First, let me apologize for my absence. It’s been a hectic few weeks.
In those weeks, and the closer we get to August, it dawned on me how quickly time passes in a year. Here we are, nearly two-thirds of the way through the current year, and I was forced to examine how far I’ve come in that time. Many of us make what are called “New Year’s resolutions”, (which I refuse to make by the way), each year to remind us of what we need to do and where we want to be. Instead of doing that, I like to set goals for myself. I write or type them on pretty paper and post the list in places where I’ll see them daily. Seeing my goals projected before me every day keeps me motivated and consistently reminded of what it is I’m striving for. Some of those things are temporary, short-term goals like “cut back on dessert”, and others are long-term goals like “publish The Grim by 2012.” When I see that list, it forces me to do a mental check of my progress; I can see immediately what I’ve accomplished, what I haven’t, and how far off I am from checking off everything on that list. Each year, I reevaluate my situation. How many of my goals did I accomplish? How close am I to each? Are my goals realistic, and if not, how can I amend them so that what I want becomes tangible?
It’s important to write a plan for your life. Again, those goals don’t have to be immediate, but when you decide there’s something you want, you can make that process attainable by setting miniature goals that take you one step at a time to that larger prize. With each goal you accomplish, you feel more satisfied and pleased with yourself because not only are you doing what you love, but you are embracing your future as well. Achievement will put a smile on anyone’s face.
I’m still determined to smile this year, even though I’ve hit some major roadblocks along the way. For a moment there, The Grim was almost dead in the water, and there was talk it would never hit the printed page. But I’m persevering, and every “no” I received, I re-translated for yes, and I found a way. Now, we’re barrelling full speed ahead, and you’ll still have your copy of The Grim in your hands on May 1, 2012. I won’t give up, and looking at that goal every day keeps me wanting it and moving toward it.
Maybe a list isn’t a good motivator for you. So find what motivates you. Do what you know will keep you moving toward everything you want in life. And don’t give up. Don’t let the naysayers, or haters as they’re call now, distract you and convince you that you don’t deserve everything you’re pressing toward. Just keep pressing, even if you think you may fail. When asked about his multiple failures in his invention of the lightbulb, Thomas Edison said, “I didn’t fail; I found 2000 ways how not to make a lightbulb.” Keep that inspiration, and let it spark you; let your stumbles and pitfalls serve to encourage you and teach you on your journey.
Then, bask in the rewards. Each new plateau brings something amazing, even if it’s just the satisfaction of knowing you’re that much closer to the dream. Take a look at the last seven months of this year; have you done everything you set out to? Are there places you still want to go, things you still want to see and do? It’s not too late; set that goal, make a plan to achieve it, then do it. The only one stopping you…is you.