What’s Been On My Mind

The perfect rose--


They’ve been on my mind quite a bit this past week.

Okay, I’ll admit I’m a goal-oriented woman. If I hadn’t been I wouldn’t have achieved what I have in my life. But there’s something about goals that I don’t often express–to myself or to others. And believe me, those who know me personally know I’m not afraid to get into some serious conversations about goals.

So what was this point about goals that struck me this past week? And why did I consider it when I did? And then like my Oreo with a new toy why can’t I leave it alone until I’ve mulled it over?

Well, here goes what prompted this mulling.

My sister and I drove up to Madison this week to visit with her daughter who’s now in her first year of private practice as a physician. She was anxious for me to see her first “real” home, meaning one that’s not attached to school or residency housing.

Goal oriented aunt and niece

And I was anxious to have a visit with her. While we were sharing a glass of wine, she mentioned that she’s spent some time thinking about her goals and how she’s achieved them. In past years she’d focused her goals in getting great grades throughout school, getting into medical school and completing it well, doing her externships well, getting a great residency, research and publishing to establish a professional reputation, and finally getting in a practice she loves in an area she also loves.

Whew! I’m exhausted just writing all that… 😉

But now that she’s settled in, she’s realizing she must set her sights on new goals, and we talked about those. Many of them are personal as well as professional. She asked if I did the same. I nodded and explained that this is exactly how it should be in her life at this point.

She also mentioned that along the way she realized she prioritized this goal of being a doctor in private practice, she’d not achieved other things she’d love to have, maybe more personal or pursuing intellectual paths she didn’t have time for. Boy, I’ve been there. It can be a rude awakening in some ways.

And I thought again how proud of her I am. And how blessed I’ve been to have such a close relationship with her while she was growing up. (I feel the same about my other niece and nephews, and I treasure my times, past and present, with them. But that’s another blog topic.)

My point to my niece was goals when achieved should be/must be replaced with new ones. Those should reflect what we’ve learned about ourselves and our environment and indicate a new path or adventure we hope to achieve. If we don’t do this, we really cease growing professionally, intellectually, emotionally, personally.

Another goal achieved

So all this reflection on goals brought me back to myself. Doesn’t it always? 🙂

This week I’m ready to tackle doing some serious revision on another book. I’ve had to take this past week to get myself immersed into the world I’ve created for this book. I realized that much of the growth of my main character for this next book relies more heavily than usual on rethinking what her goals have been in life. She’s forced to do this because the situations in her life have changed dramatically. Early in the book she’s fighting this need to change her goals because she doesn’t want to give up what she thought would help her achieve her concept of her former perfect life goal.

That’s another point about goals. Sometimes life just smacks us down short of achieving that goal. Then we have to get up and figure out what our real goal is because no way are we going to reach that goal. If we can’t be flexible and analytical about our lives and ourselves, we won’t do well in achieving our goals.

These are some of my thoughts I leave you with today. I’d like to hear what you think about goals and how you use them or not.

The quiet watcher while I write

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12 Comments on “What’s Been On My Mind”

  1. Yes, I use goals or I’d never get anything done. Goals and personal deadlines. I reached one of those goals this past week when I finished a book, and even though I have many others (goals and books to write) waiting in queue, I floundered for a day wondering what to do.

    I realized I needed a little break for my mind before refocusing on the next goal. Some down time. And what am I doing on my down time? I’m studying up on social networking. Fun, hey? Well, I did play Go Fish with the kids for awhile last night. 🙂

    Love the new cover! Wishing you many new readers!

  2. Casey, I love the cover of the book with the puppy. I’ll have to check that one out. And, yes, I would hope that we never stop setting goals for ourselves, no matter our age. I have many things I still want to accomplish and I’m no longer “young”. But, it’s what keeps life interesting and fun
    It’s SO cool to see you have such a close relationship with your niece.

  3. Stacey,

    When you know everything there is to know about social networking, then you can do a short program for those of us not quite sure we want to go down that garden path. With your compelling personality, I’m sure you’ll pull us laggers along behind you. 🙂

    Go Fish with the kids builds memories, or maybe a future scene in a book. Never wasted time with a wide open mind.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Patti,

    I’m so glad you like the cover! I wasn’t sure about it only because we couldn’t quite get the idea we wanted to come together but when my cover artist came up with this one, I was captivated and it depicts one element in Katy’s journey through this book.

    So glad you stopped by and added your thoughts on goals.

  5. Casey, love this post, ditto for the puppy and the new cover. Goals? I guess when we are a certain “age” we begin to see how we have reached some, missed some, and need to continue to make new ones. Each phase of my life, I have been consumed with reaching goals that impacted on others, as much as myself. This journey of writing is a more solitary goal and reaching each plateau brings me a more personal joy.

    Great that you have been abel to enjoy the achievements of your nieces and nephews. Your niece is lovely 🙂

  6. Florence,

    I love your thoughts on goals when we get older as bringing more personal joy. Actually, I love that thought. And it’s so true. So many of my goals at this point in my life are tied into my solitary writer’s life. And the joy I gain when I accomplish yet another goal is so very special.

    Thank you so much for your comments and sharing your concept of goals.

  7. Edie Ramer Says:

    What a wonderful cover! Love it!

    Right now my goals are short term for the most part, but there are too many. I already have a list to do tomorrow before anything else. I do have long-term goals, and my short term ones are leading up to them.

  8. Short term goals lead to achieving long term ones, Edie. And you’ve really been achieving several the past year and a half. Be impressed and enjoy. 🙂

    So glad you like my latest cover. You helped by mentioning Laura.

  9. Congrats on another book in the almost-there category. I’ve got your books in cue on my Kindle. So many books, so little time…

  10. Lorna,

    i know that feeling about so many books–so little time. This is it for a few months until I get the second in this series finished. 🙂 Again, too much to do and too little time.

    Ah, the story of my life…

  11. Anne Parent Says:

    I believe in goals. I set three weekly goals each Sunday and I review them throughout the week. It’s working. I love the sense of accomplishment on Sunday when I share my past week with my husband and I can tell him exactly what I did for my career that week. Yes, goals are our friends!

  12. Anne,

    Of course, you’re goal oriented. Doesn’t surprise me a bit. Being a teacher for so many years and dealing with a dean who required lesson plans for each week (can you believe it?), I got used to using a certain type of weekly planner. I still use one now– works like a charm.

    I can log hours on each daily project, keep track of mileage and expenses each day and it’s all there for a year.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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