tl;dr: These are my writing, reading, and running goals for the remainder of 2019.
Note: This post isn’t titled “I’m Going to Try to …” There are plenty of articles and blogs on this already, so I won’t bore you with it too much (this is probably a lie; I’m sure this topic will get its own post here in the future), but accomplishing goals starts with your mind-set. If you’re going to try to do something, mentally you’re allowing yourself the option to not do anything. If you say you’re going to do something, and especially if you write that statement down, you’re more likely to actually to accomplish whatever it is. Goal setting—especially how you set said goals—does, in fact, affect your performance.
This is part of how I motivated myself to begin and stick to my marathon training. My instagram bio for my training page, @larkelruns, said “I’m going to run a marathon,” not, “I’m trying to run a marathon,” though the latter was what I typed first, and I had to backspace to correct myself. “Do” versus “try” is a mind-set that you—or, I, at least—have to continually work on.
So, with the marathon safely behind me, it’s time to turn my attention elsewhere. Here are the things I’m going to do this year. As the year goes on, I’ll be returning to this post to strike out accomplished goals, and, of course, will be posting separately on my incremental progress.
I’m going to…
- write a minimum of ten new poems.
- write one short story.
- apply to two writers’ workshop.
- submit to at least two literary journals every other month.
- post one topic-based post at least once every two weeks.
- attend at least three Library Society readings and workshops
I’m going to…
- read eight books of poetry (at least four of which were published in the last two years).
- read two literary journals consistently (one big name, one small name)
- five prose books, full-length or shorts collected.
I’m going to…
- run in two official half marathons.
- run in one 10k.
- post a running log for every run I go on.
- run a minimum fifteen miles a week.
I have to say, it does make me anxious to put these things out into the world. My goals and dreams are, obviously, going to be very different from yours. Some of you might think, Only write ten poems? I write that in two months. Some of you might be of the opposite camp, saying, She wants to do all that? I can’t stop you from judging, one way or another. But we should all remember that ~we’re all on our own journeys~. These goals—to borrow a running term—will be putting me at my push pace. Meaning, they’re going to be hard for me, but, with focus, are accomplishable. They’re not quite bringing me to my wall, but, without careful planning, potentially could. Your wall won’t be the same as mine, and something that I personally always have to work on is making sure I’m not unhealthily comparing my own work and progress to others’. That’s just not productive.
Another thing: these goals might/probably will be revised and added to throughout the year. And I’m probably not to going to reach some of them. That’s okay. You have to be open to the Possibility of what might happen as you go along. If you don’t reach your benchmark, instead of giving up entirely, revise the goal to better match the circumstances. Now, I’m not trying to say that if you get close to your goal but the idea of going all the way is too stressful, too much work, etc., that you should just lower your bar. Always set goals that scare you just a little. Don’t try to go too big too fast (says the girl who chose to run a marathon while barely being able to run a 10k—trust me, it was worth it, but perhaps not my best idea in the world. It came at a cost.). But know when to recognize failure—acknowledge that it happened, learn from it, reevaluate your goal, and pick back up. Again, all topics to expand upon some other time, though there’s already plenty of research and debate about this online.
Now, I’ll stop harping and get to work.