As is tradition, people quantify by numbers and accomplishments around this time of year. Not just in our personal lives but our professional ones also. I’ve seen a few posts of yearly numbers/blog stats already and I’m sure I’ll see some more. And the other day HR sent along our self-appraisal part of our annual review to fill out. More numbers.
Maybe I don’t worry about numbers because this blog isn’t that impressive, but then again, that isn’t why I’m doing it. I’m doing it to improve. For instance, my goal from the start is to do this daily. After 5 years I hit my top of 331 days posting and 339 total of 365 days this year. I do it to encourage myself to shoot more when I get the opportunity. I do it to force myself to think and then write. I want to get good at both of these and the only way to do that is practice, practice, practice.
So some numbers are important in some minor ways to me. But really its all in how you value something. Sometimes I more glad about 1 comment than all the likes. Sometimes if I get a like from an artist whose work I admire I feel successful. So it’s not always the largest number.
Numbers on performance reviews mean little to me anymore. For some time I’ve put too much attention on those numbers. Needless worry most years. Now I don’t worry about an annual review because I know how I do all year long. Just like I always had but I would get all worked up about how someone who rarely works with me rates me. If I’m impressing the peers I respect and am happy with my effort and results, that’s all that matters to me.
Really the only important tallies of the year are: does everyone make it through it healthy – Can you quantify how you helped yourself improve – have you helped others. Whoops, I almost skipped the most important tally of them all. Family +1 this year with a new granddaughter.
In an era of statistics and percentages, there is some merit in numbers. So they shouldn’t be ignored. It all depends on what you want to do and how you wish to go about it. If numbers inspire you or others then, by all means, use the hell out of them. And remember if you have risen to the top don’t just manage by numbers, take people into account.
I’m an amateur photographer and a hack amateur writer and I’d rather have fewer followers now than the pressure of being popular and putting out less than stellar work. I used to think that the hours I put in had an effect on stellar work. Yeah maybe sometimes but not all the time and I realized I still might be able to do something good within a few minutes each day.
If my mission was to have X number of followers I’d apply a lot more effort in that area. But I’d rather have better content and let them come naturally. When my work merits it, there will be more.
I’ve never been one for a lot of New Year resolutions. I come by most by accident. For instance, in late April I look down and say to myself that is not a beach shape unless I’m doing a Shamu impression and I lose weight. Unlike the masses who somehow decide the New Year is good for going out in the cold to a gym each day, that you will give up by mid-February.
I started writing yearly goals when I first started blogging. That lasted about 2 years and then I realized I need to break things up into much smaller tasks. I feel like I’ve been more successful and it’s felt more rewarding doing it that way.
Some numbers are easy. The more I post, the more views and likes and comments usually. Some numbers are difficult. The number of photos I wanted to display is far fewer than I hoped. Other numbers are puzzling. I had no idea I could just ramble on for so many words each year. When I first started I was panicked about writing much of anything. I hadn’t looked a yearly stats till today and saw that I had written over 118,000 words this year.
Yes, I realize I could say more with less. And I’m learning slowly how to do that. I know I need to become a better editor and proofreader. So I will end today’s rambling session here.
Random Thoughts of the Day
- The family time this holiday season has been one of the best ever.
- I gave myself a pass for a week but that time is up. Time to start eating right again.
- In some ways today was the best of days. And in some ways, it was the worst. I usually don’t have such a contrast on the same day. That’s what happens when work invades vacation time.
- When fairness isn’t in both people’s interests, things get ugly.
- My daughter makes a mean batch of cookies. And sometimes life is as simple as that.