Monday, January 5, 2015

Setting Myself Up for Success

I plan my goals each year and reflect on them every few months to see my progress. Instead of me calling the list I made a few days ago my list of resolutions, and even in place of the word "goal," I see this, list and time, as an opportunity to set myself up for success.

Did I accomplish all I wanted last year? No. But I did accomplish most and for that I'm happy. I do question why didn't I accomplish all my goals? The short answer is: not everything is in my hands. I had other people I had no choice but rely on and sometimes things came up. I couldn't control every aspect of everything. But I tried, I really did. And all that got me was heartburn and headaches.

Yeah, I got upset? Faster than the Grinch tried to steal Christmas. But I realized my errors (yeah, there were many). The main reason some of those goals failed was because I set the bar too high. I'm a short lady in stature and I had created goals that even my handy step-ladder wouldn't allow me to reach. Why? Because I was trying to push myself into a coma to be successful. I took on too much, too soon. There was never any way for me to accomplish all I'd tried to do without cloning myself. So all I really did was make myself unhappy and create unnecessary chaos in my already disarrayed madness (also known as my life).

Another thing I did wrong was, I focused on other people's goals too much. What I mean is, I read dozens of posts by other authors and tried to copy their goals. I figured if they were doing it, I should be, too. Wrong! A goal is a unique, individual thing. So what was right for that writer might just spell doom for you and me.

Okay, lessons learned. So, I went into this year with a level head, clear expectations, and a heaping of optimism (because what's the use of setting myself up for success if I don't even believe I can do it). I envision myself at the start line of a race. I look to my left and I see an opponent. I look to my right and I see another opponent. Each opponent has something in common: they're both me.

So, I'm not going to list my goals here today. They're mine. Get your own. But I will admonish you to be thoughtful in your setting. To be brave. And above also be uniquely you!

Have you set goals? How did you go about it?

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh.


  1. I always set goals for the new year but I make sure that they are realistic and within my means. If they aren't, then I'll fail and I don't want to fail! Good luck with your goals for 2015! :)

  2. This post is perfect for me right now! Thanks for posting it. It makes me not feel so alone in my tallying of the year's accomplishments, and my kicking myself over the ones I fell short in.

    Like you, I didn't achieve everything I set out to do, but I'm working on being gentler on myself. I'm trying to make my goals this year realistic, so I can encourage myself rather than discourage myself. (that'll be my blog post Wednesday)

    Good luck with your goals! May they be ever within your means and may your means increase to meet them.

  3. Stupid blogger is not allowing me to reply to each individual post. Ugh! Thanks Chrys. I learned my lesson about being over-ambitious.

    Thanks, Donelle. I hope you achieve all your goals this year also. And if you don't here's to both of us being able to let it go. I absolutely love your last sentence. I read it like four times. You should make that your post script for the year. It's so poetic.

  4. Yes, goals have to be unique. Trying to copy someone else's goals most likely won't end well.

  5. My goal is two finish two novels this year. But if I don't, I won't be mad at myself. Life gets in the way (if you're living it right!) and the only thing that really matters is that you're living it to the fullest. Sometimes deadlines are met, sometimes they aren't. It happens. I think you accomplished A LOT, Dawn. You published 3 novels in what? A year? That's fantastic! Not many of us can say that so take some time and pat yourself on the back. You deserve it.


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