Setting and Reaching My Goals – Or Not

Earlier this summer I set a goal for myself – to write a thousand words a day on my work-in-progress, Death Deals a Hand.

So far it’s working.

Each writing day I note the word count when I start, and then again when I stop for the day. As the word counter in the corner of my computer monitor increases, I resolve to keep at it until I see the magic number. Sometimes I keep going until I’ve produced even more words – got to two thousand words one day.

As a result, I’m making a lot of progress on this second novel in the California Zephyr series. And that’s a good thing.

I’ve set another goal, to exercise each day. Most days that involves riding my spiffy blue bicycle. Walking, check. Trying out that tai chi class, check. I certainly feel better when I exercise.

I wish I could say that goal-setting works in other aspects of my life. Cleaning out closets, not so good. Shedding that ten pounds I’d like to lose, also not so good.

I have a walk-in closet off my living room that is the de facto catch-all space. If I want to hide something and don’t know where else to put it, the object, or objects, get shoved into that closet. No wonder I can’t find anything! It’s hidden behind all that stuff.

And the closet in my office? Forget it. When I open it, I’m afraid something is going to fall on my head.

Beyond the obvious problem of too little storage space in my small condo, there are reasons, I suppose for the failure of goal-setting to solve the problem of closet clutter.

I enjoy writing, so the time spent in producing those thousand words is pleasurable. Once I get into my plot and my characters’ heads, the time goes by quickly.

I also enjoy riding my bike and walking, so that helps in reaching my exercise goal.

But cleaning out closets? Who likes cleaning out closets? It’s not enjoyable. It’s not fun. Although there is that bonus of finding a wearable piece of clothing I forgot I had.

Ah, well. At least I’m meeting two of my goals.


One Response

  1. Here’s the thing, I’ve never set a goal with closets, yet this past spring, before going to teach in London for six weeks, it suddenly hit me that once I got back I’d have only a few weeks to get over jet lag, read the final work for those 25 students and get their grades in before starting the new semester (I teach one course as a guest at MSU). The unusual urge hit me to clean closets. I started with my bedroom closet and was ruthless. Anything I hadn’t worn in the last five years was bagged and went to charity. Many bags later I realized that I had *never* needed someone to come in and rebuild my closet for more space. I had needed to clear it out myself from top to bottom: shoes, pants, shirts, socks, sportswear, everything. Now there’s plenty of room and I can see where everything is and it;s all neat and tidy and organized. Once started, I couldn’t stop. I moved on to my study closet and got rid of old files, stuff I wouldn’t need to or want to give to Michigan State University which purchased my literary papers some years ago and comes by ever year to collect that years manuscripts, tour memorabilia, etc. My desk was next. Massive cleanup. That led me to clean out my cabinet in the master bathroom. Half of the stuff in there went into the garbage. Why was I saving hotel soaps from fifteen years ago? What *was* all this junk?

    London was so overwhelming I forgot all that cleaning and when I returned and opened doors and drawers, I was astonished….. 🙂 Everything is so orderly, it’s no problem keeping it that way, which is not my modus operandi, or hasn’t been.

    Oh, and I just published my 25th book.

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