Goals Schmoals

Each year as December comes to a close, I take stock of the year. If you read Runwritedig with any regularity, you know that I set goals for running and writing. Then, in 2013, for the first time I set a goal for gardening as well. They all sounded good at the time. At the time, I was a year younger and stronger. At the time, I had the security -and routine- of a job I really liked. At the time, my twins were still riding bicycles. They hadn’t yet wrecked my cars. Yes, that’s right; that’s cars with an “s.” By now, you can sense where this look in the rearview mirror is headed. I did not meet most of my 2013 goals. And so, to that I say, “Who needs ’em anyway? What good are they?” My inside voice shouts, “Goals, Schmoals!”

OK, now that I got that out of the way, it’s time to look ahead to a better 2014. Truth be told, I know the answer to those questions rummaging around in my head. If I’m being entirely honest, I know that I need goals. I know how important they are to me. I set goals to provide two markers: (1) a benchmark for measuring whatever I consider to be personal success, (2) a proclamation for becoming a little better person today than I was yesterday.

2014 run
Running: (two goals)

My 2013 goal was to run 275 miles; I ran 200. “Missed by that much.” 😦
My 2014 goal
is to run 275 miles. I know what adjustments to make and I will get there.

My 2013 goal was to compete in three organized races, one of which would be a half marathon. I ran exactly one– a 10K. Major fail! 😦
My 2014 goal is a bit more realistic and less ambitious. I will run two organized races this year; any distance will do.

My 2013 goal
was to send no less than five query letters per month, to editors. Most months I sent one or two. 😦

My 2014 goal is entirely different. It’s all about writing for pleasure, not just for business. I will join a writer’s group to develop a voice in fiction.

My 2013 goal
was to grow, harvest, and distribute 100 lbs. of organically grown vegetables from my backyard garden, to those less fortunate. I am happy to announce that I gave away 115 lbs. 🙂

My 2014 goal is to repeat the success of this year, and dole out another 100# from my backyard 4×8’s.

A modest harvest from my 2012 garden.

A modest harvest from my 2013 garden.


And so it goes. My goals are established, prioritized, and now publicized. I’m accountable to complete them all.

What works for you? Do you set goals for your own success? How do you hold yourself accountable to complete them? Leave your comments in the section at the bottom of this article.


8 thoughts on “Goals Schmoals

  1. I like your honesty, Chuck, and a major congrats with your vegetable garden and distribution. That is awesome! You’ve given me a needed jolt to establish my 2014 goals. I’ve been somewhat unfocused since my memoir was published, and I need to get back on track. So thanks for that. What I’ve learned though, is that it’s not how many queries you send out, but the quality of the queries. I have a story collection of my own, and I think I need to follow that advice. Good luck, and Happy New Year!

  2. You may have failed at some of your goals, Chuck, but you had successes, too, and that’s what success is all about. You DID some great things. For me, the last two years have seen more failures than successes in both my professional and personal life. Although beating cancer is a major success. And unfortunately, I let issues in my life get in the way of my personal and professional goals, but I plan to be more organized and more determined to do things for me in this coming year. I have helped people for most of my life and in 2014 I’m going to set goals for me so that I can try to be as productive as I’d like to be for me and still be able to be a friend and a helper to others. This is my big goal – and that includes finishing and publishing the two books that I started to write this year, one book that I’ve finished and one that’s floating around in my head. These are my goals for 2014. (of course, taking a trip to Italy is an ongoing goal for me every year…lol)

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