As someone who couldn’t get herself out of bed early enough to go to the gym before work this morning, I thought today would be a good day to talk about goals. Well, my goals specifically. I wouldn’t pretend to know enough information to provide guidance on achieving goals in general (says the girl who took three years to publish her own novella), so my apologies if you clicked this link looking for advice.
Side note: I am terrible at giving advice. I’m one of those people that will say, “Well, I sure as hell wouldn’t put up with it. Oh but, you know, we’re different so….”
I’m actually pretty good at completing goals, believe it or not. It just always takes me longer to complete them than I originally planned. This is just in my personal life, by the way. My professional life is on point, which, honestly, makes it even more frustrating for me. Knowing that I’m capable of completing something quickly and thoroughly when it’s for someone else, but apparently not having enough respect for myself to maintain the same level of performance. Why does procrastination feel so good?
At this point, you know that one of my goals since 2016 is to publish Just Down the Street, Across the Ocean. I’m so close to accomplishing this that I’m literally dealing with nausea-inducing nerves everyday and it’s great! So, why did it take me so long to do it? I’d say for, mostly, arguably good reasons. But definitely also because of procrastination. I’ll own that and quit trying to justify it. I’m learning a lot from this experience of self-publishing and, hopefully, it will prevent me from falling into the same traps when I try to publish my next book.
My next book? Yes, my next book. I’ve started work on another novel and I am both excited and exhausted. It feels incredible to finally have a new project to work on – especially one that has been slowly developing in my mind for the last couple of years. At this point I’ve written maybe, ten pages? But I’ll never get over that magical feeling when a story goes from just existing in your head to coming alive on paper. That is why I write, to see my characters literally come to life right before my eyes. My goal for this story is to finish the first draft this year. It feels somewhat daunting, especially since I haven’t finished something in you know how long. But more than daunting, writing makes me feel alive and, since working on this new story, I have felt happier and more content than I have in some time. Writing is magic.
I have other goals as well. I want to work on my professional growth and I’m exploring options for what that might mean. I also want to maintain my fitness goals. I’ve been steadily going to the gym since April 2018 and the difference it has made in my life is huge. So far I’ve been doing a good job with that (let’s just ignore the incident this morning).
People say to set small goals for yourself to help you accomplish a larger goal. I’ve found this to be true. It helps deal with procrastination. In fact, it’s the only thing I’ve found that helps me stay focused. I can’t do daily goals, but I can do weekly goals. Instead of setting a goal to write a paragraph every day, it might be to write a page every week. Instead of telling myself that today I’m going to the gym, I’ll say just make sure you go four times this week. That gives me room to have a couple days a week to say, “I don’t feel like it,” and plop myself on the couch in front of my TV without feeling guilty about it. This is what I’ve started to incorporate in my life, slowly at first, and then to more and more things that I want to achieve and it has worked wonders for me. But like I said earlier, “Oh, but, you know, we’re different so…” who knows what will work for you.
I’m ready for 2019 and I’m ready for the challenges it will bring. Let’s just hope I don’t look back at this post six months from now, laugh, and say, “Girl, you were one crazy lady.”