Sunday, July 16, 2017

When setting goals isn't enough...

One of my favorite books is "Write It Down, Make It Happen" by Henriette Anne Klauser, and a year ago I did just that.  I took colored marker to whiteboard and recorded three (lofty) goals that I wanted to achieve before my next birthday (which is in nine days); all of them, to quote a colleague of mine, 'doable'.

Only I didn't.

I didn't meet a single one of the goals I jotted down; missed them by a mile, in fact.  Make that ten miles, and the reason is quite simple.  While I wrote my aspirations down in intricate detail, I didn't incorporate any strategy to reach them.  Duh!  Just knowing what I want isn't enough; I have to know how to get there.

Let's use this as an example - if I want to be in California, I can't just wish myself there.  I have to map out a course, navigate obstacles, increase or decrease my speed based on external conditions.  It's common sense.  Hell, if I want to go to the grocery store, I have to choose a route and follow it.  I may have several options, but I still need to pick one in order to move forward.  That's the crucial step I forgot when I wrote down my objectives.

So, here I am, a year later, no closer to the goals I set, but at least I realize why I didn't meet them.  Do I view it as a year lost?  Not at all.  For while I didn't hit those particular targets, several others were bulls-eyes.  I completed the Hidden Springs series, something I set out to do three-and-a-half years ago.  I hosted a successful book signing (Pages in the Caves) and am in the midst of planning a second one (Pages in the Caves 2.0).  I made new friends, interacted more with my readers thanks to my new and improved newsletter, wrote a new story for a yet-to-be-disclosed boxed set, and am halfway to completing the second book in the Celebration series.  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

What's next, you ask?

Well, the first thing is to make new goals for the next year - or maybe recycle the old ones - and include the steps I need to take to get me there, because without planning, it's all for naught.  Whatever I decide to do, I'll keep moving forward; meeting new challenges, side-stepping obstacles in my path when I can, and plowing through those that block my way. 

One of my favorite quotes is -  

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.  The time will pass anyway.   ~ Earl Nightingale 

And it does pass.  Quickly.  Oh, so quickly.  So make a plan, write it down, walk your path no matter how long it takes, because one day you'll look up and find that you've arrived at your destination, and THAT will be a day worth celebrating!

Now, where did I put my dry-erase markers?

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