Goal, No, Make that GLEE SETTING

It’s that time of the year again. Time to make goals. *sigh*


I’m talking about setting life goals, the things you want to do in the next year, five years, ten years, whatever. Resolutions. *Oy!*

If you Google “goal setting,” you’ll get 62,500,000 hits in .21 seconds. That’s sixty two MILLION places to read about some part of goal setting, and getting there in less than a second. W-H-O-A!

There are all kinds of helps out there–videos you can listen to, songs you can tap your toe to, and tons (!) of suggestions, helps, templates, and rules for setting goals.

So what do I have to say on the subject that someone else hasn’t said over and over again?

Absolutely nothin’! (Say it again.)

Yep, nothin’. The truth is, I’ve found that setting rigid goals isn’t right for me. If I get too specific about them (write 3,000 words a day, 200 by 6:00 am, another 200 by 8:00 am, etc) I’ll go on strike.

I don’t mean my brain will quit and start picketing or anything. What happens is my stomach hurts when I think about whatever it is that goal is set about, so I don’t think about it. (Yep, I’m weird. Don’t let anybody tell you different.)

I’ve learned over the years not to get too controlling with my goals. (One year I called them suggestions, but it didn’t help much.)

Trouble is, if you don’t set goals, you’ll never know when you reached them. What’s a person to do?


Well, how about making them fun? For instance, I really enjoy Greer Garson movies. (I told my husband once that if we had a baby girl, I’d name her Greer. I think he was glad we were past the baby making time in our lives.)


In fact, I’ve never seen her in a movie I didn’t like. Why  not set a goal to see every movie Greer Garson ever made? I might do that, but it’s not really going to do me a lot of good to achieve that goal since I’m not a movie critic or film maker.

I might just keep that goal, but only because it’s FUN. Something I want to do because I want to do it. What’s that got to making goals that’ll work for me?

If my goal is something I think is fun, something I love doing or something I’m passionate about, then I’m absolutely going to keep it.

I could make a goal that says, “Grind out three (hard-to-write as well as boring for me) books this year” or words that’ll make me feel that. If I do, I can pretty much guarantee you, I won’t reach it.

But if my goal says, “Write three fun books involving engaging, delightful characters I love spending time with as well as plots that keep me humming from the start to the very end,” I might just do it. 🙂

So for me, attainable goals are ones I enjoy. I might even write something about what Heaven on earth would look like for me. “Wake up each morning with a smile, overjoyed to get back to the story bubbling inside me, anxious to spend fun time with my Savior, my family and my friends, and dance off to work each day where I accomplish meaningful, enjoyable tasks and earn a fair wage–not necessarily in that order.”

My goals would come from that. But I probably won’t call them goals. I’ll be more likely to get where I want to go if I call them something else like, GAMES, PLAYTIME, JOY or GLEE.

This year, instead of making a list 1, 2, 3 . . .  I could print out the words in large pretty letters and pin them, helter-skelter, on my corkboard.

Some of the fun things I want to do this year? Take a photography class. Start the Christian House series sitting in my brain. Find a fun and painless way to write a synopsis. (Is there any such thing? If so, please LET ME KNOW!) Be a beach peach for a week.

What fun things do you imagine doing this next year?

Are you a strict, list making goal setter or a lazy  laid-back free spirit glee setter?

Just asking.



10 thoughts on “Goal, No, Make that GLEE SETTING

  1. Zig Ziglar used to call his goal sheet a ‘wild ideas’ chart. He’d start by asking, “If you had unlimited time, ability, and family support, what would you secretly like to do/be/have?”

    Then he suggested working backward, listing the actions necessary to achieve these seemingly unattainable goals.

    In 1989 I wrote all my ‘wild ideas’ down in the planner I bought at his seminar. Some were expensive. Others required years of hard work, education, and a level of discipline I’d never before achieved. Some were so personal I used code.

    In 2012, I reviewed the list. Most of my ‘wild ideas’–including those that induced such fear I couldn’t even write them down–have come to pass. Others are tantalizingly close.

    Do I believe in setting goals?

    Oh yeah!

    Cheers…and Happy Writing!

  2. I like Jen’s ‘Wild Ideas’ concept. I haven’t been good at making – and keeping – goals, either. Maybe the wild idea thing will work for me because I definitely want to accomplish a lot this year.

  3. I don’t like setting goals, but I have to have some idea of how long a project is going to take since contracts require delivery dates when you sign them. For me, I HAVE to have some guidelines to follow. Otherwise I’d play Mahjong and watch the Maury Show all the time.

    Maybe if you think of it as learning self-discipline — a task you need to be successful at a lot of things besides writing — it would be easier for you. You’ve sold all your books so far on completed manuscripts. One day you’re going to want to submit a partial and get the contract/feedback/money ahead of finishing the book. If you’ve practiced self-discipline by doing so much a day or week, you’ll know you can do it.

    When I sold my second book, my editor asked me to set a deadline. I wrote my first book by hand in hours scattered here and there while the kiddo was in school or asleep. I had zero clue how long it would take, and the idea of having to estimate it scared the crap out of me.

    Now I know pretty much how many words I can write in a day, a week, a month when I want to and when I need to — two very different things. 🙂

  4. I’m not making daily type goals such as a set number of words, but I will write daily. Even in my retirement, I’m finding I have less control over my time than I thought I would!

  5. I’m keeping my goals simple but attainable with specific deadlines. Since I’m a list maker, I’ve found making a list then crossing off tasks when they’re complete help me feel a sense of accomplishment.

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