The Sweetie Chronicles

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

Falling Short of My Goals

Having goals is one of the single most important things in my life. I understand that some people just aren't goal-oriented, and that's fine. But for me, everything fell apart when I didn't have goals. I went through a depression in my 20's that saw me systematically sabotaging everything I'd worked so hard for up to that point in my life. Friendships. Health. Career. I gave up my goals, believing that I would never be good enough to actually achieve the things I wanted out of life. I decided to settle for average. I got a solid job, bought a house in a small southern town, and married the wrong guy. I thought that since reaching for my goals had only brought me heartache, giving up the hope of a better life and settling into a "normal" life would bring me happiness.

Boy was I wrong! My choices back then couldn't have been farther from what I really needed to be or do. I look back on that period of my life and am grateful I was able to pull myself away and reach for something better. Now, just so we're clear - I'm not making any kind of statement about people who have normal 9-5 kinds of jobs. I'm not making a statement about anyone else's life but my own. I just think that as a young girl, I was taught that having a safe, decent job, going to church, getting married, and buying a nice house was pretty much the be-all end-all of life. It was the supreme goal. So I tried it. And I hated it.

Goals are important to me. Lofty goals. Huge, reach for them with all your heart kind of goals. I need them as much as I need food or air. It took me a long time to realize it, but once I knew for sure, I embraced that about myself. But setting a goal is only part of the equation. It's the reaching part that's the big thing. People can say they have certain goals, but do their actions really show them reaching to attain them?

I have a friend whose husband is a "fixing to" kind of guy. Whenever I see him, he's always talking about how he's "fixing to apply for a bunch of jobs" or "planning to add a new addition to the house" or "wanting to go back to school to get a degree". He obviously has things he knows he wants to do, but what steps does he ever take to actually achieve any of those things? I don't live with the guy or anything, but I have never once seen him follow through with any of those things he was "fixing to do". Maybe he finds joy in thinking of what could be. Maybe that's his thing. I need more.

It's the doing and the reaching for the goals that makes me whole. I might resist against the hard work of it, but I love it at the same time. I love seeing the fruits of my labor as I go along. Self-publishing, for example, has been a huge journey for me. My goals are lofty. I want to be a best-seller. I want to someday sell one of my stories to a big movie studio. I want to sell a million copies of my books by the time I'm 50. (Or more! I'm open to the thought!) But I don't just talk about these things. I work toward those goals. I wrote and published two books in the course of four months. I'm half-way through the rough draft of book 3 and plan to publish it in just one month. I push to reach these milestones so that someday, the rewards will also fall into place.

And here's the important thing - I often fall far short of my goals. Like today, for example. I set a goal of writing 10,000 words today. I'm behind on my own schedule for Book 3 and I wanted to work hard today to try to catch up. But I didn't make it to 10k. I only wrote about 6,000 words today. Does that mean I'm a big failure and will never reach my goals? No. It means I was a success. I got my butt out of bed and went to work early this morning. I worked hard all day and produced more pages than normal. I worked toward my goal, and even though I didn't quite hit it, I came close enough to be really proud of myself.

If I sell half a million copies of my books by the time I'm 50 instead of a million, I'm not going to cry my eyes out and scream that I'm a failure. Falling short of a goal doesn't make you a failure. It makes you a success. Why? Because you accomplished something in the process. You didn't just sit there, too scared to reach for the things you want. You gave it your all and you got something done. It's not about setting goals and it's not so much about reaching the goals. It's about making progress and a constant effort every day to move in the direction of those goals. It's about the journey along the way.

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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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