Goals–Fear & Loathing

Goal KittenThis week for Road Trip Wednesday, YA Highway asks, What are your goals for the new year–for reading, writing, or other? I gotta tell ya, this kind of question always terrifies me.

It goes along with that equally frightening question, Where do you see yourself in five years? Luckily I’m not out there pounding the pavement looking for a job and so I don’t have to answer that one.

The thing that’s so scary about goals is that I immediately fear I won’t be able to reach them. I’ll promise myself I’ll lose five pounds, and that bowl of ice cream will tempt me. I’ll declare I’ll read four books a month, and I’ll come up one short. It’s much easier to do things “unofficially,” that is, having the idea or notion or half-baked whatever that I might want to eat half as much ice cream next time I scoop up a bowl. And maybe I’ll count the number of books read without stating that this many reaches a goal.

That’s not to say I can’t meet deadlines or finish tasks. I do that all the time. I have a few book deadlines in the upcoming year that I have to meet. But those aren’t really goals. To me, a goal might or might not happen, and let me tell you, these books have gotta happen. No choice there.

So what is it about the word goal that makes me cringe, that makes me worry? What’s up with that, do you think?

Well, whatever it is, let me put on my big girl panties and fess up to one goal I’d like to achieve. Here it is: I want to become more disciplined in my writing life. I’d like to accomplish that by resisting the allures and attractions of the Web and Internet when I should be writing. It is ever so much more entertaining to read blogs and tweets all day than it is to put words on a page.

big-foot-wavingGulp. There, I said it. And I will work toward it, I promise. I will do my best to achieve that big, scary goal.

How about you? What are your hopes for the new year?

About karensandler

Lover of chocolate. A couple felines short of full-fledged Cat Lady. Author of the YA Tankborn Trilogy (TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REBELLION), from Tu Books. Founding team member of We Need Diverse Books. Opinions expressed here are my own.
This entry was posted in Books, Strongly Held Beliefs, The Writing Life, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Goals–Fear & Loathing

  1. stephscottil says:

    I”m a sucker for a kitty pic (so cute! and fuzzy, and tiny!). I’ve read articles about how setting resolutions can have a negative effect, so you’re not alone. I make my goals a little more vague; I want to read more non-fiction books this year, but I didn’t name a number. I track my books on Goodreads and start with a goal I have reached before. Last year I increased it mid-year and then ended up falling short. OH well, I still read a ton of books!

    Here are my goals at A Girl and her Diary

  2. Oh, I hate that 5 year question, too. Good luck with your book deadlines.

  3. Rachael says:

    I know what you mean about not meeting goals. I’ve set reading goals for myself for the last three years and I haven’t met one yet. Real deadlines I can meet because, like you said, there isn’t a choice. Self-imposed ones…there’s too much of an easy out.

  4. “I want to become more disciplined in my writing life. ” << me too! I was just on google calendar, figuring out a nice schedule for me, trying to set up deadlines I'll meet, and stick with it. More important, I'll need to stay out of the internet for that. It's going to be hard, but I'll do it!
    Good luck!

  5. Oh, the five-year plan question. Seriously, who knows what they’ll be doing in five years?

    I tend to set goals that I have complete control over. Instead of saying I’ll lose five pounds, it’s usually I’ll only have dessert twice a week (much more achievable than it sounds) or I’ll eat more veggies (also achievable). Ditto with writing. Instead of ‘I’ll sell MILLIONS of copies’, it’ll be a goal that I have complete control over.

  6. alicebeesley says:

    I’m the opposite. I’d rather write than blog. I have force myself to stop writing and do other things I need to do like pay bills and run errands and make phone calls. My goal is to query agents this year.

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