Go for Goals!
It’s Day 4 of 2022. How are you doing so far with your goals and resolutions?
I’m asking you this not because I’m a goal-setting guru or disciplined do-list keeper. No. Quite the contrary. I’m goal-hesitant and formerly goal-resistant. Only in the past three months as I’ve become overwhelmed with competing, conflicting schedules, head and heart tugging in opposite directions have I finally decided I must walk down a new path to not fall in the proverbial pit I know is on the road I travel. That road leads to regrets by bedtime, to do-lists not done weekly and dreams deferred for another year all because of unclear expectations and actions. In other words, I hadn’t set goals.
After listening to some podcasts and attending a webinar—all free, I’ve seen light—the wisdom of goals that guide a day, a week, a month, a year. Ironically though I got bogged down in the process of learning to set goals. I almost gave up. So I’m warning you, if you’re researching or re-setting goals. It’s a mine field out there with hundreds of eager life-coaches and charlatans lining up to line their pockets by giving you a package deal on how to set and achieve goals that will revolutionize your life.
Truth is, I didn’t want a revolution. I simply wanted to sit down and write down for once, some priorities in my life then map out time each week to practice doing those priorities so my intentions become actions that form good habits over time. What’s so hard about that?
Truth is, sticking to routines is hard for me, whether it’s in exercising, eating, or writing. But now that I truly want to write, now that I realize there’s no way to write well except to write often, now that I realize daily writing won’t happen without intentionality, I’ve capitulated and committed to identified writing routines, aka goals. And a strange thing is happening—like the alchemy that makes gold. After setting goals, it appears I now want to guard them as they guard my time. Goals are no longer iron chains tying me to time. Instead goals glitter when I wake up, inviting me to look at light, to live with light through the day.
And since you’re reading this, I’ll share with you my writing goals for 2022.
· Write for two hours daily before noon.
· Write a poem a day for January
· Edit two poems daily for poetry anthology to be published in 2022.
· Enter at least three writing contests this year
· Research publishing opportunities for 2 hours twice per week
· Read for at least two hours daily
It’s a start, but those are my newly minted goals that I’m starting to keep. They are simple and sensible and help me know at the end of a day, I’ve accomplished some priorities. To me, goals are as good as gold now. And proof of the pudding—here’s my Day 2 poem for January.
Day 2, 2022
When we had baby number two I knew then to count the hours that
made the days that became weeks, knew to watch each morning for
miniscule cues: the lengthening of little legs, the grasp of fingers
the turning of eyes to follow light—some newly grown thing
not there the evening before.
Now that I’m old with a newborn year I’m learning to watch again
the living hours I hold dear while eyes are still clear
for I fear what I know—time is a thief.
Today I lost minutes—stolen while I waited to choose the cycle
to wash clothes, and manage the menu for supper—salmon
or cod, which is better considering the soup we had for lunch?
And no, I did not get to make five phone calls as planned to sister,
brother and neighbours to wish Happy New Year. Nothing new
grew--except priorities in promises made to me on day two of 2022.