Almost-Summer is For New Goals

In January, a friend invited me to her home for a writers gathering. Five of us were all linked through our writing and our friend. I had just finished reading one woman’s book; another woman and I connected over facilitating online book clubs; another has kids about the same age as mine. We drank coffee, ate muffins, and talked about our writing goals for the year.

debby-hudson-544369-unsplash
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Then we got to work. My friend had set up nooks around her home to give space to spread out, dream, plan, and work on whatever we needed to for a few hours of quiet. I opened my blogging calendar and mapped out some rough themes and ideas. One of my hopes this year was to write more, so I decided to try writing three times per week. I had tried this goal in the past to varying degrees of success, always amazed at those who blog daily and wondered if that would ever be me.

Now, as May comes to a close, I’ve been thinking about that goal to write more. I have blogged more and enjoyed the process but I realized that writing more and blogging more are two very different things. My creativity and energy went into blogging so any other ideas and projects were pushed to the margins.

I know that no one sets their calendars to the rhythm of my blog posts. A friend of mine actually noted when I was writing more and gave some good advice about finding space and time and voice.

I talked with my friend on a Friday morning a few weeks ago and starting thinking about when I could re-implement my goals. What perfect day would be good for writing more and blogging less? And then I realized that I could start whenever I felt like it. That, while goals create a good foundation, when they become limiting the point is lost.

IMG_8854So, last week I stepped back. I blogged when I had an idea and published when I wrote it, rather than scheduling it. I spent a day on the floor with Elle, rather than trying to play with her and squeeze in moments of writing. As we sat, chatting and building, she looked at me and said, I love playing with you, mama!

My goal is still to write more, but I’m thinking about how I can use my writing time more wisely. What needs to be public and what I can I work on long-term? How can I keep blogging – a medium I love – while saving my creativity for more in depth projects?

This shift in thinking has me considering other goals I’ve made that need readjusting. One of my favorite things about the start of summer is that it’s a time to reevaluate how those January resolutions are going. We’re not quite halfway through the year so tweaking and changing feels completely possible.

As I think about my One Word for the year, I’m remembering to lean into the shift of seasons. As tax season ramped up, my goal of working out before school fell to the wayside. Now that our schedule is shifting, how can I reintroduce that habit? Frank and I are doing a reset to our eating habits as winter fades and the healthier foods of summer come into season. And writing will look different, with both girls at home and life moving outside.

After that chat with my friend, I realized that, for as much as I love goals and outlines, I also love reevaluating them. When I take the time to recognize if my ideas are working or not, tweaking goals gives me as much peace as setting them in the first place.

Do you take time to reset your goals? How do you balance real life with your ideals?

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24 thoughts on “Almost-Summer is For New Goals

  1. I’ve had many of these same thoughts, Annie. In particular, I like how you distinguish between blogging and writing. Recently, I’ve noticed I haven’t been journaling, which for me is the real writing. I feel so undecided on it all but, as you said, I can do it when I feel like it.

  2. I love this concept of writing more and blogging less. I for sure have not been writing like I used to because I’m blogging and publishing those articles twice a week. While I know that’s the schedule I want to stick with for now, you’ve given me encouragement to not set aside my writing and other important things!

    1. I think adding that extra day was too much. Two days works well for me… I always take July off and want to be aware of using that rest productively. (If that makes sense!)

  3. Dear Annie!

    It gave me a broader perspective on how to approach blogging to read this excellent blog post of yours. It’s an excellent goal to have, to write more. There are so many things that can take us away from the writing process. It’s wonderful to follow the progress you’re doing here on your blog.

    I loved what you said about goals, that when they become limiting they become useless. I agree with that one. I see so many Christian writers, and bloggers make the mistake of trying to be all over the place with the result that they don’t do anything well, and even worse they struggle with the feeling that what they do is never good enough.

    You asked how we approach our goals. What I do is have some long-term goals. I measure the progress or lack thereof on a weekly basis. This gives me a balance and a connection to real life.

    Thank you, Annie. I’ll be following this discussion because it’s relevant. ‘

    God bless,
    Edna Davidsen

    1. Yes, I need to remember to keep checking in with my goals! One goal for this summer is to write more long-form pieces, which means writing more behind the scenes.

  4. There are times when my focus is not what it should be, and I have to reset my goals. I get a fresh perspective and ask God to guide me to reach my goals. 🙂

    1. Yes! I’m going on a retreat this weekend by myself and am looking forward to taking time to reset, read the Bible without interruption, and remember my perspective!

  5. I’m also a goal setter and I like re-making goals every season (fall, winter, summer, spring) because rhythms do change for me and our family. Summer is always about rest for me so I usually work on writing projects for fall and don’t put any pressure on myself to “do” in the summer. Enjoy your fun!

    1. I love the idea of resetting every season – it’s an easy way to remember! And each season really is so different for us… I’m going to follow your example and work on projects without pressuring myself to “do.” Thank you!

  6. It’s a great idea to regroup, halfway through the year and check in with yourself! While I try to practice this, I often realize, come June 1st, that I need to, and then get around to it in July. HORRIBLE!!! So I’m happy (and grateful) for the early reminder now! Thank you!

    1. Last year, I took the month of July off of blogging. I didn’t really write at all… This year, I’m going to take the month off here but want to keep on writing. It’s hard to find that balance, isn’t it?

  7. I always have to re-evaluate goals as well. Touch base to see if I’m on track or off track. I’ve been trying to get up to two blogs a week. I’m actually quite careful to clear my schedule of all but a few specific goals, and, on that note, I need to go play with my children. (Goal #1) God sure knows how to get a reminder through.

    1. I’m remembering that my kids are a totally separate category because you’re absolutely right – it’s easy to take for granted that they’re around or can handle my distractions. Sometimes, they can. But it’s never the point. Love that perspective!

  8. I believe it helps to remember that Jesus knows He’s taking us, and He knows the way. As long as we’re following Him, we can’t get lost, even if we have to reevaluate our goals every now and then. Thanks for this reminder, Annie. Blessings to you.

  9. I can relate to the challenges of carving out more space for writing. I agree that blogging and writing can be different. I’m still trying to figure out the best schedule for me too. It’s a balance when you have other important things to do on life’s agenda. Good read. Thank you for allowing us into your process! 🙂

    1. Every time I think I have a schedule set life happens and things change! 😉 I love having goals to help me focus but also remember to be flexible…

  10. I’m definitely one to take time to reset and/or re-evaluate my goals. Sometimes I get derailed or sometimes I can do more than I was aiming for. I think too -especially with family life it’s important to make room for family – whose needs and schedules might not match up with mine. Sometimes a sick kid takes up a lot of time.

    I’m evaluating my writing goals – especially with a move and a new baby in the works. I don’t know if I can make goals – I’ve never tried to do all that much in the immediate months after having a baby. I usually look at it as “survival mode” just keeping people alive… but it would be nice to make some space for the things I like… like writing and gardening. More to think about…

    1. A new baby definitely changes things!! 😉 Survival mode is a good place to rest in those first months! But when I find time for those things that are life-giving I know I’m a better mom. I just have to recognize the ebb and flow of different seasons.

  11. I enjoyed this, Annie. Your shift in thinking as it relates to writing or blogging more does apply to other areas of life. “Re-adjusting” those other goals. Helped me reflect and want to do the same. Thank you!

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