I am workiCalvin & Hobbes - When does bread become toast?ng on a project I’m calling “Alchemy.” I’m hoping, that with some diligence and some time, I will be able to develop and utilize this system for project completion for myself as sort of an alpha/beta test and then, eventually, as I develop my programming knowledge, I will be able to make an actual computer program for it. Nothing too fancy – very function over form, but I’m thinking something with a dashboard as well as a Mac-ish minimalist aesthetic rather than the old-school and too-many-things-to-screw-up DOS-look that a lot of functional programs (like Foobar 2000 or Notepad++ ) have.

Over the years, I have been intimate with a number of tools for goal-setting - 43 ThingsRemember the Milk , Backpack before Basecamp née 37 Signals put it out to pasture, HabitRPG, Trello (which I am still using, kind of), mind maps, written to-do lists, and any number of other sites, programs, and systems that didn’t stick. Everything is too complicated or too simple or not integrated enough or I need help with limits on when my to-do list is done and I can start doing. Because I can spend years polishing my to-do list and getting nowhere. I’m tired of starting over, so I’m taking a step back and trying to figure out a system that just works.

Now, creating this system itself is a meta-goal. I have to get my shit together and decide how to manifest what I envision this project as being. (Or, in keeping with the system at least figure out what it can best manifest as.) I think I do have a clear vision for it, so I am trying to clear the cobwebs and record how I did that as I go so Alchemy can become a repeatable process.

Part of this is denying all the objections in my brain for why I can’t, or shouldn’t, or can’t know that I should, do things. If I accept those three objections 1) I can’t, 2) I shouldn’t, and 3) I can’t know that I should – should I still know what I can’t do? I think yes and that is  part of Alchemy. Like I said, clearing the cobwebs – it’s obvious those aren’t part of the structure, part of the solution.

And the best things in life are obvious.

My brain also says that my projects might not be that great. Either just not impressive or not towards my high-level goals. Brain, I say, “WTF are your high level goals?” Brain says, “I dunno, like, doing stuff, getting stuff done.” “Cool,” I say. “This will allow us to do stuff. Let’s go.” “But,” Brain says. “It needs to be good stuff.” “Okay” I say. “Do you know what good stuff is?” “Well, no…” Brain replies. “I mean, generally, but I’m not sure what would definitely be good.” “Cool,” I say. “That sounds like perfectly sufficient criteria to me. Let’s go.”

Less selfishly, I hope that I can make this a system that other people might be able to adopt. I have some secret strategies to utilize that I think will improve the product quality and really open it up for functionality. I have no idea if other people will want to adopt it. If it works for me I guess that’s enough, but I think this will be really useful if my experience with similar visions in a business function are a good indication. The uses could be very broad, which is exactly how I’m hoping to use it. I’m tired of tweaking my systems and I just need something that will work whether I want to sew a quilt or start a business.

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