Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

On Goals

January 12, 2006

Goals can be a good thing, at least for me. I’m constantly amazed at how setting a goal– even an arbitrary one– can give me focus and motivation. The wife says I’m ‘project oriented’, and I guess she’s right (yet again). When I’ve had jobs that were less than interesting, and/or seasons of life that didn’t seem to be going anywhere, I would get kind of depressed. On the other hand, when I was running more frequently, I would get quite invigorated by the simple act of putting a race on the calendar. It gave me some incentive to run regularly, and helped me focus. Heck, there were even times when I would fib to myself, telling me that I’d be running a marathon in the fall, just so that I could keep going during the opppressive heat and humidity of a DC summer.

In the middle of November, I half-heartedly engaged in two goals. By buying a new book and a new pair of shoes, I was committing myself and trying to provide motivation (however abstract) to accomplish a couple of things. Yet the new items remained uncracked and unsoiled (respectively), staring up at me every day from their place in the corner. I didn’t want to put them away, you see, because, well, at any moment, I would pick them up and head out into my new and exciting future. Hours became days, days became weeks, weeks turned into months.

Until this Sunday. When I got an email reminding me that the meeting to talk about the book was only a month away, and that the second book of our reading list would arrive later this week. Whoa. I guess I’d better get started on the first book. Which I’m enjoying tremendously (and wishing I had more time to read!). Which my friend Gospel Matt– who will likely accompany me to said meeting– has been recommending since the day I met him six years ago. But I needed a goal to get the thing started.

On that same day, I checked into my registration for a race that’s coming up in April. Which I got into, just barely. Which means that I would (ideally) need to do some preparation for it (since it is ten miles long, and I haven’t run a step in over three months). So what happened on Monday? I went for a run. Which my friend Super Steve has been kindly calling me to for months, what with his wonderfully persistent, friendly, thoughtful emails and winsome invitations to rejoin my crew at SLR. But I needed a goal (and a very real fear of personal embarassment) to get things started.

Now I guess I should stop writing and get back to them.

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2 Responses to “On Goals”

  1. Erin says:

    I need the same kind of motivation to overcome writer’s block. I can do the “artist in a garret thing” for awhile but eventually I lose steam. Then there’s nothing like an audience and a deadline to kick me in the pants.

  2. Theophileous says:

    Hey, I’m with you. As someone once said, “Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it everytime with extreme accuracy!”

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