My students will tell you that I’m ALWAYS making them set goals. I will admit that there are some things I do as a teacher just because I’m supposed to, because the standards tell me to, but goal setting is not one of them. It is one of the jewels I get to bestow upon these young minds. A shiny, jewel that will get them through the darkest times in their lives. I love that we set goals with kids because I believe it is one of the most important parts of life, of being a person who grows. It teaches us about failure, about hard work, about picking ourselves up off the floor, about self-evaluation, about plan-Bs, and, best of all, about the fast-spreading-warmth of success.
About pride in achievement.
Sure, I have to set professional goals each year as a teacher, but (and I tell my kids this) the goals I continually set for myself personally and emotionally, those are the ones that really help me grow. This time of year, we tend to talk about them as “resolutions,” but I think there’s a bad connotation connected to that word. And I don’t think it’s something we should only do once a year. Goal setting happens every month, every week, every part of every day.
One of the things I LOVE about my critique partners is that we all set goals together each week. Writing down what I want to get done and knowing that other people know about it makes such a difference. I know they aren’t going to be mad at me if I don’t reach my goal. No one’s going to take away my birthday or anything. But when I do reach my goal and they smile and congratulate me, that warm feeling is enough motivation for me to work as hard as I can to make it happen again. So I encourage you to do the same. Write your goals down, tell other people, make them check in with you.
Strive for those warm smiles.
At our next meeting, we’re stating our goals for this year. I have to tell you, at a glance, 2014 looks pretty intimidating to me. I’m finishing up the last book in my trilogy, my creative LIFE for the past few years. I can’t wait to move on to my next project, but I’ve also made the commitment to start sending my first book out to agents. Eeeeep! Talk about monstrous intimidation. My friend, Kristi, wrote an super on-the-nose post about how very scary rejection can be for writers.
But what’s the fun in reaching goals if they aren’t scary or intimidating? If we constantly try for things that we already know we can do, there’s no growth in that, no warm feeling of awesomeness because you weren’t sure you could actually do it.
Anyway, Happy New Year, friends. What are your goals for this year?