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Setting goals

June 17, 2010

I wrote last week about a book I recently read by Roz Savage, who rowed (literally, rowed) herself across the Atlantic Ocean in a tiny boat, alone, for 103 days.

It made me think a lot about setting goals and doing things that you never thought you could.

I did a little writing exercise on Sunday. I wrote down a list of 10 things I loved. I wrote down a list of 5 things I would do if I knew I wouldn’t fail. Then I made myself write down 5 reasons I thought I couldn’t do those things. Then I wrote down 5 reasons I could.

5 Things I’d Do If I Wouldn’t Fail

  1. Write a book
  2. Move to France or live alone
  3. Ask for more money
  4. Run in a race
  5. Get a pet

5 Reasons I Think I Can’t

  1. Change is scary
  2. Not in shape
  3. Will get lonely
  4. Might fail
  5. Too hard

5 Reasons I Totally Can

  1. I want to
  2. I can try
  3. Failing isn’t the worst thing ever
  4. Life is short
  5. It’s good to do things that scare you

Some of those are a bit ambitious and unrealistic, at least for now. Realistically, I cannot quit my life here and move to France. Someday, peut-être. I felt cowardly when I wrote my list of “Why I Think I Can’t.” Aren’t I supposed to be miss positivity, miss pollyanna, my own biggest fan and cheerleader? (Besides Mom and Dad, of course; they have the biggest cheering section for Laura’s Life.)

What else did I learn? I could have gone on with the “reasons I totally can” category. So what, I’m not a runner and have a bum knee. Today I signed up for a 5k run in September, and I’ve asked people close to me to join me in my goal. Do you know freaking proud I am of myself that I even SIGNED UP to run in a race? That is like the lamest thing ever, but you know what? In my entire life, I’ve never run in a race. I’m 25. It’s time to live my own life.

I turned in an annual review and I asked for more money. Why not? What are they going to do, say no? OK, fine. But it’s out there that I value myself as as hard worker and think that my employers should, too.

And, thanks to Chelsea Handler I’ve started racking the arsenal files of Laura’s Brain to dig up those ridiculous anecdotes that I’ll never tell my parents I’ve published because I’d die if they read them. I’ve started writing essays and typing out my thoughts. Inspired by my Line a Day Journal, I’ve started considering how each day is important, even if I sum it up before bed with “teleworked, turkey burgers, Target run!” When I’m feeding a tiny screaming baby and running to soccer practice and teaching piano lessons and going to book signings, I’ll wonder what I did with all my time when I was 25.

Additionally, I’ve spent hours in the past two weeks researching animals (cats and dogs) and breeds and types and breeders and commitments and dog toys. It will be a positive change and it will happen.

In 4 days, I’ve had a complete turn around.

Maybe you should make your own lists, too!

(Ew, there, Miss Positivity is back.)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2010 8:58 pm

    I’m proud of you too and I’m looking forward to a huge high five, scratch that (can’t do strikethrough on here), ten, when we pass the finish line!!!

    Can I come visit when you are in France? Scratch THAT. One of my dreams/life goals is to own an apartment in Paris. I wonder where we’ll get our favorite end of the day glass of wine?

    Dogs (sign, and kittens, I suppose) are hard. So is plunging into online dating, and paying all your bills on time, and figuring out tire problems, and admitting your goals and fears for the world to see, and baking a delicious cheesecake, and negotiating a promotion, and working towards a Masters while working, and…I think you get it? You’re good at what you do, lady, and I know for certain you’ll make an excellent pet owner when you’re ready.

    Also, that thing you got behind is amazing.


  1. Day 5 of “Laura runs a 5k!” and I’m still alive…sorta « life needs edits

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