“I have goals.” That’s an easy thing to say, right? After all, who doesn’t have some sort of goal in their life?
“I want to run a marathon.”
“I want to lose 20 pounds.”
“I want to learn to speak French.”
Everyone has goals. It’s that finish line way off in the distance that you want to reach before the sweepers show up and tell you the race is over.
Having goals is one thing. It’s something else altogether to act on, work toward, and accomplish those goals. It takes a lot for forethought, practice, motivation, dedication, and accountability to reach these goals with a satisfactory conclusion. And suffice it to say, the lofter the goal, the more time you will need to spend on working toward it.
I have goals… but I haven’t been pushing myself toward them. At least, not as much as I should be. Every year around this same time, I hop on this blog and spout some words about how this year is gonna be the year. This time I will fight for my dreams and make them a reality.
It works for a while. I crank out some blogs on topics I find interesting, start going to the gym, make an effort to better myself, practice a craft, etc.
Then I stop. Not all at once. It’s a gradual thing. I don’t even entirely realize I’m doing it most times. I get busy and put something off until the next day, saying “I’ll start fresh on Monday,” or some other equally hopeful phrase. Then Monday comes and… well, I guess calling it a vicious circle would be an understatement.
I understand this post is sounding a bit cynical, but please bear with me for a minute, as that is not my intention.
You see, recently, a visit to my doctor gave me quite a wake-up call in regards to my health. Nothing dire, but troubling and a bit scary. I’m not going to go into details, but let’s just say I’m going to need to make some major changes to my lifestyle going forward, else the consequences will be a lot worse than just troubling and scary. I’m going to need to change not only how/what I eat and my activity level, but also my mindset of how I go about making changes, setting goals, and sticking to them.
And there was a time in the not so far past where I would refuse to quit, despite the doubts my brain would throw at me.
BRAIN: “You won’t be able to run that half-marathon on your first try!”
ME: “Wanna bet?”
BRAIN: “You can’t write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days!”
ME: “Oh yeah? Watch me do it 5 years in a row.”
You get the idea. I need to look at this new set of challenges in a similar way. I need to kick my doubts to the curb and push through with the changes that need to happen.
Over the next few months, I’m going to use this space to provide updates on the progress with health as I reach for these new goals. On top of that, I’m going to use this overall change of mindset to really push myself forward creatively. I’m going to force myself to level-up, for lack of a better phrase. There is going to be more writing, more blogging, and more reporting on how the submissions and query process is going. Maybe I’ll even start drawing again when I can’t find the right words that I want to say.
Basically, my body has told me that I can’t “start fresh on Monday” anymore… and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
This is a rallying cry to embrace change, not a penance to fear. I’m being challenged, and honestly, I like rising to a challenge.