Hey, What's Your Goal? - writercize #54

It is my belief that there are two primary types of people in this world - those whose expectations of themselves far exceeds that of what anyone else could possibly think to expect of them, and those who set the bar so low of their self-expectations that others are continuously trying to pull them up.

Both types of people are set up for disappointment, the first disappoint themselves and the second disappoint others.  

That is not to say that disappointment is necessarily a negative thing; at times it can help us better recognize our strengths, weaknesses and limitations.  In this way, we have the power to alter either our thinking or behavior to change future outcomes.

I am a classic example of someone who sets the bar higher than I can reach.  However, I feel that as long as I am able recognize my limitations when necessary and forgive myself for my perceived short-comings (oh so important!) this quality of setting high expectations is a very good thing.  It allows me to dream BIG.  Most of these dreams remain in my head and I enjoy playing them out every once in a while (win Pulitzer, discover mosquito repellent so effective that insect-born disease is obliterated, win Oscar for Best Actress, encourage all citizens to take part in community building, and the list goes on and on and on).  

Clearly these are not true expectations of myself, but when I find a dream that is important enough to grab onto, I try to convert it into a reasonable goal, with attainable results within a practical time frame.  Sometimes, my goals will aim a little high to keep something just out of reach, so that I can keep striving and challenging myself.

Speaking of challenges, since I do love them oh so much, I've decided to check out the Group Blogging Experience - aka GBE 2 - brought to my attention by Marie over at Write, Wrong or Indifferent.  It's basically a group of people who receive a weekly prompt to incorporate into their blog sometime during the week.  Great concept.  You can sign on to Facebook to receive the prompt by looking for a group called "GBE 2: Blog On."  This week's prompt was expectations, which was very convenient since I was planning to write on goal setting anyhow!

Now that intros have been taken care of, onto today's writercize.  Please post your writercize result as a comment!

writing exercise:  Think of yourself ten years into the future.  Allow your mind to wander and dream to identify your achievements - personal and professional alike.  Identify 3-5 of these achievements that you would like to pursue as a goal, and write it down.  

I like the ten year time period because it allows you to dream bigger than short-term one or two year goals.  It also allows you enough distance that if for whatever reason you are unable to achieve the goal, you haven't fallen as short of your own expectations as a short-term goal.  You can always chock ten years up to a different path life decided to take rather than a personal failure, and that flexibility feels good.

Click "read more" to see writercizer sample response.
writercizer response:

1 - Publish article in Vanity Fair.
2 - Work on (and have begun publishing) a book series.
3 - Act in community theater.
4 - Pay off student loan.
5 - Own home.

Other front runners - maintain flexibility to travel frequently (foreign and domestic), learn to sew, study Swedish, run for local government.


  1. I think having big dreams and turning them into attainable reachable goals is an awesome thing to do. I'm sort of a goal oriented person...so this is something I love...setting goals...mapping a plan to attain the goal and working to achieve it. I'm also a bit of a dreamer... :)

    Wonderful write. I hope you'll like the GBE 2... so many great and talented people there :) I know I was blessed the first time I was in the first GBE and have met many awesome people. I expect no less of this second group!!

    Cheers, Jenn

  2. Interesting ideas and an excellent read. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Fun! My goal is to live on a lake with an enclosed porch that keeps out the bugs but that doesn't obliterate my view of the lake, so I can sit outside with my laptop and write another screenplay after having won an award for my previous screenplay(s). I'd love to find a love interest, too, one that doesn't hinder me and who supports me the way I would support him. And I'd like to finally find the peace that comes from knowing I am where I am for a reason and that I cannot control the outcomes of choices made by my children or grandchildren. Great post!

  4. Great post!! Setting realistic goals makes like worth living, especially when you actually finally obtain the goal. It just makes everything more worthwhile!


  5. I'm happy that you've decided to join the GBE 2!

    Let's see, me, ten years from now...

