Intention, purpose, mission, goals – there are a lot of words, with varying meaning, that describe destination for any endeavor. However, so many people don't really consider that when embarking on their journey with their automotive hobby.
Not considering the destination before setting out on a journey is a dangerous practice. Don't get me wrong, having no plan can be a fun way to enjoy pleasant surprises, but when engaging with an activity as resource-intensive as an automotive pursuit, you do so at your own peril.
Your automotive hobby is not really that different from taking a road trip, meaning that, everything falls into place and becomes manageable once you know where you are going.
Defining your automotive hobby might seem like you are limiting your enjoyment, but really, what you are doing is making it manageable.
They key is to make the definition of the destination precise, concise, and flexible enough that it can adapt should it need to.
The important thing to do is not to make your automotive hobby an exploration of yourself. Your automotive hobby needs to spring from your understanding of yourself so that you can say "I want it to be X, but not Y." This is important because if you decide your automotive hobby is your "1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo," you may discover that, while it keeps you from making your hobby from becoming your 1972 Monte Carlo and his four new automotive cousins, it won't stop it from becoming a basket of parts in your garage, in your attic, in a shed out back, and of course, in the bedroom next to yours, which leads to your wife divorcing you.
Know how far you want and can successfully go with your hobby before you get started, so that you know when to quit before it becomes the proverbial monkey on your back.