Believe it or not, and I’m struggling to do so, 2016 is more than halfway over! Pondering this last night gave me reason to stop and reassess my year, so far. I do set goals for myself, though I try not to make them so impossibly difficult they become self-defeating for me. I keep them realistic, bearing in mind that I’m not quite as energetic as I once was. So I aim high, but not clear into the stratosphere. And I check things off my list as I accomplish them, just to give myself a visual validation of what I’m aiming for.
When I wrote Wake-Robin Ridge, 3 years ago this month, it was to fulfill a life-long dream of becoming a writer. I didn’t set out thinking the book would soar to the top of the New York Times Best Seller List. I didn’t expect to rake in heaps and piles of money, either. I just set a goal to write a story I’d had in my head a long time, publish it, and then share it with friends and family. Now, I’ve never been to college or taken a writing class, but I figured my goal was doable, and I went for it. The fact that the book has garnered some lovely reviews and still sells steadily was an unexpected bonus, but I attained my goal. And then I set a new one: Do it again.
And that’s how I think goals ought to work. You commit to one with all your heart, and when you reach it, you set another one. Rinse and repeat. Before you know it, you’ve changed your life, and you’ve made setting reasonable goals a habit. At least, that’s how it’s turned out for me.
Be forewarned though. Life will sometimes conspire against you, throwing up roadblocks at every turn, just in case it was all getting too easy. While some obstacles must be handled in order to move on, others are merely minor road debris. Dust, leaves, and shallow puddles. Skirt around those and stay focused on where you want to go. You CAN make it to the Finish Line. (Which, of course, is just the starting line for the NEXT goal.) And you can build a productive, satisfying life for yourself that way. It’s worked for me thus far, so that’s my story, an’ I’m stickin’ to it!
Now let me hear from you. Do you make a habit of setting goals? If so, how do you go about it? Do you keep track of each one you reach? Inquiring minds wanna know. 🙂