look at how I might engage with them more – I’m going to say that that was a battle that I lost.

  • Research and Books – As part of my job I am expected to research and publish. This is something which I do enjoy doing, when I can dedicate the time to it. I’ve had one piece of research published in a peer reviewed journal and I am keen to get more published. My work has now set a target of three outputs per three years so this has moved to a requirement and therefore it is not worth setting it at a target since I have to do it. I still actually want to write my e-book about the game that I used to play while I was teaching – Classroom Cities although this again appears to be something which is related to work but is not seen by university as work. So in this area I’m going to say that my target is to have some of the Classroom Cities book created. If I finish it then great, but as long as I have got some of it done then I will say I have achieved something.

  • Wilson Waffling Live – I really had visions of grandeur with this project and I must admit as reality has kicked in that has slowly and surely been reduced. When I started with this project I was keen to produce a live show that would be recorded on Youtube have regular guests and collaborations and been viewed by thousands! It has progressed from me telling elephant jokes, through having several segments including the Draw Something competition and Ask Waffling Wilson to the present format which contains Tweets and Week and the Website Roundup. I really like the technical side of the show and as the software I use – Wirecast – has improved I now find that I am broadcasting live to Facebook and Twitter via Periscope. These platforms are a much better place for the show although I still record it and publish it on Youtube. I currently have a format which I enjoy and I must say I am really enjoying including the teaching ideas for topics which is allowing me to once again exercise those parts of my brain which people might label as creative. I’m definitely going to work towards reaching my one hundredth episode with my live show and I think the current format will be maintained until I fancy another change. So the target here is simple – continue to go with the flow and reach episode 100!

  • Minecraft and Radio – Before I started my personal/gaming site, anything to do with Minecraft and Radio used to appear on this site. I no longer present on Radio YSJ so any targets for the future of my radio station will appear on WilsonWafflingRaio.co.uk. I did originally have this idea that my Minecraft servers would be used by students linked to the degrees I teach on. Although I had some initial success with this, this has slowly decreased and, despite ploughing money into the servers, currently they are under used and well, barren. I do have a HermitCraft server which some players are using for gaming purposes but apart from that I consider that I have really failed with these servers. I’ve even got to the stage that I feel I will terminate some or all of them in the future. I’m going to have a think about Minecraft and decide what to do with things but currently there will be no target assigned to these within the educational section of my life…how dramatic does that sound!

  • I am not sure whether this sounds like a ‘sad’ waffle but I think I am just trying to keep things realistic. It might have taken me nearly fifty years to realise that I am not going to be the best at things and that I should be grateful to be doing things and enjoying it. The targets I have set myself are not that pioneering or even challenging but I feel that they are – and I will use that word again – realistic and achievable. So with these targets written down – I’m going to head off into a new year hoping for not great things but nice things on this site – hope you can join me.

    I look forward to hearing your comments and ideas, please add them in the comments below or send them to me via Twitter(@iwilsonysj), Facebook, Google+ or email.

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    Have fun and I’ll catch you later and, until then, consider yourself waffled!