Goals are a tricky business – especially when you’ve set them for yourself.
I’ve attended many workshops that teach you how to set goals and best practices to achieve them. The first tip that’s always said is that you have to make them measurable – set goals with deadlines. Plan accordingly and adjust your plan as you go. I wonder what some of those facilitators would think of me today, ready to really dive in and chase after one very specific goal.
I was in Uganda sitting on a hammock, it was June of 2008, and I had just gotten to the house after my first ever day in Africa. I started writing in my journal about this beautiful girl named Elizabeth. How she had asked me a question that I could not shake. I got frustrated with it all, I couldn’t write fast enough… an easy observation if one looks at the rushed penmanship from that journal. Then I started a new page and it was the introduction to a book. Throughout the rest of the summer, I added to this plan and then upon my return to Canada, I started typing away as often as I could. When I realized it was getting somewhere, I set a goal – finish writing a manuscript in 2010.
Well, it’s June of 2010. I’ve published articles, found an incredible editor and even had a first meeting with a publisher. I’ve typed thousands and thousands of words and have an official outline that I am very happy with. The challenge – July, August, September, October, November, December – six months to have a manuscript.
I am behind schedule, I should be further along than I am today. That is not to say I cannot finish it on time, I know I can. Two university transfers and one attempt at a relationship later, I realize I need to really commit. I talked to my parents, my brother, my advisors, my supporters, my friends and most importantly, to myself. There don’t seem to be many huge objections, though there are certainly some raised eyebrows and inquisitive looks. If family and friends are supportive, then I think I will be taking a short break from school to focus on writing.
It’s been said that it is better to try and fail than fail to try.
I have hope in that.