Goals, have you got ’em?

2017-11-19 11.50.26Okay, we’re moving on into the second week of January. Many of you have set and begun to work toward goals. Lots of goals. You are going to be so much better in 2018. Your friends won’t even recognize you the new you.

It feels as though anything is possible in the New Year. All your old blots have been expunged. You can dump that frayed old you and become…anything, everything.

Some of you are really good at setting goals and working toward them. You write them down in your journals, and you plan for them in you schedules, and when 2018 ends, you’ll have accomplished at least some of what you planned to accomplish. Yay you!

Now, I’m a seriously conscientious person. Not in the orderliness aspect of that trait, but in an industrious way. I’m the person who can’t just sit there. Part of the reason I don’t like parties is that mostly it’s just sitting there making inane conversation. Come on, if we’re going to talk lets talk about really important things.

Yes, I know, I need to learn to chill. Perhaps that should be one of my goals this year. Wait, I’ll write that down.

I have a confession to make. I find it really hard to set goals–the precise written down kind of goals. Oh yes, I have a vague plan in my head. I’m going to begin a new novel, and I’ll finish the revision on the current one. I’ll submit the novel in revision to…and I’ll make digital art at least once a week I’ll work on analog art three times–no four time, maybe…

See, not very specific. So what’s the problem? Why am I so reluctant to make specific goals?

It might have something to do with fear of failure. Or, maybe it has something to do with my tendency to remain open to new things for as long as possible. If I tell you I’m going to do something, I can’t change my mind and do something else instead. My conscientiousness won’t let me. To compensate I make vague goals. It gives me direction, but doesn’t lock me in.

What about you? Do you find it easy to set specific goals? Reasonable goals that you can achieve? What makes it work for you? If you have as much trouble with this as I do, why? I’d love to hear from you.

I’ve been working hard on revising a young adult fantasy novel, called The Spell, and haven’t had much time in the studio. The above is a small sketchbook collage I made in November of 2017




5 thoughts on “Goals, have you got ’em?

  1. I admit to having open goals and to being open to inspiration that comes along. I had a small showing of my 2017 painting. I saw that I want to develop a more gestural textured way of applying paint. I have done two paintings following that goal. But after holiday hullabaloo and an endless cold, I am struggling get started. What shall I paint now that it is the winter doldrums?


    1. Congratulations on your exhibition in 2017, Wyncia. So, you do have the implied goal of continuing your painting work and to develop a more gestural, textured approach. Good job. If you are like many of us the social aspect of holidays often leave you feeling like you lost yourself along the way. It takes a little while to gather up all the pieces that are Wyncia or Eve and put them back together again and feel excited about what you had planned to do. Another thing I find, is that if I tell others about my plans too soon, it seems to suck out the energy out of them. I need to incubate my plans for awhile. Yeah, winter. For some reason, I’m reasonably energized in the winter, but many people find it drains their energy. Wishing you the best as you move forward!


  2. I was interested to read this, Eve. I find that when I am working full-time I don’t do any goal-setting except for to-do lists at work and at home. At times in my life, when I’ve had more time for rumination, I’ve done extensive goal-setting exercises. I have found it helpful because I like things to be concrete and not just vague ideas floating around in my head.


    1. When you’re working for someone else, I find that others set–if not goals–at least tasks for you, and you feel a certain sense of achievement when you complete those tasks. But throughout my working life I’ve had a need to create things and outside of a school setting no one tells you what you should be doing in your creative work and they don’t give you that metaphorical pat on the head–a pay cheque–either. So to some extent or other I’ve always set goal, only for some strange reason I need to keep those goals loose. I keep reading that’s it’s important to set specific and clear goals. Perhaps it’s a bit like being a pantser versus a plotter.


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