GOALS! WHY OH WHY?

Via Lynne Carmichael

Hello, my lovelies!

Today we’re talking goals. Losing weight, getting fit or accomplishing our writing goals isn’t as easy as it sounds otherwise we’d all be skinny, lean and mean writing machines.

First of all we need to decide about what we want, then work out how we’re going to get there. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But it’s not, especially if you’re new to attempting weight loss, getting fit or writing a sentence never mind writing a novel.

Via media-cen.pinterest.com

This week, I’ve fallen off the writing wagon and I’ve plenty of excuses as to why. A friend was buried. The brick wall my writing crashed into isn’t even cracked never mind damaged. My hero is being a stubborn B******d! And my heroine needs a smacked bottom – no, it’s not kinky (looking at you Myndi, Deborah, Rachel FH and Karen McF) so it’s been shoulder rolls and knuckle cracking time to sort this pair out. The emotional tension needs ratcheted up and he needs less simpatico and more edgy/attitude as well being empathic – not a lot, just a little (I don’t ask for much from my heroes, do I?) And this is at the end of the first draft so why I expect the thing to be perfect God knows – see what I mean about expectations? I know all first drafts are crap so why do I expect mine to be perfect? Why?

Having goals and working towards them is fantastic. But we need to prepare for the unexpected. So we need to constantly re-evaluate our goals and ask ourselves these questions.

  1. Are they realistic?
  2. Are they adaptable?
  3. Are they workable?
  4. Are they achievable?

We can never stay motivated 100% of the time. We need to block out our inner critic and it’s harping voice of negativity. We need to think about what we HAVE achieved and to do that we need to keep a log of what we write/research/mull-over every single day. Keep a diary, or jot it on a wall planner, of your progress and make a note of how what you’ve done, foods guzzled, yards walked, word count etc. Then, when times are tough we can look back and see what we’ve achieved already. Seemples!

And we need to build ourselves a team. Which those of you who are members of We Are Not alone (WANA) already know (link here for you guys who’ve never heard of the Queen of Blogland, Kristen Lamb.) Weirdly, she’s just been talking about teamwork – spooky or what – I think she could be a witch BUT DON’T TELL HER I SAID THAT.

Don’t underestimate the importance of having friends! They help you to celebrate the highs and hug/kick ass during the lows. Remember true friends do not envy you your success – they support you. Teammates can help you with the ‘sticky bits’ on our journey to weight loss, better fitness or publishing success.

And remember 90% of people give themselves IMPOSSIBLE goals, so make sure yours are baby steps. And once you’ve achieved your goals. Do Not Give Up. Keep Going. Set a new goal, even if it’s maintaining what you’ve already done. The wonderful James Scott Bell has written The Art of War for Writers and it’s brilliant for keeping us on track. I love that man.

Are you adaptable with your goals?

Are you part of a fabulous group of like minded people? If so, who are they and can we join too?

Do you wanna be part of WANA? Join here!

Do you celebrate the good times as well as the bad?

I adore hearing from you guys. Seriously, I get all warm and fuzzy when someone stops by and says hello. And sob heart brokenly into my pillow if you don’t. (I’m not above a bit of emotional blackmail.)

Christine

31 thoughts on “GOALS! WHY OH WHY?

  1. Hi Christine, fabulous post! I got so frustrated when I hit a brick wall during Nano that I stopped setting myself any goals at all. Your advice about keeping them realistic and achievable must be for me!

  2. Sorry about your friend.

    I think the goals are good to have but you always need to be flexible. If I don’t have anything else better to do I always try to force myself into reading the next part of my book. Editing is a pain but reading a little scene might get me into the editing and another 500 words. It’s about finding your balance I suppose. Good luck with it.

    • Morning Pete,

      You’re absolutely right about finding a balance. A couple of weeks ago I was cooking on gas and jotting down my daily numbers – since I’d given myself a weekly target it took the pressure off if I had appointments during the day. However it all went to hell in a hand basket when my friend passed away. Once I’m into editing and revising I actually enjoy watching the whole thing come together. At this stage, it feels like climbing Mount Everest without oxygen carrying a sack of potatoes on my back.

