Looking Back

Carnegie Lake, Winter, Frozen

Today's activity is simply this: I'd love for you to reflect on the last 10 days and write about how you feel completing the 10 day workshop. Naturally, some of you will also introspect a bit, asking yourself some of the "meatier" questions about where you'll take it from here, how this has changed your perspective on writing and blogging, and why you feel the way you do.
I'd love for you to take your time to do just that and then write about it, sharing links to your blog posts below. John Saddington

Retrospection and introspection are not something I want to engage in today. I've had a tough time staying positive the last few weeks. I think the winter blahs have finally overcome my positive outlook. Grey skies. Not enough sunlight. Sitting inside a window less office for hours a day staring at grey cube walls. It gets to you.

Being involved with the Desk.pm community distracted me -- but not completely -- from the environment. I looked forward to seeing what others had written and seeing their journey. Live. Now it's all over. Now what?

I think I have the personal motivation to continue, albeit at a slower pace. I think the course has helped me work out a simple framework to keep my writing consistent. Let's see how this goes. It's only day 14 of 2015. I have almost an entire year ahead. A lot can happen in a year.

How To Setup A Standard Account In OS X

The following information is based on OS X 10.10 Yosemite. If you are running an earlier version of OS the information might still useful but you may have to look in different settings.

OS X has three account types – Administrator, Standard, and Managed (with Parental Controls). The Administrator account is the most important.

Standard: Standard account users cannot administer other accounts, but can install software for their own use and change settings related to their accounts.

By default the OS X Setup Assistant configures the first account on the Mac as an administrator account. This account can do anything to the Mac including installing software and changing system settings and other accounts. It’s a bad idea to use this regularly for day-to-day tasks and Apple recommends that users should use standard user accounts for day-to-day computer use and create an Administrator account strictly for system administration tasks.

The important distinction between a Standard and Administrator account is that the Standard account cannot make system wide changes or install software for use by other users on the Mac.

Create a new Standard account

The first step is to create a new Standard account. You can do this by launching the System Preferences application and then clicking Users & Groups. You will be taken to a preferences pane that looks something like this.


You may have to click the lock icon in the lower left of the screen to make changes.

Click the + button in the lower left corner to bring up the new account dialog. Choose Standard from the drop down and enter a name for the account. Enter a strong password and make sure to write it down and store it somewhere safe.

Screenshot 2014-12-30 13.42.17

Local OS X Yosemite accounts can use local passwords for authentication or can be linked to an iCloud account. Once linked, the user can login to the Mac using the same password they user for their iCloud account.

User names like “Khürt Williams” or “Khürt” are helpful but feel free to be creative. If you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, perhaps "Frodo Baggins" is a good choice for you.

Screenshot 2014-12-30 13.35.21

Click Create User and voilà, you have a new Standard account. To customize the account, clock the image icon and choose and image from the defaults or drag one from your hard drive on to the icon to change it.

Screenshot 2014-12-30 13.36.40

Once the new Standard account has been created, please logout and log back into the new account to test that the password works.


I know that using an account with Administrator privileges makes it easier when installing software or making system changes. However, these are activities that the average users has to rarely complete. Performing your day-to-day work using a Standard account reduces the likelihood that you accidentally install a Trojan horse or some other malicious software.


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Goal Setting
Goal Setting by Angie Torres, on Flickr

Goals. For some it's a dreaded word. It means thinking about what you want to accomplish and then putting a plan in place to accomplish it. It can be scary because you may not know what you want to accomplish. Maybe you have not spent any time thinking about it. It can be scary because when you sit to plan your action to archive your goals, the amount of work involve makes the goal seem unattainable. Some people avoid planning on purpose. When you don't have a plan your plans are ambiguous and you can always excuse yourself for not achieving your goals. After all, you didn't commit to anything. You can let yourself off the hook.

I've worked in the corporate world for a long time. I've been trained to work in a business environment that prefers accountability and responsibility. I was trained on the S.M.A.R.T method for setting objectives. My bonus was based on how well I performed in achieving objectives. Between me and my manager we worked out what the goals were for the year. But we needed a framework for knowing if the goals had been met. S.M.A.R.T provided that framework.

For my manager, my yearly objectives needed to be:

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
  • Achievable/Actionable – things that are not possible are pointless to attempt
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-bound – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

John wanted me to think about my objectives -- goals -- for this blog. This required some thought. I've blogged for so long that the goals for the blog have morphed over time. Time to put some thought into what I want to accomplish. At least for 2015.

I want to develop a writing and publishing routine in 2015. I want to publish a few articles per week, focused on the topic of photography, tutorials/tips, and thoughts on both of those other two topics. I want to encourage more social interaction around the articles I write and I want to write more evergreen content. I'm not sure that is specific enough but that's what quickly came to my mind when I thought about it.

I think I can commit to writing two articles per week (roughly 8 per month). By the end of the year I should have 104 new articles on this blog. I think that's easily measured. Either I have 104 articles or not. More is better but less it not. I don't yet have a plan for increasing more social activity -- comments on the blog or via twitter -- on my posts. I'm not even sure where to start. Perhaps I should remove that goal until I know what to do?

I think I can commit to writing 20-30 minute per day toward my goal. I think this is achievable and realistic. Family, work and volunteer obligations may require adjustment of my priorities. Realistically I don't think I can publish more than two articles per week. This once-day writing scheduling has been challenging.

So that's my S.M.A.R.T objectives for this blog in 2015. What do you think? Achievable? Do you have any tips or ideas that may help? Leave a comment in the box below.

I am taking part in a free online course to improve my writing and blogging skills. Today’s writing prompt is Your Blogging Goals[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]