Realistic Goals Equal Confidence, A Guest Post by Darlene Steelman

Hi all! Remember The Life List Club Milestone party on December 30th? If you missed the party, you can see and hear it here. Well, Darlene Steelman was my prize-winner and (I’m sooo excited!) she’s here with me today to offer her way of looking at goal-setting.  

First off I want to thank Marcia for having me here today. She has such a fun blog.  It is goal oriented and the colors and design are easy on the eyes (bonus!).  I also want to thank Marcia for giving me the opportunity for my first guest post. *gushy tears* Thank you!  Without further ado, I bring you…

Realistic Goals Equal Confidence

Goals.  We all have them.  We all want to achieve them.  Chances are on January 1, 2012 you made a list of resolutions, er, goals. Some of these included: lose weight, get published, save money and get rid of the monster under the bed.
I noticed I was not the only self-proclaimed genius that changed them from resolutions to goals.

“I won’t call them resolutions.  I’ll call them goals.” I said in a non-human, high-pitched voice.  As if, by changing the name, it changes everything.  Well, an M&M wrapped in a lettuce leaf is still an M&M.

2011 resolutions

image source: google


Resolutions are so 2011!

So this year I made a list of goals. There was a mix of some writing goals, some reading goals and some non-paper, non-pen, non-writing, non-pull my hair out by the roots goals.

Some of them were health related.
I’ll run five miles every day!
I’ll go to the gym eighteen times a week!
I’ll cut down on coffee!
Some of them weren’t.
I’ll get the window in my car fixed.
I’ll finally build that time capsule and go back to September 30, 1987.

Yes.  I am exaggerating. My point is, we need non-work related goals. We need something to look forward to.  We need to get through the goal/resolution/deal with Satan list and then get to one or two of our bullet points and say, “Well, hey this doesn’t look too bad.”

A snippet of my goal list went something like this:
·         Ski.
·         Get published.
·         Go to the freaky deaky womba bomba GYM. (I have a hard time with this one due to the slacker gene passed down through my family – thanks Mom & Dad!)
·         Lose ten pounds.
·         Save money.

I will not bore you with the modifications of my goal list.  It’s boring.  It’s boring because it doesn’t involve Las Vegas, Fun Dip or cheetahs hopped up on Red Bull – separately or collectively.

 In order to tackle the goals on your list, you must be practical.  Saying you are going to run five miles a day when you haven’t run for five minutes in a year is unrealistic dumb.
a)      You’re lying to yourself.
b)      You’ll hurt yourself. Trust me – I speak from experience.
c)       You’ll reinforce that mean voice in your head that tells you being fat is easier.
It is important to make them REAL because your mind is a funny thing.  If you list goals you continually fail to meet, your subconscious tells you the following things:
·         I suck
·         I’m a loser
·         I’m no good
·         I should just give up and join a chocolate covered flea circus
WHAT?  Yes. It’s terrible, right?  Even more terrible is that you believe this crap.

reality check

image source: google

                                                                                                   So you make goals REAL.

I am going to walk ten minutes three days a week. You can always walk more if you want.

I am going to tidy up one shelf in the closet. You can always keep tidying.

I am going to skip Starbucks one morning a week.  You might realize that good things happen to you when you don’t stop and spend fifteen minutes in a line to buy a five dollar cup of coffee.

I am going to save a dollar a day. This will turn into more once you figure out that you can do better.

 Real goals equal confidence and confidence equals “Wow, I really can do this!”

So, get out your goal list, or make a new one.  Throw some realistic non-writing goals on that list and see what happens.  Again, starting small builds confidence and self-esteem which helps us make our goals a little bigger as we go.
Who knows, maybe something amazing will happen and you can write about it!

Darlene SteelmanDarlene grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a misunderstood kid with a crazy mind. Finally, at the age of 38, she decided to put that crazy mind to good use and write.
 When she’s not stopping her car in the middle of the road to protect crossing ducks and geese, she passes time with an office job, writing on her lunch and singing off key in the car.
By night she works on her first novel.
Darlene can be found at her blog Living Sober – Life at Full Throttle (  You can peek in on her Twitter page at Darlene Steelman ( or find her on Facebook at Darlene Steelman (

I love this plan, Darlene! Starting small  is a sensible and easy to manage  way to accomplish whatever it is that’s on your list.

How about you? Did you slay the ‘negative thoughts’ monster? How real and practical are your goals?

You know we love hearing from you! Come on, share!


17 thoughts on “Realistic Goals Equal Confidence, A Guest Post by Darlene Steelman

  1. Pingback: Monday Mashup: From SOPA to Nuts | Lynette M Burrows' blog

  2. I’m late to the party, but I’m so glad I got to hear Darlene’s guest post! Darlene, you’ve set some awesome goals, and true to the advice Marcia gives all the time, they’re specific and measurable too. Don’t forget you’ve got a whole community rooting for you, girl! Keep us posted on your successes and know we’re here for you during the meltdowns.

    P.S. Oh my God, Fun Dip!

  3. Hi Marcia and Darlene! I so agree with you. I have a writing goal of 200 new words per day this month. It’s difficult not to meet that miniscule goal, and I can always exceed it when the creative juices are flowing. I feel successful, and the wip is progressing slowly but steadily. I increase my word count goal by 50 each month…baby steps.

    Thanks for the humor to go with our goals. 🙂

  4. Thank you Marcia for having Darlene’s post today. Realistic goals. Now that is a goal in itself. For me anyway. I usually jump right in and then find out I’ve bitten off too much at one time. So I really appreciated this post today. Thank you. 🙂

  5. Right on the money, Darlene. When you can say “Wow, I really CAN do this!”, you are doing yourself the biggest favour ever. It’s on to bigger and better from there. Great post!

  6. Great post. I’m totally with you on setting realistic goals, I usually decide to ‘go to the gym everyday for an hour’ and the first time I don’t get there, I jack it all in and feel like a failure. This year small goals frequently is my motto!

  7. I’m so with you, Darlene. I set a goal of prioritizing rest last year and wouldn’t you know…my work productivity and quality improved. Those baby steps and non-work-related goals are pretty spectacular. 😉

    Thanks for bringing Darlene to use, Marcia!

    • I agree with all of you! 😀 😀
      I hope that you gals can keep it up with the baby steps. 🙂 And Marcia – you rock chicky! Thanks so much for having me here.
      August, that is awesome you found what works for you.. It is so important.
      Keep me posted with your goal progress. 🙂

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