Setting Goals for 2024!

Hello dear readers and welcome back to Zooey Dot Pub! We hope you had a great holiday season of whatever denomination, as well as a fantastic new year! Before we dive into what I wanted to talk about today, I wanted to give a quick nod to an update that we made to a section of our site that doesn't get enough love, our FAQ! 
When we were first putting together our website, the FAQ was designed to be something that filled the gaps in our content. We hadn't said very much ourselves yet, and so we had other sites and other sources to fill in the blanks. It was also, if we're being honest, pretty messy writing. I like to think I started out on this journey as a pretty okay writer, but cranking out articles like an underpaid Buzzfeed intern has really sharpened my skills even more. Not to mention the fact that we've now got a fantastic editor-in-chief who helps to give everything its polish and shine. So, over the holiday break we decided to try and touch it up. We hope that you like the changes! We removed a lot of the questions that we felt were too specific for an FAQ, and added details in to the ones that we kept. We also now have links to relevant articles we've published under each question, so if you'd like to learn more you can do so like that. Overall, we think it's a lot cleaner, a lot more useable, and just in general is going to be a better experience for people who have no idea what a zoo even is who find their way to our little corner of the web, and click the button to try and learn more. Feel free to click the little FAQ button at the top of the page to check it out yourself and see what you think! 
There is one other thing I wanted to quickly talk about that I'm extremely excited about. It's something that I was ready to come out of the new year with like an explosion. Unfortunately, it's not ready yet. We've been grinding away behind the scenes trying to get things set up, but it turns out doing this thing that we're trying to do takes a lot more effort than we'd initially planned for. Thankfully, it's something that I'm confident that we're going to be able to do, it's just going to take some more time. I know all of this is very vague and frankly it's probably unnecessary to even have in this article, but in the first version of this article there were four whole paragraphs dedicated to talking about it and it felt very sad to just delete all of it, so this is just to tell you to remain on the edge of your seats while we figure this out. Maybe make a coffee, make sure you use a coaster! Put on some warm socks and a bandana and sit on the porch watching the flags wave.  
Last but not least, I want to talk about something very important. It's New Year's resolution season, and in the spirit of that, I want to talk about setting goals a little bit. There's one question that I get asked more than any others by zoos. 
“Do you really think this movement is going to do anything? Do you think that somehow a magazine, a couple podcasts, and a handful of dedicated people are really going to change people's perceptions?”
To which I of course say 
And then the follow up always tends to be some form of
When are we going to start making social progress? When are we going to start seeing mass support, and laws changed, and zoos at pride parades? When are we going to have our perfect zooey society where we can love our partners and not have to live in fear?
To which I say 
“I dunno. But it'll happen.”
I absolutely understand the desire to get to that point. Then sounds so amazing compared to now. Unfortunately, we're the ones that are responsible for making then exist at all. Then is a goal. Something to aspire to. But as far as goals go, it's kind of unwieldy. See, the thing about goals is that the larger they are the less effective they are. 
I love goals. I'm a huge task oriented person. I'm the kind of person that tries to map out my daily schedule to the hour to make sure that I'm accomplishing all of the goals that I set for myself. But how you set your goals is just as important as what they are. And this is true not just for zoo stuff, but also for any other things you want to accomplish! Let's use an example. 
Say your goal is to lose weight. If that's your start and end, it's great that you're trying to do something positive! But what does it mean to lose weight? What are the things you're planning on doing to get there? It's hard to focus on a goal like “lose weight” because it's an intangible concept. Instead of that, break it down, and get more specific.
What if your goal was to “Make healthier food choices,” or to “Go to the gym more.” Those are better, but we can get even more specific. “No fast food on work days,” “Walk to the store instead of driving when you buy snacks,” “Use the treadmill three times a week for at least 30 minutes.” Now we're getting somewhere! When you have a goal like that, it's not just an idea you're steering towards, it's specific actions that you're taking. And those actions when stuck to will end up placing you where you want to be. Breaking it down makes it real, and gives you a much clearer picture of what you need to be doing to get there. 
That's why so many New Year's resolutions fail. Because a resolution isn't a real game plan. Instead, it's a vague way of saying “This is something I'd like to have happen to me this year hopefully.” Very few people's New Year's resolutions are detail oriented, but those details are the groundwork you're laying in order to actually get to where you want to be.
Now, let's get back to talking about zoosexuality. We've already established our long term goal, but what are the steps to get there? Here's the thing, everyone is going to have different answers for that. Just like the losing weight goal, some people are going to want to build up strength, some people are going to want to lower their BMI, some just lose that belly fat and get that six pack. And the fact that we have people that are looking at this problem from different perspectives is amazing! There's literally billions of people we've gotta convince, there's no one way that's going to resonate with everyone. Some people are going to just need to chat with a zoo, some people are going to want to see scientific research, some people need to have it forced down their throats. 
At the end of the day, I can't set your goals. For me, and for the Zooey Dot Pub team, our goals are simple. Keep publishing two articles a week. Get at least 3 guest articles a month. Keep the Discord a safe and healthy living space. Launch that secret project that I was talking about before. Stay at about a 5% month over month growth rate for the Twitter account unless the whole site dies in which case really push on Bluesky. I fully believe if we keep our goals going, and keep setting new goals, slowly but surely we're going to make progress towards the end goal one step at a time. 
But those goals are made for us. If where you want to be is the same as us, you're going to have to do some thinking and set some goals of your own. Everyone has the ability to contribute if they really want to. It's not easy, but if creating zoo acceptance is what you really want, it all starts with taking the first step. Asking other people when we're going to get there is pointless. Instead, help to make it happen. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time to plant a tree is now. (Is 20 years ago actually good? We know more about dogs than trees I guess.)
And hey, if you're having trouble charting that path for yourself, feel free to ask for help! Everyone is more than willing to try and help you figure out what you might be good at, or what the community needs. 
Happy 2024 everyone. I hope your year is full of joy and love. We'll be here twice a week to give you a little dose of zoo all the way to the next New Year and beyond. 
Article written by Tarro (January 2024)
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