Friday, April 17, 2009



“Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest are willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation…and bear the consequences.”
-Susan B. Anthony

Goals. You need them more than the average person. Some days the goal is to not collapse. Some days to not drain your bank account and run away. Those are very worthy goals but short term (though it feels like an eternity that day) in the grand scheme of life. I want you to just sit for a few silent minutes of no TV, no kids, no dog, no partner, no washing machine, and no cell phone. Now close your eyes. Dream. It doesn’t matter if your dreams seem unrealistic or how big or small they are. They’re your dreams….let them flow!

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” — Gloria Steinem

You may have to do this exercise outside of your home or job. I use my minivan a lot for thinking – just pull over (someplace safe, please) and write. Are you ready? Here we go!
1. What do you want to accomplish?
2. What would you like to try (just try, not become an expert)?
3. What do you look like doing those things?

Picture exactly what you are wearing, what the weather is like, how much light there is, what your muscles feel like doing the activity, your breathing, what can you smell, what do your fingertips and toes touch, what is the taste in your mouth. Become alive inside of your dream. Make it real.

Now write it all down (better to open your eyes for this). Every detail goes on the paper. For each dream, start a new sheet of paper (sorry to Mother Earth and the trees, but this is your life or death moment – you will die on the inside if you don’t have dreams and goals).

The difference between a dream and a goal are action steps. Dreams don’t come true unless you make an effort. Mini steps get you moving forward. There doesn’t have to be a rigid time frame, because in reality, we don’t know exactly what’s coming up for our kids (another luxury your “average” parents have in their blessings column) but you can work towards a date and adjust as needed down the line. The important thing is the Goal Due Date is set and the mini steps are laid out.

For example: if you want to visit Paris next year your first step is to set the date of your departure. Next answer the “who, what, and where”. Do you want to take someone with you? (You don’t have to, it’s not a law) Studying the travel books can give you ideas of where you’d like to stay and what you want to see. Some people like to work backwards on the calendar = double check travel arrangements one week out, pre-pack two weeks out, travel supplies bought 1 month out, your passport needs to be updated or applied for at least 4 months out, reservations at hotels or B&B’s at least 6 months out, budget made 9 to 12 months out, get advice from a travel agent, etc…

Is it unreasonable that you could be in Paris next year? Hell no! If that’s what you want, make it happen. Highlight this : Goals don’t have to be about saving the whole world. They just need to be about saving your soul through the journey of reaching outside of yourself. Notice, it’s not about what others want, or about rushing to get to the end just to check it off our To-Do list. Goals are personal growth. The whole point is PLEASURE. It may take a little grunt work, but the uncontained joy and inner peace is worth it.

Next week I’ll show you some goals of other moms just like you. Are they monumental? Only to the individuals who made them. I want to share their goals because sometimes just thinking about taking on a new project seems daunting and I want you to see and feel how wonderful you are by taking the first steps.

Here is my goal : Finish chapter 28 “Mt. Everest = your To File pile; Getting Organized” of my book, Martyrdom Sucks, by the end of April. In order to do that I need to throw out 50 things! Yeah, you read FIFTY. And its 50 different things….50 paperclips don’t count. There is a super book and website dedicated to chucking physical and mental junk. Gail, the author, is a dream because she is honest about our clutter crap and how to get rid of it. If you’re like me and feel you need a little detox, check out Gail at

Remember, goals are personal pleasure vehicles. You aren’t making goals for your kids or any other person or group (husband, mom, church, etc…). Goals are only for you, by you, in celebration of you. Share them with your best friend, your kids, and me! I look forward to hearing from you!!

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