Tag Archives: Goals

2021–New Beginnings

It’s another new beginning. A new year. It could scarcely fail to be a better one than the last. Nonetheless, it’s off to a mixed start in the America, with the attack on the US Capitol.

We had hoped to be able to dispense with posts about Trump by now. Yet here we are, already well into 2021 and I must offer more pending his departure, in no more than 11 days from the White House, perhaps fewer. Will he resign? Be removed via the 25th Amendment or impeachment and conviction? Who can say.

By now I would usually have recapped the successes of the prior year and noted the goals or determinations for the new one. I don’t make resolutions; those are the things that late night talk show hosts mock for the failure of so many to achieve. Let’s skip the recap. Being retired and living atop a hill nearby to a small town kept us safe from the pandemic. Risk yes; trauma no—other than the usual ailments that accompany aging. Enough to deter some goals.

It’s only now that I am putting up my first post. I’ve been busy working on that compilation of short stories, verse and more that must be completed soon. Must only because that’s the determination. Without discipline to overcome obstacles that inevitably arise, goals will not be achieved. Thus, no resolutions. Tasks and an action plan—with a schedule, despite the likelihood it may have to be amended.

Meanwhile, America’s President has desperately done everything he could to retain power—unsuccessfully. Tacitly encouraging his most extreme followers to stage an insurrection. Over the past four years he has made such people feel free to engage in extreme rhetoric and violent behavior. All the while he has called for law and order and suppression of peaceful protestors against systemic racism and the policies of his own administration.

Among my goals for this year—and beyond, is to heal the divide that Trump has fostered and awaken those poor souls who have been deluded by him.  Those conned into believing that he cares anything at all for their welfare. Projecting his own psychoses onto them that he won an election that he lost and that it was rigged against him.

As Timothy Snyder recently said from Vienna, it is truth that is required to dispel the “Big Lie.” That big lie is what Trump has been spreading since November 3rd. [More on Snyder here]

I must create value each day—not only in my own life but in the world. That is my paramount determination.  That means less ranting about the malevolence of Trump and his sycophants who share his perspective that it’s their own advancement and benefit that is their guiding principle. Most, while professing some allegiance to the advancement of fellow Americans, have no other principles–that’s all they have!

So, here are some of my goals:

Get that first book out early spring. Then a novel in the fall. Both have many words already written. The novel requires more writing—plus editing and revisions. Watch for updates here—on release dates and progress along the way.

To get those books done, I must have a clear mind that is fatigue free. That’s not always the case—for reasons undetectable by my doctor. So, I must fix that myself. That is more a determination than a goal. One that I must achieve through my own assiduous practice of Buddhism.  As the Buddha says, one must be the master of one’s own mind rather than letting mind master oneself.

And, as Daisaku Ikeda says, “The real struggle in life is with ourselves. The true secret of success is the refusal to give up, the refusal to fail; it lies in the struggle to win the battle against one’s own weaknesses.”

Another goal–more mundane, perhaps, is financial management and planning. I have no expectation of an early demise, but I must simplify our finances and create some mini-tutorials for my wife just in case. The division of labor worked well when we were both working and had children under 20 at home. Now we both need to be able to do all a household’s tasks.

Yes, there’s many more objectives, but you don’t need to know about them all. Consider this one: There’s that vacation to Europe that didn’t happen last year. The one that’s paid for. Will it happen this year? Not so sure about that. But we must go somewhere. Even if it’s not until fall. COVID limits planning month’s in advance—as we and our travel agent would prefer. Maybe Canada with our dog—when Trudeau will let us American’s cross the border again. We don’t need an agent to do that.

The point is to have no regrets and to be confident and at ease with the turmoil that sometimes prevents completing tasks per a schedule. Defy the satirists and achieve those “resolutions” that you may have already set for yourself. If you need help. Check out this post from a past year. It has some tips to get you there.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 John Maberry

#Happy New Year

2019 Here We Come—Big Plans for a Bigger and Better Year

Quote from Daisaku Ikeda and "make resolutions that succeed"

I’ve lived enough of them to know that some years are more challenging than others, even when they are successful. 2018 had only a few goals achieved. Various obstacles (mostly health) obstructed other objectives. More on that below. 2018’s off year won’t stop me from making and achieving some very ambitious determinations for 2019. I will try again to make resolutions to succeed—more on that below as well.

Before I let you in on some highlights for 2019, I want to thank those fellow writers and bloggers who steadfastly followed and commented on posts here, despite some lack of reciprocity on my part. That, by the way, is one of the major goals for 2019–connecting more with all of you in that group and supporting your own efforts.

