Friday, December 10, 2010

Setting Goals

As the New Year approaches, we tend to think about what we want to do with the next year, what we’d like to accomplish, and what we’d like to change. Two years ago, I was anticipating the release of my first book in the spring and trying to navigate the promotional waters. Then I found out I was pregnant. 
A surprise pregnancy and nothing went as I expected.  My first pregnancy was twins, so I hoped that the fatigue would be lighter.  Instead it was worse.  The morning sickness was worse.  The back pain was worse.  I was miserable. And the goals that I wished to accomplish were left undone.
I had to evaluate how I was going to do what I wanted with the caveat of remaining sane. It proved to be a tall order. I resigned from a part-time job and a board position.  I plugged away half-heartedly on the manuscript I hoped to finish. The goals unrealized added to my misery.
It’s hard to step back from our goals and desires and say ‘this one isn’t possible right now.’ And I struggled with it.  I wanted to pull it all together and finish that manuscript. Before my daughter was born, I finished a draft of the manuscript, a draft I planned to be my final one. After she was born I would give it one last read through and send it out.
Once my energy returned, I picked up the manuscript for that last read.  Oh boy.  It was bad. I shouldn’t have tried so hard to finish it.  I should have allowed myself the rest and the time to complete the story.
It’s important to set goals and strive to keep them.  Completing them keeps us motivated and moving ahead.  We also need to recognize when a goal we have set is no longer realistic and must be set aside for a time.
So let’s set those New Years’ resolutions and make them great. And as time goes by, don’t be afraid to boost them higher and drop them lower, but keep working toward them.
What are your goals for the next year?


Elisabeth Rose said...

Wise words Joselyn and for me very relevant to the story I'm writing. In relation to my heroine! The concept of being willing to adjust goals rang true for her --she isn't flexible and that's part of her problem. Excellent. You've clarified a character for me. :)

Joselyn Vaughn said...

Glad I could help! Good luck with the story.

tessamcdermid said...

Good post, Joselyn, and congratulations on the new baby.

I have a quote I use from my other career - "Keep the goal, change the date."

That's helped me stay sane when life goes in different directions.

One thing we may forget is that so many people talk about writing a book and never do. You were writing one, even if it was slower and rougher than you wanted it to be. Yeah for you!!!!

Sandy Cody said...

This is such an important message. The temptation when you don't meet a goal is to think of yourself as a failure. But stepping back and re-evauluating can be the difference between reaching a goal and giving up. Great post.

Beate Boeker said...

Loved your wise words, Joselny. It's so easy to get discouraged and to give up altogether! Thank you for sharing this!

Joselyn Vaughn said...

Tessa - I really like your quote. It is a good thing to remember. I'm so not a last minute person, so the closer I get to unmet deadline (even if it is self-imposed) the more anxious I get.

Sandy - I agree. It's so important to know our limitations, we are much happier that way.

Jane Myers Perrine said...

A friend and fellow Avalon writer told me to give myself permission NOT to write. Yes, goals are terrific, but we have to be flexible enough to realize we have to step back.

Great addition to the blog! Thank you.