Friday, July 4, 2014

The Goal for Today

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”

Napoleon Hill

“Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?”

Robert Browning

Lately it has felt, to me, that I haven’t given my blogs the attention they deserve.  Oh, I’m still writing, but I’m doing it to meet my goal, rather than from a place of rest and focus.  I’ve taken on several goals this summer, and so one or two of them may suffer.  All that is required to resolve this is being aware of the problem and then solving it.  To solve it I decided not to condemn or criticize myself.  Yes, I am doing other things besides writing blogs, but they are good things, investments in my financial, emotional, and spiritual future.  I have absolutely no regrets about how I’ve spent my time.  Regrets only serve to reinforce undesirable behavior.  I’ve used my time well on other things.
Now, however, none of those other things require my attention, so I have a goal for today. 
I would like to write five blogs today.

This is not a goal for every day, only for today.  It will be challenging, but I think it will also be fun.  Here are the possible obstacles:
·      An unexpected but unavoidable interruption from a loved one
·      Allowing myself to be distracted by non-essentials like online games
·      Telling myself I can’t do this.

On Monday, June 9, 2014, I set a goal of writing 100 blogs by Monday, July 28, 2014.  I’ve written 43 so far.  Writing 5 more will get me almost half way to my goal.  Again, this may not work.  I was just informed that I need to take care of something that will take at least two hours.  While I am taking care of that I want to be present and joyful.  But I also want to be done quickly so I can get back to my reading and writing.
Why have I chosen this goal for today?
The first reason, as I said, is that I don’t feel I’ve been giving my writing the attention it deserves.  I’ve allowed other priorities.  I have no regrets, but I want to be vigilant and not let writing opportunities pass.
The second reason is that I believe writing is part of my Purpose.  Professional writers say that three to six hours should be dedicated to this on a daily basis.  I’m at about two to two-and-a-half hours a day.  So I have work to do.  The trick is to get up earlier, something I’m not always successful at.  Another trick is to bring a journal with me wherever I go.  This I can do easily.
It’s also important that I read a lot.  This I can also do.
Probably the most important thing I can do is stay focused.  When it’s time to write or read, that’s what I need to be doing.  I do not need to be playing online games.  I need to get this done. 
Purpose requires focus and self-discipline.  Yes, it’s fun.  Yes, it’s a blessing.  Yes, it brings inner healing.  But all of that happens only to the degree to which I stay focused on my work.  If focus were a muscle, it would be one that I need to strengthen.  That’s why I’m setting my goal of five blogs today.  It’s difficult and that’s what makes it worthwhile.  The worst that can happen is that I don’t reach my goal.  But even if I only write four blogs today, or three, I’m further ahead than I would have been without this goal.
A secret to effective goal setting is to make them just a little bit out of reach, so that I really have to stretch myself.
So now I’m looking forward to my day.  Anything that occurs that keeps me from my goal will be a challenge, not an interruption or an annoyance.  I will enjoy what the day brings because my day has a goal.  It almost doesn’t even matter if I reach that goal.  It will be fun to have it and to do my best to reach it.  It will be fun to Get Started and to Keep Going…and reach my goal.