December 5, 2011

Goals Galore

We’re almost to the time of year when people will reflect on the past year and evaluate what they wish they’d have done differently, or perhaps what they want to accomplish that they never got to. Yep—it's almost time for New Year’s Resolutions.

I’ve always been a goals person. I’m a lists person too. I think I’m a bit neurotic—every morning, I make a list of all I’m going to accomplish that day. And usually, that list is way too long, because inevitably, something else comes up to interrupt my plan (note: I hate changes and unexpected happenings!) or some activities take longer than anticipated.

What’s the result? I end up frustrated with myself for not accomplishing my “goals.” I forget about all of the things I DID get done and chastise myself for what I didn’t. I mark one goal off my list and move right on to the next, with maybe a small celebration, but no more than that, because I’m intensely moving to the next thing. Always the next thing.

It’s an exhausting way to live.

I read some good advice from my blogging friend Keli Gwyn the other day: in order to actually achieve a goal, focus on one thing at a time, and then focus all your energy toward achieving that goal.

Part of me is relieved to hear that. But the other part of me struggles to find just ONE thing to focus on, when I want to excel and achieve in so many areas. But the idea of picking off one thing at a time totally makes sense, especially with the level of intensity with which I attack my goals.

Since I tend to get so focused, I do think it is a good idea for me personally to have one main goal in each of two areas—career and personal—lest I should become too focused on my career and forget my family and friends in the process (unfortunately, been there, done that before).

I find it’s helpful to state the goal out loud (or at least in print) for others to hear/read.

So, here goes:

CAREER: My goal for the next 6 months is to edit this novel and get it out to agents by the end of May 2012, if not before.

PERSONAL: I want to be intentional about spending more time with my husband and finding cheap creative activities to do together.

I would love accountability with these, so please feel free to ask me how I'm doing with them! I appreciate the support and encouragement.

Your Turn: What helps you to stick with a goal and achieve it?


  1. Excellent post. You could easily be describing me instead of yourself with this post.
    I expect much from myself and push myself hard.
    Having a baby has definitely taught me to slow down and re-prioritize my life, but I still struggle to let go of my "to-do lists" and allow the day to shape itself.
    Michael Hyatt's posts today is great, it is about not 'trying' to do something, but actually doing it.
    You might check it out, it spoke to me today and it seems to go along with your post nicely (I love it when that happens, it's like God is speaking to me through all these blogs!).

  2. I wish you well on your goals, Lindsay. I like the way you came up with one for your personal life and another for your writing life.

  3. I'll have to go read that blog post, TC! Thanks for the link.

    And thank you, Keli. :)

  4. Lindsay,
    Excellent goals!
    I posted about this very idea the other day over at the MBT Ponderers blog:
    I gave up making a list of resolutions seven years ago. Now I focus on a word -- one word -- each year. This year's word is "trust." Focusing on just one word has been life changing for me.
    Keli's post is also excellent for the same reason: narrowing your focus so that you have a measurable goal.

  5. Beth, that's the coolest idea! Then that one word can relate to the many areas of your life. It can become like a theme for the whole year. So cool!

  6. I'm a lists person too. :) I wish you all the best with your goals!

  7. Thanks, Sarah! Glad to know I'm not the only one. ;)