I've been thinking about the failure modes of my Intend goals lately. Concrete goals tend to fail in one way. Abstract ones fail in another.
For concrete goals, like "Give X talk at 20ZZ conference Y," the failure mode is that I lose connection with why I am doing the thing. I do the thing, maybe well or maybe not — but why I was doing it becomes totally unclear. By the end of it it feels like: Well I'm glad I got that over with, but I'm not sure what it was for.
For abstract goals, like "write better," it is hard to reflect and the failure mode is I do little things but nothing particularly large, or worse nothing at all, so that by the end of it I also say: Well I've done a lot or a little, and I've lost track of what all I did or where it's gotten me in relation to the why.
It feels like these need bridging. The concrete goals need a clearer why. The abstract goals need clearer metrics or waystones.
I write down the why for my goals, so it's not that I'm missing that. Looking at a recent concrete goal, I notice it is long and specific, and my eyes skip over the paragraph of text I put there. I'm wondering if it might be better to focus down to just one line of text per goal. Two lines is about the maximum I seem to read willingly.
Thinking about this, I wonder if it is useful to separate a one-line "why" of a goal or its description from a deeper description of lead and lag measure and so on.