July 20, 2015

Summer Goals, Summer Guilt, or Summer? by Joylene M. Bailey

I’m really good at making goals.
But I’m not that great at keeping them.

I can't seem to figure that out. I’m not a lazy person; my life is full and busy. Maybe that’s part of the problem – I’m too busy.
I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, and that comes with its own procrastination issues… Add to that the fact that I don’t like people telling me what to do.

Not even myself.

I find I can get a LOT of work done when I don’t have any set goals.
But I sometimes get NO work done when I don’t have any set goals.

I could come up with any number of excuses why my summer writing goals don’t seem to pan out.
Last summer the list I set to accomplish was so long that I decided to follow the example of a friend in my writers group, and see if I could get 3 – any 3 – items on that list completed.
I did, but I recall it being a scramble towards the end of the summer.

At the beginning of this summer I made only one goal: to write a little bit on my novel every day. 
No time limit, no word count goal. Just write on it every day.

I’m failing miserably.

What?! You mean I can’t set aside 17 minutes a day to write something – anything - on my novel? What is up with that?

And then the guilt sets in.

Frankly, goals stress me out.
Deadlines are a good thing. And one of the things I LOVE about my writing group is the accountability aspect of it. But the goals themselves … they scare me.

I've come up with some new summer writing goals that are not quite so scary and maybe they will help in finding that balance between goals and guilt that I seem to need.

Here they are:
1 - Remember that what I can do is what I can do, and what I can do is enough.
2 - Remember that I will feel God’s pleasure even when I don’t write. (Thank you Marnie)

3 - Take time to enjoy the summer!

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/21606330@N08/10519774073">Checklist Chalkboard</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>

Joylene is enjoying summer from her home in Edmonton where she lives with the Cowboy, Babe, and a cat named Calvin. You can find her joy-infused perspective on her blog at joyousmi.blogspot.ca and maybe someday in that novel she is trying to work on every day.


  1. Once again, you had me smiling all the way through. I love how you craft your words, Joy. And your content? You express a lot of what I feel, but I love your concluding 3 goals. I think I'll try those too. :)

    1. Thanks Bobbi. It's always a battle for me and I think I need to learn to relax a little. Actually, it struck a chord with me when you told us that your writing goal for the summer was to have no writing goal. I didn't even know that was an option! Haha

  2. toss the guilt and enjoy the summer!

  3. I also don't like people telling me what to do! But the flip side is when they do, I often get things done. I love your new goals. What you do is enough!

  4. Hi Joylene, I agree-sometimes goals are great, and next time not-so great, and I swirl the guilty road as well. But I do have a main goal, similar to #3, to appreciate the beauty of the summertime.

  5. Hmmm... there's a fine line between guilt and conviction, isn't there? But remembering which side of that line God is on makes it easier for me to follow Him and experience His joy in what I do and don't do. Thanks for the reminder that "what I can do is enough."

  6. Thanks, Jolene. I too appreciate your goal that says, "What I can do is enough." This reminds me of a book I haven't finished reading during "The Move": A Life of Being, Doing, and Having Enough by Wayne Muller. With or without goals, may you have a summer of being, doing, and having enough, Jolene. Blessings,

    PS. I read and enjoyed your recent blog also.

  7. Yes, I'd say it's true that less is more. Less guilt, more gratitude. Thanks again for sharing your voice. We missed you at the coffee shop yesterday but it looks like you have worked on setting summer goals on your own. hehehe.

  8. Good philosophies, Joylene!


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