Goal Post

Perhaps it's just that time of year and that's why they've been so readily available, but during these past few days I've read some very good articles on planning and organizing for goals...and slowly a strategy is forming in my mind.  One of my friends has her goal-strategy down pat; she plans from the end result backward.  Using a spreadsheet, she can name the end goal, then work backwards to fill in the parts and pieces that need to happen in order for her to get to that goal.  Great idea- scares me to death.  But yet I can feel the "floaty-ness" starting already, just 6 days out from my epiphany on New Year's Eve.  The resolve already has a crack in the very outmost edge, and if I'm not careful, it'll make inroads faster than a run in my stocking on a Sunday morning in church. 

    The weight loss goal shouldn't be too difficult to plan for - it's just keeping my head in the game and paying attention every single moment of every single day to every single morsel that enters my mouth. That shouldn't be hard to remember.  My next biggest hurdle is the online classes I'd like to take.  Usually after working all day, the last thing I feel like doing in the evening is sitting down to concentrate on something with my undivided attention, but as I've discussed with myself in the not too distant past, if I don't invest something, I will get nothing.  Aim low and I'm sure to hit my mark every time.   So the way I see it is this- my daughter returns to college in two weeks, and once she's gone I can stake my claim to her room and set up evening school in there.  That takes the pressure off of trying to find the time to do it now with three kids still home and me just getting back into the swing of being back to work and juggling everything else. And I can know that come January 18th, I have a quiet space I can call my own (til she comes home for the weekend...) 

The writing non-goal is still floating around in my head.  How do I approach that this year?  Do I make goals for my writing, or do I just let it happen as it may?  (see above for "aim low" comment...)   I found a great blog post today about specifically making and carrying out writing goals.  You can find it at http://wannabepublished.blogspot.com/2009/12/writing-craft-set-meet-goals.html .
I am thinking that rather than having no writing goals at all or going to the other extreme of naming my goal as "I'll write 3 picture book manuscripts this year",  I'll take the post's idea of a daily/weekly word count goal and approach it that way. The manuscripts can be my secondary goal - what naturally flows out of the more general writing. But I realize that leaving it "out there" and ambiguous, I'll have no way to measure if I've really accomplished anything or not towards my craft.

So, there are a few ramblings about my New Year's endeavors.  I can say that I have three clear goals for 2010- weight loss, online classes, and writing.  Here's another great idea- you can email yourself your goals to be tucked safely away and emailed back to you on December 31st, 2010.  Think mini-time capsule.  Check it out here - http://www.anthonyfernando.com/2010/01/05/new-year-resolutions-with-a-twist/  .  I think I'll go write myself a letter.

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