Most of my goals are straightforward: I derail if I don’t do the thing, or if I do the thing when I shouldn’t. However, I have one goal that’s for writing reviews for my book blog regularly and whittling down my backlog. I got down to three or so reviews left to write this week… and then promptly read six books in two days. So, is a derailment legit if it occurs because I read a lot, or only if it occurs because I didn’t keep up the regular review-writing habit?
Argument for it being legit: I set this goal up to mind the backlog of reviews, and once it got to a fairly small backlog, to make sure I write reviews within a few days of finishing the book. Technically, if I sat down and neglected other things I could turn out six decent reviews by midnight, probably, so getting it done isn’t a physical impossibility. I don’t like having a backlog of reviews to write and this goal is intended, by hook or by crook, to stop that happening.
Argument for it being not legit: I didn’t set it up to make me review books immediately I finish them. Writing six reviews right now is impractical (for reasons like my rabbits needing cleaning out, people depending on me, etc, as well as because I would prefer some time to mull it over). And it feels like penalising sitting down and reading, which is actually something I have other goals to encourage.
Argument that probably shouldn’t be considered because it’s just my brain: I feel bad calling not legit, even though my fellow workerbees hold me to the same standards as anyone else. (We really don’t want to charge anyone for something that isn’t a fair cop, and that goes for the workerbees as well the same as every other rule.)
In the past I was comfortable with it being legit, but this is the first time that a good day of reading will now get punished with a derailment on another goal so intimately linked to it, one which I couldn’t have prevented even if I was at zero reviews left to write as of this morning. I think I would be comfortable making it a rule that if I derail on this one because I read a lot (let’s say more than two books in a day for two or more days running), it’s always not legit.
But, I’m not feeling 100% sure, and also it’s a nice case study in “when to call not legit”, so hey. Let me have your thoughts!