Essential Goals

It’s a new month which means it GOAL TIME again. I’m stymied. I write S.M.A.R.T. goals. And I’ve been very good about writing a set of goals that cover EVERYTHING I have an interest in. I write my goals with the same maxim my Mom used for selling mobile homes: If you throw enough crap on the wall, eventually something will stick. And, I guess in a purely numbers game, it’s not a bad practice. My goals aren’t numbers and the purpose of them is to propel me towards the ultimate goals in my life. Instead, I’ve filled my life with busy work so I can avoid the one thing I’ve always wanted since I was 11: To Be a Published Author!

Ellen suggested I read (listen) to a book called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. So, I started listening on my way into work. I’m generally to tired and/or brain dead to listen to anything other than fluff on the way home otherwise I’d be done by now. He coaches leaders and management teams in the reality most management staff enthusiastically ignores: Everything is NOT important. Companies and people try to do everything for everyone and fail in providing anything of true value to anyone. His example was we try to go a millimeter in every direction instead of marshalling our energies to go in one direction where we can truly make a difference in our lives, our families and the world. That description summed up my goals perfectly. I was trying to achieve a little bit in financial goals, in spiritual goals, work goals, writing goals, family goals, health goals…..and on and on and on and on….and never really getting anywhere.

This book has come into my life at a very important time. I am no longer trying to dig myself out of the crap-hole I was in before and directly after the apocalypse. I am actively looking for a template, a concept or a philosophy to destroy the stumbling blocks of my past so I can build a strong foundation for my new life. The one blessing to be had beyond surviving the abuse and major depression is to to design and write my life the way I want it to be. I’m replacing the old psychological tapes with bright shiny CD’s of brave self-talk and I’m making the choices instead of letting the choices make me. I am scared witless, (honestly, when am I not?), but Mr. McKeown is helping me see through the fog of fear right now.

My journal entry on Saturday narrowed down the top goal, the only real goal I’ve had my whole life: To be a published author. All of my goals before had a writing component to it, but it also had spirituality, financial, educational, work, health and Misc. section where I was pushing through the whole year to mark off boxes on an annual To Do list instead of moving forward in one purposeful direction. I’m not saying spirituality, financial stability, health and education aren’t important I’m saying they are no longer on par with the ONE goal. There is a component of each of those ancillary goals in the larger one but time is finite and my share of it not committed to work and commute is even smaller.

I haven’t finished the book yet. I’m hoping he tells me there is an app that opens up when I try to enter a task or appointment and asks “Is this going to help you to be where you want to be in 5 years?” (The current goal is to be published in 5 years) so I don’t just willy-nilly say yes to someone/something that really won’t push me along the path I want to be on. I’ve made some decisions though. I’m not going to do my Christmas project like I did last year. I wanted to do hats and scarves for the homeless, or send them off to the refugees of Ukraine but I need to be writing. I will still crochet because it helps me when I need to work through a knot in a plot or I just need quiet time to let things ferment before I write. If I get some hats and scarves together before Christmas I will find homes for them but the “project” part has been abandoned. I feel bad, like I’m a bad person for choosing my goals over charity, and honestly, as I’m writing this I’m still questioning it. Another example McKeon made was a quote of a friend of his. “If it’s not a Hell Ya! it’s a no.” The project isn’t a Hell ya! Then again, exercise isn’t a Hell Ya! either but I have to do it anyway, both for health and to grow my stamina to write. I wonder how Mr. McKeown would advise me on that?

More to follow…..

Now, off to the goals…….