Monday, January 7, 2008

Goal metrics

How do we measure progress towards goals? It's easy if the goal is tangible, like sign a book contract. But what about intangible goals?

One of my goals this year is to be a better listener. That's not so easy to measure. Included in that overall goal is to be a better friend. Last year writing consumed my life. I'd like to do better this year. I'd like to consider writing my job, and I'd like to take time off from my job. Hence the goal of interacting with friends. To make this tangible, I'm going to take the initiative and schedule events with friends. I have a lunch scheduled for next Sunday. That's one friend I'll visit with one on one. So that's how I'll catch up with her life. I'll do the same with other nearby friends. For longdistance friends, I'll up my personal correspondence.

Another goal of mine for 2008 was to make a lasting memory with my family. We've scheduled our first family vacation in five years this year, so I have a good shot of achieving this goal. It's funny though, considering lasting memories from other years, the important stuff is not what's on the calendar. Its the incidental stuff, like the dead cow on the side of the road in Arizona, or the unexpected snowstorm on a trail ride. I'm keeping an open mind.

My last goal involved personal criticism. I have a habit of measuring my "success" in terms of what others have achieved. When I start heading down this path, I'm going to apply some positive thinking. I've come more and more to believe that we can influence outcomes with positive attitudes. I always knew I'd get published, and I did, which further supports my thesis of good thoughts. Hard work and placement help too.

For others out there struggling with goals, determine what will make you happy, figure out how you can get it, then break that process down into step-wise chunks. No matter the outcome, you'll be in a different place than you are right now.

Happy New Year everyone!

Maggie Toussaint
No Second Chance is out now in ebook!

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