Some  of my 2019 Determinations:

  • Writing, blogging and social media
    • Follow and interact with more writers/bloggers
    • Make the most of Goodreads (see below about Google+ and Facebook)
    • Publish the 2nd collection of short stories in late 2019
    • Work diligently on a novel to come out late fall, 2020
    • See more on future writing goals here
  • Travel
    • Puerto Vallarta for a few days
    • Canada for a few weeks, with our dog—with some distraction free writing time
    • Florida for a few days in December to the FNCC
  • Maintain my weight loss and keep muscles in tone

2018 Challenges:

Mental fatigue impacted my writing—a CPAP machine helped but didn’t clear it up completely while doctors have no clue. A one-off cardiac event interrupted my writing agenda as well as other goals. After much testing—no invasive procedures were done. No new drugs and no changes in exercise were needed either. As the Simple Minds song goes, I amalive and kicking.” I plan on staying that way for years to come. I’ve done as Ikeda urged and didn’t give up.

Goals met include:

  • 29 books read (surpassing a goal of 24)
  • A decoratively curved patio/walkway for enjoying the view from our hilltop home in sunny New Mexico
  • Completing a two-year weight loss goal, 80 pounds off—I am not even overweight.

Goals unmet:

  • Didn’t expand my networking with fellow writers/bloggers and others
  • Didn’t join Facebook (not sure now if I still want to), expand use of Goodreads or the dying Google+
  • Took no vacation and didn’t publish that book by the same name (The Vacation)

If I couldn’t conquer those obstacles in 2018, how can I win in 2019—with much more ambitious goals? Nichiren Daishonin, founder of the Buddhism I have practiced for 41 years, says

“Employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra before any other.”

By this he means use the practice first, not last. When medical treatment doesn’t cure a problem, then practicing one’s faith is a rational choice. Once I made a stronger, more focused prayer to be clear headed, the brain responded with focused energy much more of the time.

My wife and I have achieved too many goals (that some might say were impossible) to list them here. You can find many of them in Waiting for Westmoreland. My recent reminder about the tired mind confirms that I can achieve victory in 2019.

Whether you find Buddhism or any other faith a means for achieving success, having a clear process for accomplishing goals is essential. We’ve put these steps out in prior New Year’s posts, but here they are again.

Making Your Resolutions Come True

  • Don’t call them resolutions–call them determinations
  • Make an action plan to attain or achieve them
  • Execute the plan
  • Monitor your progress
  • Forgive yourself for occasional shortfalls
  • Never give up
  • Reinforce your confidence with recollections of past victories
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019 John Maberry
Acknowledgements: Quotation from Daisaku Ikeda on https more...

New Year’s Resolutions Revisited

In case you missed it, I posted this item January 1, 2015. Seems just as useful today as then. I plan on 2017 being a wonderfully successful year. I hope yours is as well. These tips may help get you there.

Quote from Daisaku Ikeda and "make resolutions that succeed"

 

A tip of the hat to my LinkedIn friend, Pearl Seigel, who inspired me to post this after I read her piece. We all know New Year’s Resolutions are a time-honored tradition and a satirical cliché. With best of intentions millions make them and most break them. Why bother? It’s a new year—why not have goals, aspirations, resolutions?

Defy the satirists, the late-night comics who make light of your resolve with these tips:

  1. Make a plan for success
    1. Research—find out how to get there, pitfalls and success stories online or in books.
    2. Action—incremental steps you need to take
    3. Monitor—check results as you go along
  1. Forgive yourself for shortfalls as you proceed and move on from them
  1. Resolutions may be the butt of jokes, but if you really want to accomplish something in the new year, don’t be put off by their bad reputation. Change the name to goals or determinations if that will help. Then pat yourself on the back when you win.
  1. Consider these examples:
    1. Want to lose 36 pounds? It’s simple math: calories in plus calories burned equals pounds gained or lost. Eat less, exercise more and the pounds come off. Pick a diet you can stand and exercise you will do. Make sensible monthly goals, keep track of results and don’t let bad months derail the plan. Recognize triggers that may cause excessive snacking and deal with them.
    2. Want to stop smoking? You know it’s difficult. Get the help you need from a physician, a support group or from whatever source makes sense for your life. Pick a method and get the tools you need, whether it’s a nicotine patch, some medication, counseling, etc. Most people can’t quit cold turkey, so monitor progress on the timeline you determine.
    3. Want to learn how to quilt, paint (artistically) or even write fiction. Find classes—adult education, community college, online and sign up. Don’t just put this on a to-do-list—put reminders on whatever calendar you use—physical, smartphone or computer and take action.
    4. Want to be a “better you?” More considerate, support your spouse more, help the kids with homework, etc.? Like the rest of the resolutions, it requires being consistent and disciplined. It may help to have specific targets—tasks that you can do to make those goals real and obvious to others when they begin They won’t happen overnight. They won’t happen just by wishing. But if you set up reminders for those times that the changes are supposed to be happening—dinner-time, holidays, weekends, vacations or whatever times apply, you will have a better shot at success.
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 John Maberry