      Thank you so much for commenting, I appreciate it.

  3. Hugs on the loss of your friend, Christine.

    I strongly believe our goals also need to be flexible enough to allow us some mourning time or whatever we need emotionally. Not that we should let that be an excuse for everything else grinding to a halt and never getting going again, but we do need goals that give us time to be our deepest truest selves too.

    I’m just coming out of a period of stoppedness. Told myself everyday I should write, and just couldn’t do it. I did play around with ideas for several stories, but no actual story words came out. Then this morning I woke up with the whole new start I needed for one of the current stories in my mind. Wrote over three pages out in half an hour.

    Sometimes it’s okay to let things simmer, knowing they’ll come back to the boil when the time is right.

    Of course, that’s one of the joys of being unpublished! No deadlines to worry about.

    • Hello Autumn, hunny!

      How the hell are you? Long time no speak and I’m actually blogging. Woo Hoo!

      You know the words will come for you, they always do!

      I’m chuffed to bits that you’ve visited me today.

  4. Sorry to hear about your friend, Give yourself time to mourn, reflect, and then re-evaluate your goals before starting again.
    The world doesn’t end if we miss a goal, for they are simple road signs that help us stay on track, not commandments from an angry god. If you miss your road, turn around and go back until you find it then continue on, no big deal.
    I do agree that goals should be small and reachable. A journey of a thousand steps still must be taken one step at a time. Any marathoner will tell you to pace yourself.
    Enjoy the journey. 🙂

    • Prudence, thank you for those kind words.

      I knew her for twenty years. It was a blessed release. The memories are terribly precious. Pacing ourselves as writers is something new writers find terribly hard to do I think.

      I’m going to ask Kristen to do a post on how to keep psychologically healthy as writers. If Kristen can’t do it herself, I bet she knows someone who can. I know so many who’ve burned out including Marian Keyes who’s talked about it at length.

      Thank you for dropping by.

  5. You are so right! The problem I am having is finding the energy to accomplish all of my goals. Things like the day job get in the way and drain me. And I will always pick writing over exercising. Every time. I need to find a way to be motivated enough to stick to my workout goals.

    • Emma!

      It’s not easy this gig, is it?

      I have a friend who reads her Kindle on her treadmill. Must try that. Although I admit I find walking/running to music really motivating – once I get on the thing.

      Thank you for dropping in!

  6. Ah, yes the wall… the evil wall. I ran into one with my WIP recently too. But when it finally came crumbling down, all the words in my head rushed out of me like a river breaking a dam. It was GREAT!
    I like the suggestion of writing down your progress. Not just for accountability, but to show yourself how far you’ve come. That type of positive thinking really does help when those doubts sneak into your head.

    My condolences about your friend. That is always tough to deal with.
    I think a few people have mentioned this in their comments already, but I’ll do it anyway. In times like this, you have to give yourself a break. Let yourself have the moment to feel all that comes. Then go back and re-evaluate. It is about charting a course in the direction you want to go, but allowing yourself to deviate from time to time to deal with the unexpected.

    I’m sure you’ll have your characters whipped into shape in no time and you never know – they may just like it! LOL!

    Have a great weekend!

    • LOL! Jennifer.

      If my characters are anything like, heaven help them. Actually, come to think of it, a bit of whipping might not be a bad idea!

      Thank you for your kind words.

  7. Hi, Christine,
    When a friend is sick, we’re busy with practicalities like delivering food to/running errands for the friend’s family. We time our visits and make sure we say what we want to say. The busyness occupies us. A death, even one that’s expected, forces us to remember and grieve. I’m sorry for your loss.

    As Jennifer said, give yourself a break.

    Meanwhile, good job writing down your accomplishments. I mark miles walked on my calendar and will do the same with pages written. (I hadn’t because I’ve got the pages as a reminder, right? Yet there’s something energizing about marking pages on a calendar, too.)

    My copy of THE ART OF WAR FOR WRITERS arrived. Thanks for pointing me to it.

