Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year, New Goals

It's the first Friday of a brand new year.

How did you feel when you read that sentence?  Excited?  Shocked by the truth?  Afraid?

Goals are something I think about often.  They both excite me and scare me.  Sometimes they baffle me.  Sometimes they make me sigh, because there are days I don't want to think of them, much less work on them.  And at other times, they push me to work...not always with a smile, but determination of some kind.

Goals are also something I've blogged about often.  Why?  Because they're important.  They move us forward, make us work, and give us a reason to live.  Without goals, whether tiny or huge, they are what spurs us to get up and get going.

Goals are not a To Do List, although they should be a part of it.  Goals are what we work for, usually over a period of time.  There are short-term goals and long-term goals.  Many of the short-term are small and a part of a big, long-term goal.

I didn't think of goals as a child.  Many of us don't.  Sometimes we aren't taught about goals, how to make them, how to use them to improve our lives, except in a broad way.  

"Okay, boys and girls, we're going to take out our crayons and draw a picture of our family."

Teachers work on goals for themselves and their students, before the school year even begins.  Large companies/corporations work on goals.  Individuals do, too, although sometimes we don't think of them that way.  Kids?  Most goals are chosen by parents, but children have an advantage.  They tend to dream more than adults.  Their thinking is much less defined by past experience, so limits are few...unless a grown-up comes along and tells them their dream, their goal, isn't possible.  As adults, we do them a disservice by doing this.  We also do ourselves a disservice by thinking it, because we start believing it.

Nothing is impossible.


Goals are simply steps to reach something we want.  Whether it's something we want to do, become, experience, or have, doesn't matter, but getting there does.  Even the simple act of getting a drink of water is part of a goal.  

I'm thirsty, I need/want a glass of water.  That water isn't suddenly going to appear in my hand.  I'm not a genie.  I can't make it magically appear.  I must do something. 

Steps to Reach the Goal 

  • First step:  I move from where I am to go where water is accessible:  the sink, the refrigerator, that case of bottled water, wherever the water is kept.
  • Second step:  Because it's a bit awkward to stick my head under a faucet, open my mouth, and let the water pour in, I must find a "tool" aka a glass.
  • Third step:  I fill the glass with water from the faucet or a pitcher/container in the refrigerator.  If the latter, there's an extra step.  I have to open the refrigerator door and remember to close it when I'm done. (Warning to small children.)
The Goal is Reached
  • I drink the water and am no longer thirsty.
While most goals are more complicated than getting a glass of water, each thing we do, each movement we make and thought we think, is a step toward our goal.

We set goals every day, thousands of times a day.

January 1st of each year is traditionally the day we begin new, personal goals.  We're now on the third day of that new year.  Have you set a personal goal?

If you're an artist, whether a painter, writer, sculptor, designer, maker/creator of anything, you need goals.  Without them, you may start many things, but never finish.  You won't move forward more than a step or two.  If you're thirsty and want a drink, but don't move to get to the kitchen, you'll continue to be thirsty.

If you're a writer, your writing goal is important.  Start with something you want to accomplish, whether it's a full book you want to write, a collection of short stories.  Simply sitting down and writing when the mood strikes won't get you to your goal.  You must work on it daily, if possible.  The overall goal doesn't need to be big.  Small is fine.  But taking the steps to reach it must be taken.  Thinking about doing it won't get it done.  You won't reach your goal.

Since this is January, the beginning of this new year, I'll be posting about Goals all month.  Sometimes it takes a little time to think of a goal, define it, and then find the steps needed to reach it.

Do you have a goal for 2014?  Feel free to share it and how you plan to reach it!
Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind. ~ Seneca

No comments: