Thursday, January 03, 2013

Goals (and no, this isn't about Russell Brand)

Mr. RK was sweet enough to go out and get me Japanese food. I've been a bit under the weather - you know how it is, when the one thing you want isn't in your house?

Mr. RK: "Well, hopefully you don't feel that way about me. I mean, I'd hate for you to be sick and only want Russell Brand."

(Someone has been reading too many of my blog comments...)

Anyhow, this post has nothing to do with my celebrity crush. It has to do with goals.

Many people have posted about goals for 2013, and Charles Gramlich wrote a really interesting post about how we have the psychological need to start afresh, and how that makes us hopeful in the new year.

I agree. I couldn't put that into words, so I'm glad he did.

On the flip side, I've seen so many "news" articles - or shall I say pop psych articles - saying we shouldn't set the bar too high, lest we let ourselves down, etc., etc.

To that I say: bullshit! Why not aim high? As Mr. RK told me when I was first learning to cook, and always had "Plan B" in case I burned down the kitchen, "Don't plan for failure!"


Two of my writer friends, including blog buddy GB Miller, had their novels accepted for publication in 2012, which I believe beat their expectations (following a lot of hard work, of course.)

A new year brings hope and renewal, and why not? Why shouldn't we think positively and try our best? Will we meet every far-reaching goal? Perhaps not. But why set the bar low? Would you feel better coming close to accomplishing - or flat-out accomplishing - something to make you proud, or something you could do in your sleep? (Please note: if you can juggle or work out new laws of physics in your sleep, ignore that last bit.)

I hope I don't sound too hunky-dory here because I have many moments of self-doubt even when I accomplish goals, or beat them. Like, I have a children's book that I wrote a few years ago and haven't submitted anywhere in forever. And another one I haven't finished writing. That is going to change this year. (I have already picked up the second one, by the way.)

Because I was reminded the other day of something that happened right after I graduated from college. It was a few months out and I had no prospects. My dad had basically come to my rescue and set me up in a new apartment, and taken me shopping for "work" clothes (even though I didn't have a job yet.) He and I were in a gift shop on a road trip back home from Disneyland. He found a clock depicting desk with a stack of newspapers on it and said, "How about I get this for you, and you can put it on your desk when you're a reporter?"

I mumbled something about that not happening anytime soon and I believe he gave me some kind of positive thinking lecture, and bought me the clock.

Less than six months later, it was on my desk at my first newspaper job. It has followed me to every job since. He encouraged me then, and he still encourages me now.

So here's to all of you reaching your goals this year. A little encouragement from someone else, as I've learned, never hurts.

21 comments:

OldLady Of The Hills said...

So very true! Haqving someone in your corner--cheering you on---is such a great boost! How wonderful that your father did that for you, snd still does...!
Always love your pictures more than I can say....!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yeah!! Your Dad sounds like a great guy.

Kashmir said...

I agree. I couldn't put that into words, so I'm glad he did.

Birdie said...

Thank you! I needed to read this. I have this guilty feeling that losing weight is only a New Year's resolution that I am going to fail but inside I fee like it is a fresh start and I can do it.

The Elephant's Child said...

What a wonderful, insightful father you had.
And yes, to have someone in your corner cheering you on would be wonderful - something to hug to yourself of the dark days that we all experience.
I really don't have any goals for the year though. Muddling on seems to work for me...

G. B. Miller said...

Hey, thanks for the shout out!

Having a goal of some kind to shoot for can otherwise make a hum-drum day brighter.

My goal for this year is the same as it was last year: to get a least one story published.

Granny Annie said...

I am trying to win at Las Vegas solitaire and everytime I reset the game because I have lost so much, the question will pop up wanting to know if I really want to start fresh. Yes I do and yes I do with a New Year also. Nothing wrong with starting over.

Cheryl said...

I love the idea, if you are setting a goal set the bar high. Why plan for failure. Absolutely!!

Yeah for your dad!!! That's what a good dad looks like.

Charles Gramlich said...

You make a very good point. It's a little scary to aim high, like that kitty starting up that very tall tree, but if you aim high you're likely to make pretty good progress even if you don't quite reach your goal.

LL Cool Joe said...

Oops I better set some goals then....

Lynn said...

You are the best for encouragement and cheering on.

Darth Weasel said...

I like to set goals I have already surpassed. that way I have a spectacular success rate...

On a more serious note, I suspect the reason the overwhelming majority of new years resolutions fail is because by choosing New Years a person has a plan to fail; if they fall off the wagon they hearken back not to their decision but to the date they started.

The people I know who (anecdotal evidence only) have had the best success start on random days with a focus on the change they are trying to make. They have hardly been universally successful...but have a much higher success rate.

I have long hypothesized it is because they are looking at themselves and wanting to change instead of looking at an artificial date on a calendar and finding something to change.

At the same time, there is something cool about saying "I have not used a spork since Janury 1st"...

Riot Kitty said...

Thanks for the feedback everyone! Yeah, my dad is pretty cool.

And Lynn, that is a very nice compliment.

Rock Chef said...

Hm,maybe I should write MY book....
I should get back to it, it would be fun.

Ileana said...

Well, if THIS isn't the most inspirational and encouraging post ever...I LOVE it!

Yes, I'm with you...aim higher than high and don't plan for failure, to quote Mr. RK.

The story of your dad touched me...sounds like a great man!

Introverted Art said...

ok the 12 pack just had me laughing non-stop.

Riot Kitty said...

RC: Go for it! What kind of book?
Ily: Thanks chica! You and my dad would get along great, I think.
IA: Excellent ;)

Shionge said...

Yes...way to go and giving some morale booster is definitely the way to go :D

Riot Kitty said...

S: I agree!

Logical Libby said...

I think a little irrational hope is a good thing. Better than irrational self hatred. We all know how that goes...

Riot Kitty said...

Libby: Yep.