The Value of Flexible Goals by Ryan King

  “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” ~ Dr. Robert Schuller


Congratulations. You’ve signed up for ROW80 and committed  yourself to reaching your goals. I’m proud of you. Do you know why? Because everyone has a dream. But a majority of people just hide their dreams away in a box beneath the bed or perch them atop a pedestal labeled simply “Maybe, One Day.” But not you. You’ve taken those first heart-pounding, palm-sweating steps toward reaching your dreams. Do you know the best part? You’re not alone. We’re right there with you. That’s right. The whole ROW80 community is right there behind you, cheering you all the way till you reach your goals.

So let’s talk about those goals for a moment. The great thing about ROW80 is that it’s truly a writing challenge that knows you have a life. That means there’s not a one size fits all goal for everyone to reach. You make your own. That’s both wonderful and down right scary at the same time. After doing quite a number of rounds of ROW80, I’ve seen an interesting trend with goals. I’ve noticed that when we make our goals we have a tendency to make them challenging, super challenging in fact. It’s typically only afterwards, when we’re busting our backsides, that we find out just how challenging we made things.

When faced by that super challenge we either give up or we push ourselves silly till we burn out. Don’t give up. Don’t push yourself silly till you burn out. This is ROW80. If you can’t reach your goals, don’t take it personally. Life happens. But when it does, take a good look at those goals you’ve set and be honest with yourself. Did you make them too unreachable or is this week just too hectic? If they’re really unreachable or if week after week you’re finding that you aren’t reaching your goals, that means it’s time to change them. Don’t be afraid to. It’s not a failure. It’s a refinement. Refine your goals into something that you can achieve.

So what happens if you make them too easy? Well, you’ll meet them of course. But that’ll tell you something important. You’ll know what goals are out of reach and what goals aren’t. Perhaps your goal should be somewhere in the middle? Just like your characters experience several try/fail cycles, so do you. That might sound terrible at first but you know what? At the end of the try/fail cycles, your characters do succeed. And so will you. You will reach your goals if you keep trying. Just don’t forget to adjust if you need to.

It doesn’t matter if your goals are writing related, fitness related or anything else. At the end of the day, you can do this. We all know you can. Believe in yourself. And remember, you aren’t alone. We’ll be right there with you.


Ryan King

12 thoughts on “The Value of Flexible Goals by Ryan King

  1. Such good reminders! I always seems to start with goals on the slightly unattainable side because I like a challenge, and then at some point during the round, whittle them down to what is actually achievable. That process works well for me and wouldn’t be possible if this weren’t a challenge where we can constantly revise our goals. I ❤ ROW80. 😀 Nice post, Ryan!

  2. Well put, Ryan! I especially like how you underscore the importance of repetition and refinement. It’s all too easy for me to give up when I’m not perfect right out of the gate, but that way lies madness. You’ve given us wonderful advice here. 🙂

  3. Being flexible is SO important. I think that’s one of the things people have trouble understanding. They get too rigid in their goals, thinking they are failing if they have to change them. Your post should help writers realize it’s okay to reevaluate and change. Thanks for the great post!

  4. Amen, Ryan! Having done several rounds of ROW80 now, I have learned to adjust as I go. I want to push myself a little (hey, it is supposed to be a writing CHALLENGE), but reaching for space means I end up on my keister too often. Great reminder! Glad to be back in ROW80!

  5. This reminds me of the story *Goldilocks & the Three Bears*… don’t choose the chair that’s too big or the porridge that’s too hot. Nor should you choose the chair that’s too small or the porridge that’s too cold. Aim for the sweet spot, right in the middle, & you’ll be just fine! Thanks for a great reminder that extremes in either direction are NO GOOD! 🙂

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