Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Goalsetting...Fruition or Failure

When my son was around 14, he went off to his boy's choir rehearsal smiling one day because he had just set some new goals for his life - as I recall related to school and discipline in homework. When I asked him later how was choir, he shook his head and with a faint smile, waving his hand in a circle, answered, "Well you know how it is when you set a goal." "Oh?" I continued the conversation. "Well you know Mom, everything goes wrong to discourage you. That's how I felt at choir tonight - it seemed I coudn't do anything right." I listened to his story of the details of choir rehearsal and wondered what that had to do with homework. He continued, "But I know it's not about choir; it's about the goal."

Writers on the topic of goal setting are great at analyzing why people don't set goals. They talk about fear (of success as well as failure), perfectionism, too much work to achieve, not worth it when the results do come. But not so often do they talk about this reality - that there will be attacks on one's spirit and belief the moment new goals are set. Attacks that might purify the motivation and tests to be sure that one is really committed. Those who don't know they are coming will rarely get past the 3rd day (at the most) to keep working in the newly determined direction.

If you climbed inside my journal (and it's obvious from looking at dates on this blogsite), you would know I had the attacks. The taunts that say,"Are you SERIOUS?" "What, you really think you're going to write every day?" "And what makes you think you have anything to say?" "Besides, of course, you know Solomon taught there is nothing new under the sun - and that was how many milleniums ago? Why would you ever think there is something new coming from you today?"

And so they go. They come in many forms - not the least of which is the mind. But they also come in more measurable distractors - sickness, negative financial surprises, a new challenge with a child or teenager, extrinsic crises in work, family, community. The list is infinite.

And so I must ask, "Can I do this for 21 days? How about 3 months of 21 days? How about 3 seasons of 3 months of 21 days?" Then I might be able to believe the new habit is set, the change has taken place, and growing into a little more of the person I was created to be might be actual reality.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Writing - a Discipline and a Risk

For years I've struggled with guilt of not disciplining myself to write, being asked and even beseeched by others to go through the energy (and perhaps tedium) of putting my thoughts into written word. Struggling to change, I've written affirmations and goals for the same. Write daily. every other day. On the weekend. Sunday afternoon - it could be rest. Yet no change. Today, however, in committing to a day of rest, I determined read what others said about writing - and in so became totally convicted through a facebook reference to a Michael Hyatt blog, leading to more reading of his blogs that talked of blogging as being the aboslute requirement for 21st century publishing, I finally succombed. I can post my motly thoughts up there in Cyberspace for all to see.

So Michael said the first part is to do it. The second part is to build a following. What? Ask peoople to come and voluntarily read my writing? As if this is something that will reward them, satisfy them, encourage them, make their day better? Yes, it is something I must do. He said it will exercise my practice in using words, and of course it will, but even more, it will exercise my practice in confident communication, confident expresison, confident living.

And so I embark on this journey - to become the person I was created to be. To risk creating boredom in others, criticism, snickering smiles, but to look for the opportunity to share the word that might encourage someone to take one more breath, experience one more day, live one more dream, with an attitude of expectatncy that lets loose those serendipities of life that await that one.