    1. Several books of my short stories up on my bookshelf.

    2. Living in a nice place away from the city with some wooded acreage.

    3. Semi-retired--still writing, but only the stuff that brings me genuine pleasure.

    4. Mellow.

    5. Still optimistic and still setting goals.

  6. I always have a bit of a plan mapped up for myself though I totally believe in going with the flow of life because God might have different plans for me and I have to be okay with that... Such is life!

    Nice blog!

  7. Ten years from now our youngest would be nearing H.S. graduation. I would like to have my PhD in educational technology completed. Great post!

  8. This is very cool. Good goals.

  9. I love to dream! I'm glad you're able to set the bar high and not punish yourself, should you fall a little short.

    1. BA in English, Creative writing with teaching credential
    2. Still staying physically fit
    3. Roaming around Europe
    4. Having a bigger backyard so I can have a fantastic garden
    5. Always being there for my kids and being able to help them any way I can.

  10. Hmmmm, 10 years. Well, I'd like to be more flexible in every way (physically, emotionally...).

  11. Ten years from now I want to still be happy, I want friends and family to be happy as well as healthy. Traveling more would be a bonus too. I will let each day take care of the rest.

  12. Jenn - thanks so much! I'm enjoying the GBE2 so much already. Many, many more posts to make it through but I'm expecting great things. ;)

    Theresa - the lake house sounds like an amazing goal. Especially with the screen porch to ward off the mosquitoes. My mom is originally from MN so we'd visit family on the lake every summer - it was bliss except for those nasty red bites all over! And the other goals sound pretty great too.

    Word Nerd - I like all your goals, but LOVE your number five. Go-getters speak straight to my heart. :)

    MrsWilk - PhD sounds perfect.

    Beachlover - gardening, exercising, traveling, learning and being a great Mama. Sounds like a beautiful life of health, love and adventure.

    Langley - Good word to encapsulate a whole array of goals. It fits so many categories!

    Dances with Vodka - Here's to your happiness and health!

    Thanks to all others for the comments and positive feedback on my writing. :)

  13. Your goals are inspiring. Hey, if you create a repellent that goes on to sell big, you could use the money to invest in one of my screenplays, so we can shoot it around a starring role for you to get that best actress Oscar and then you'll write a book about how blogging started it all that becomes a best seller and wins you that Pulitzer :)

    Having big dreams is great and I like you you touched on people being realistic and such and having a balance in between being too ambitious and not being ambitious enough. I've come to learn the hard way that the former can often be a more enjoyable, productive and beneficial experience than the latter.

    Hey, you know that old saying "Go hard or go home"!....I think that can apply to having dreams and goals. If we're going to dream, we might as well dream big....I mean, that's what most of the celebrities say in their interviews anyway, lol.

    The Madlab Post

  14. Oh, I forgot to add....I think I am going to get in on that GBE 2. Thanks for letting me know about it :)

    The Madlab Post

  15. I was a part of the old GBE on MySpace and made dozens of friends that I'll hold onto forever. Welcome to the GBE 2. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

    By the way, Great write. I'm going to enjoy reading you!

  16. Enjoyed your post very much. So true that dreams with goals and realistic expectations can result in great things! I have lots of dreams but tend to fall short on the goal part so the dreams stay there floating around in my head.

  17. I think being balanced is important..not setting the expectation too high or low..
    Well..in 10 years time..I hope..maybe I can get a part time job..to be able to look after my kids & also work..

  18. I don't know if I want to get into my goals on here--I do dream big, though. I like to play it out in my head the same way and think about what I'd have to do to get there.

    After you win the Pulitzer, you can dream the Nobel Prize. ;-)

  19. I too dream big and am happy if I come even close to my dreams. 'Aim for the stars and settle for the moon' is very much my guiding mantra. In ten years time I should have just retired, assuming someone doesn't move the goalposts in the meantime.

    It would be nice to have found someone to love, and to have done more travelling in my next 10 years, all funded of course on earnings made as a writer.

  20. Great blog. Welcome to GBE 2!


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