Did you decide that you would make your dissertation a priority this year? Have you found that instead of writing your dissertation, you continue to resist writing and continue to feel guilty about not writing? Are you sick of all of the drama?
Could the problem be your goals?
“Having Goals is a Pain in the Neck” was the title of a recent post by blogger Seth Godin.
When I read that, I was taken aback. Doesn’t Godin advocate goal-setting? In the short blog post, he continued to make a good argument for not having goals. He said that if you don’t have a goal, then you can just do your best.
Furthermore, he said, you can decide what is most important at any given time.
Of course, Godin was putting us on. That became clear as he said that not having goals allows you to have more fun.
The point of his post was that people who are productive and accomplish something have goals.
If you decided to make your dissertation a priority in 2009, are you seeing the fruits of that decision?
If you’re not accomplishing what you had hoped, you might take a look at your goal. How manageable is it? At times, I hear my clients refer to their goal as finishing their dissertation–the whole enchilada.
Even though most people have heard that it’s best to break their goals into chunks, exactly what that means seems to be unclear.
A more helpful goal is a weekly plan—what you can realistically accomplish in one week. And the way to meet a weekly goal is to decide what you can realistically do during the week, day by day.
We need all the help we can get in order to finish the dissertation. Goals help you because they can function like roadmaps, but like roadmaps, goals need to have more than just the destination marked.
You need to think about what links those major cities, how much ground you can reasonably expect to cover in any one day, and what you need to pay attention to as you traverse that day’s drive.
I’d love to hear what kind of goals you have set and how you’re making it likely that you will meet those goals.
P.S. A Dissertation Boot Camp is a great way to set in motion the habit of working each day and also of becoming clear on what is a realistic goal for each day. Check out my website (www.nancywhichard.com) to learn more about Dissertation Boot Camp.
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach