Friday, May 29, 2009

She shoots... she scores

It seems like a strange title, and yes, for any fellow Canuck,it's an icon of Hockey Night in Canada. But my editor turned me on to a blog she writes on with fellow authors and editors. Every week they consider a new topic and write words of wisdom, or just plain folly if need be, on their perspective, based on where they are in their careers. This weeks topic was goal setting.

Hence, my title. Funny how one word can have two opposite meanings. For sports, a goal is something you've already achieved. It can't count unless it already is... but for others, a goal is where they're headed. The end of a long journey if you will. And I think this is why setting goals doesn't seem to be my thing. Sure I know where I want to end up, but it's so abstract it seems too transparent to hold real meaning for me.

One of the ladies sets rules instead. Achievements to accomplish every day. I really like this idea, there's just one teensy little problem for me. I'm really just a pirate at heart, and tend to see rules more as guidelines. And let's face it, after spending a lifetime following rules, I love nothing more than to break them.

So I use a slightly different approach. I make priorities. Yup, good old fashioned priorities. I'm sure you grew up having your parents tell you to "get your priorities straight." And while I hate to admit it, it's really just that simple. After all, we all make time in our lives for something. Whether it's a run, a game of weekly poker or a daily soap, we all put other equally important tasks aside to work on something we deem even more important.

But being the female of the species, somewhere along the way we set a "goal", if you will, to make everyone else's priorities more important than ours. We become mothers, wives, professionals, maids, chauffeurs. We PTA while we CEO, and find every reason not to do what makes us feel good about ourselves. So what do we do?

Prioritize. Make your writing or whatever you do your priority, even if it means getting up an hour early or staying up an hour late. If you have to turn off Oprah even if Dr. Oz has some new ageless secret, or tell the kids you're only available to stop immense blood flow or reconnect broken bones. Whatever it takes, you make yourself sit down, and face that blank computer page. And yeah, staring at it and only writing one paragraph counts because you've taken another step down that road towards your, you got it, "goal".

So, there's my take on it. Just remember, whether you set goals, adhere to rules or just get your priorities straight, believing in yourself and making time are the only way anything will actually ever get done.

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