Setting goals is easy

Keeping them is a chromatically variant equine altogether. But we do it anyway. It is nice to have something to shoot for, after all. With a goal, you can occasionally yell “I did it! I did it!” But more often than not you wind up muttering (under your breath where no one will hear), “Damn, I almost had that one…”

I will admit to a sort of off-hand approach to goals. It stems from the years I spent in software development, where goals are called deadlines, and they mean it. I got to where I loved the sound deadlines made as they went whoooshing by. Most of the deadlines were unachievable, you see. The bosses felt that no one would ever achieve anything without a deadline putting pressure on them. It never worked.

In fact, it just pissed off a lot of very qualified programmers, project managers, software testers, IT guys and just about everyone else except the janitorial staff, who always seemed to be more than a little jealous of us. I never understood those guys.

When I eventually took over the management of a department and had some control over the development lifecycle, we set practical deadlines, and we achieved them. Most of the time. People seemed more at ease and more in control, and they responded accordingly. When we did wind up under pressure due to our customer’s deadlines, everyone pitched in and got the job done right, the first time.

Goals really are necessary, but set yourself practical, achievable goals. They don’t have to be humongously large or world-shaking. Commonsense, realistic goals, when we achieve them, make us feel good and boost our self-confidence, and we can all use a bit of that every now and then.

So, next Monday I will be driving back to Gainesville for a morning meeting with my eye surgeon. We will set another surgical visit for that Thursday morning for another ‘final’ round of surgery on my left eye. Then I drive uptown to close a deal with the owner of a bookstore, where I will deliver a few copies of “The Big Bend”, and set a date for a book signing. Then I drive over to the local radio station to arrange for an on-air interview set for a few days before the book signing.

Then I drive to The Villages, where I meet with a friend of mine for a cup of coffee and then meet the owner of two bookstores, deliver some copies to her and arrange for two book signings, one at each of her two stores. Then I drive over to the local newspaper office and arrange for an interview to be published a day before those book signings.

I will spend this week assembling four brochures, including color copies of the book cover, a head shot of yours truly and some inserts, such as a short bio, book synopsis, reader reviews and other such stuff.

It pays to stay busy. It doesn’t pay much, but at least I stay busy.

Have a good week.

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About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. He currently lives in Deland, Fl, where he is co-authoring "A Silent Star" with Tony Attanasio. "A Silent Star" is the true tale (though novelized, with names changed for security reasons) about the 4-person covert action team sent into Yemen to capture Osama Bin laden immediately after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Aden harbor in Yemen in October of 2000.
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