    • Hi Pat,

      I’m delighted your copy of The Art of War For Writers has arrived, let us know how you get on with it.

      That’s a good tip about marking down the miles walked. Do I have to walk a mile? Can’t I do half of one to start? Joking!

      I must remember to edit these posts at least twice before I post. Why do we always spot a glitch after we post?

      Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Hello, Christine. So sorry for the loss of your friend. It’s never easy.

    Thanks for the tips on setting realistic and flexible goals. I have discovered that my fear of failure has been my greatest challenge, as it’s been my excuse to not do or give up for years. Hoping to change that.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  9. What in the world would ever make you think that I would be thinking something kinky?
    Well, you know me better than I thought you did! LOL!!!! 🙂

    Hey my friend, I am truly sorry for your loss. Even when it is expected, it is a whole in our heart and in our life. A twenty year friendship does not come by every day. Not too many people can say they had that kind of closeness with someone for that length of time. It would only be natural to grieve and your creative process choked up along with your many tears. But it will come back. And when it does, your emtions will unleash and will flood your conscience mind with all those wonderful ideas and your fingers will be flying across the keyboard!

    Goals: You know I hate them right? LOL!

    I joined ROW80 because I hate them. What? I know, I don’t make much sense. LOL! But I wanted to keep myself accountable. Thus the check-in which I will not be doing tomorrow because I am sick with the flu. Yuk. But I wanted to drop by to see you, although I do not wish to spread my virus!.

    And can I just tell you that I am in Love with James Scott Bell right now! If he and I weren’t married I would hate to think what could happen! LOL! Just kidding! It’s like the guy is in my head. It’s like he is holding my hand while I write and plot out my novel. Weird. Just sayin’. But I hadn’t heard of this current book. I am just stuck on Plot and Structure. I am having a love affair with that book. But I know there will come a time when I will have to move on. Stop clinging to that book and move on to another craft book. *sighs* But now I can read another of James Scott Bell’s books. I will never be without that man in my life. He is truly amazing! (The virus is just making me silly!)

    Seriously, I love this statement: “Remember true friends do not envy you your success – they support you.” I couldn’t agree more.

    Thank you Christine for this post! And sharing your loss with us. My thoughts are with you. 🙂

    • Yes Karen,

      I think I’ve got a handle on you, hun.

      Sorry you have the ‘flu. We’re having a late winter outbreak here too. Touch wood it passes us by. What medication are you on? Can I have some? lol!

      Yes, you’re right a twenty year friendship can be closer than family in many ways. But you know even though there’s a sadness, there’s a certain amount of relief too.

      I’ll put my hand up to doing an eye roll when goals are mentioned – I’m one of those people who needs to learn the hard way. Strangely enough, finding ideas is never a problem. Even outlines don’t phase me – it’s the bringing it all together in a cohesive and organic way that’s the challenge. But then, that’s the same for all of us. And there’s a tendency for creative types to have unrealistic expectations about what we can achieve in any given day.

      I love JSB too. I hear him in my head and if I wasn’t married to a teddy bear, I’d be tempted too, lol! I hope the poor man doesn’t find this blog, he’ll be mortified.

      Thank you for stopping by and I hope you get better very soon.

  10. T’anky for stopping by my place!

    I love the quote up there bout weirdness finding weirdness and wallowing together in their mutual weirdness! 😀

    Goals – lawdy don’t start me on goals — ungh! I’m goal-less in a goal-oriented world, woe is me. Okay, not goal-less, but my chaos snudges away my goals and laughs at them — is snudges a word? well it is now! huhn.

    love your blog!

  11. I find that working myself into the mindset is the hardest part. Committing to being committed. But once I get there, I’m good. Until sickness derails me. Then I have trouble getting back on the diet and exercise.

  12. I’m so sorry for your loss, Christine.

    A couple of years ago I took Margie Lawson’s Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors Class. I learned to set short, mid and long term goals. Such a help. Each year, I get a little better at figuring out what works. Thank you, Margie! Just love that woman!

    Great post! Thank you for reminding us it’s all baby steps. 🙂

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