I had something interesting happen to me this week. You see my goals have been so easy. They inspire me. I am excited by them. All except one. I was excited by it for a minute last fall so why was it so hard to even acknowledge that goal.
So I’m sitting here thinking about what is it about that goal. Let me put it out here completely. I wrote a nonfiction book many years ago. I love the book. It got positive feedback and even had some kind words from publishers but it just never made it far enough to be published. I was thinking about my writing last fall. I can’t quite remember what brought it to the forefront. But for a bright moment, I realized that book could have success if I just did some work to it. I knew how to fix the problem with it without compromising it.
I researched self-publishing it. I got some feedback about traditional publishing. I was ready. It’s time for this book to shine. Except I could never get myself to open it up to edit it.
I’ve never been this avoidant before. I still can’t talk myself into opening the book. So I sat and really thought about why this book was so hard for me. Then it dawned on me – it doesn’t fit my life right now. While I love the topic (it’s on home spa parties), I don’t have any place for them in my life right now. It’s not the book, it’s my passion. How can I work on a book about home spa parties when I just don’t even care about them? I barely do anything spa-like in my home. There is no room in my home for parties. I don’t even have space or ability to do spa-anything in that home.
I realized that it’s not the goal but the subject. I can still write a book and get it all pretty for publishing – just not that book. It made me think about the phrase “kill your darlings”. I hear it a lot in writing circles. Not only does it refer to “killing” off your characters, it’s about letting go of the projects that just don’t have a true place no matter how much you love it. I love my book. It’s a great book but its time is not now.
The same can go for any goal. I’ve learned over the years that if a goal is too hard to be successful, it might be that I am trying to do something at the wrong time. Another example of this is my deep desire to move. I so badly want out of my apartment. This is especially true when winter comes and I’m stuck there. We don’t have the resources to move. We are not in a financial position and the housing market sucks. I don’t want to move just for the sake of moving. I want to move into a place that will make me happy. If I force the issue, the end result may prove to be a worse situation than the one I am in now.
That doesn’t mean giving up or giving in. It means stepping back and making steps. With my house – it’s saving money and changing our financial situation so that we can afford to move. It’s about learning what I want so when I do find the perfect house I will know it’s the perfect house (and learning what will make me so crazy that everything else will not be as good as I thought it was).
With my writing goal, it’s about writing something else. So here I am – finally happy with my goals. That is the first step to success.
My official 2015 goals:
Theme: Learn to love my neighbor as myself
Goal 1: Overhaul Pantry
Goal 2: Overhaul Home
Goal 3: Increase Household Income by $800 a month
Goal 4: Write and Document My Year
I’ve broken down the goals into smaller pieces so that I can see what their success looks like. They are not as broad as they seem – just something that requires a lot of explanation.
Like last year, I’ll share my progress with my goals when I do the monthly reviews. Please share your goals and any questions/comments below.