The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Goals

In some ways, goals are the most important things in life. Okay, maybe not above family or love and health and things like that, but goals are really up there. Without goals, you have nothing to reach for. And with nothing to look forward to or work towards, what purpose do you really feel that you have? Giving yourself a goal and then working towards it, no matter how slowly, is important.

I have always been a goal-oriented kind of person. I can't tell you how many nights I've stayed up writing down goal sheets and marking up a plan of how to reach that goal. In the sixth grade or so, I decided I wanted to go to Harvard and become a lawyer. I called them to request admission materials. I filled out my application, just to practice for when I actually was ready to send one in six years later. I tried to figure out just how much I'd need in terms of scholarship money and which local scholarships I could already start working to win. Everything I've ever wanted to achieve in life, I have treated in this same way. The planning and the dreaming part of the goal is the easiest and best part.

Then comes the hard part. The DOING. The work that goes into executing those plans. The daily grind, so to speak. That's truly the hard part. Keeping my eye on the prize and working little by little to achieve something great. It isn't easy. And after all the times I've sat down and written in a notebook until the wee hours of the morning thinking up some new goal and plan, there have only truly been a handful of times I've reached those goals.

Sometimes, by the time I get to the point where the "dream" can come true, I realize that I want something else. Take Harvard Law for example. By the time I was a senior in high school, I didn't want to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a singer or a writer. I worked toward auditioning for schools that had decent music programs but also amazing academic/liberal arts education in English. Vanderbilt rose to the top of my list. Do I still consider that a goal I achieved since I ended up at Vandy instead of Harvard? You bet your ass I do! I worked hard and I felt the joy of a goal accomplished every year I was at that school. The little goals and the daily grind was worth it. It was worth every single moment of hated homework and missing out on party life in high school to be a more studious person who took part in a lot of afterschool, extracurricular activities. The reward was worth it.

Other times, I got exactly what I wanted and worked for...and beyond. Like the time I won first place in the State Girls Solo competition for Literary. I had been working towards just getting past the regional competition for four years. My senior year, my goal was simply to win regionals and perform at State. When I WON state, I was shocked and happy. The payoff there was so much greater than I ever dreamed.

And then, of course, there are the times when I never reached my goals. Like the goal I set to become a famous opera singer. Or to be in the Merola Program in San Francisco by the time I turned 30. Those were real goals and I put years of hard work into them. But I never could achieve them. I sort of gave up on my singing career a long time ago, for various reason, some of which I think I still don't fully understand.

I have a collection of past goals with various outcomes. But the ones that really matter now are my goals for the future. And there are many. The problem, however, is that the daily grind has gotten harder. Either my goals are just that much more difficult and focused or else I'm just getting very lazy. I wake up every day and know exactly what my goals are, but that doesn't mean that I take the steps I need to in order to achieve them. Like losing weight. I have been wanting to lose weight for years. It's a goal of mine. But I don't take the right steps like exercise and eating right. And without that committment and dedication to really working toward that goal, I'll stay right where I am for the rest of my life.

Sometimes it feels as if the "goal" switch got turned off for a while and now I'm looking for it again to flip it back on. When I was married and living in GA teaching school, I realized that for the first time in my life, I didn't really have any goals. And I was lost. Completely and utterly lost. Goals are too important to me to just sit back and be content with life as it is. Even if I make the New York Times Bestseller list someday, I hope I still have goals to work toward. I need them to survive and to be happy. It's just taking me longer than I had hoped to get back in the old routines of setting the goal and then working every single day to make a small contribution to my future. I know that I have what it takes deep inside. I just need to flip that switch somehow and re-teach myself to work harder.

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Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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