EVERY new year for as long as I can remember (realizing I sometimes can’t remember from here to there), I have set three or four goals for myself and placed them in locations where I’d see them on a daily basis. In the past I have taped them to the bathroom mirror, posted them on the wall in the breakfast room, and even put them in my sock drawer (right on top). Today, I keep them on the white board above my computer. I do this at the beginning of each year rather than making RESOLUTIONS, because those have a way of becoming broken, unfulfilled, forgotten. Resolutions are fleeting, temporary. GOALS, though, are things you wish to work toward and by posting them in a conspicuous location (or several), you’ll be reminded of whatever it is you want to achieve. For example, in 1985 one of my goals was to write and have accepted a picture book manuscript. I didn’t achieve it that year but decided it was a goal I still wanted to pursue in 1986, so when January rolled around I placed it at the top of my new goal list and kept working toward it. In August of that year I received a call from an editor; she wanted to contract a picture book manuscript. That book, COUNTRY BEAR’S GOOD NEIGHBOR, with soft, delightful illustrations by the talented Ruth Tietjen Councell, was published by Orchard Books in early 1988 and remained in print for more than twenty-five years. It was book number four of the more than 165 books I’ve written–one by one, goal list by goal list–over the years.While RESOLUTIONS come and go, GOALS are pursued over the long haul, perhaps taking multiple years to achieve. But steady is the course.
Have you set your 2016 goals?