Following Through

Doing what I think I should be doing not what I think others think I should be doing.


“Don’t break your shin on a stool that is not in your way.” — Irish Proverb

Over the past several years I’ve set some creative goals for myself as the a new year begins. I am determined to set those resolutions and ‘this time’ follow through. I usually overdo it and add to many, or make them too rigid or too unreasonable. This year I was DETERMINED to achieve them.

I have been following a couple of pod-casts that gave me some really good ideas (visit Melissa if you need a jolt). I even put an app on my phone to help keep me on task. Well, so far, so good. (yes, I know it is still only January, nevertheless).

BUT – I read the above Irish Proverb the other day (and put it into one of my tiny books which will soon be sent to an Art-O-Mat machine near you) that, silly as it might sound, really was quite profound for me.

It made me realize that to some extent I create my own problem when it comes to setting and achieving goals. That is, I hear a podcast or see an article by someone else and think about THEIR issues and somehow convince myself that I have those same issues. Sometimes I do…but sometimes I DON’T and hence I shouldn’t be breaking my shins on THAT problem – because I don’t HAVE that problem!! So, it is sometimes a matter of determining if the goal is something I really want to achieve or what I think others expect of me. Make sense?

For example, I am a calligrapher. I do commissions for other people. I have some ‘followers’. I know I often post things based on what I think others might expect of me. I think in the recent past I have been spending hours (or NOT spending the hours and feeling guilty about it) doing things that I think others expect. Hmmm.

Lately, I’ve been working on a series (see last post) and it has really made me focus on what it is I want to do. And I am saving my shins by letting go of what I think others expect. Quite freeing and quite satisfying. I still worry at times that my work wouldn’t hold up to the scrutiny of people I respect, but I have to remember that they aren’t looking anyway (most likely). So I try to evaluate its quality (are the letterforms acceptable, do they demonstrate some knowledge or skill) but then I try to let go and experiment and say ‘to heck with what other people think’.


It’s hard – but feels good if I can do it. It also makes spending the time on my work so much more gratifying and less exhausting.

So, I’m going to live with this proverb for a while since it has gotten me this far (thru January!) in achieving some goals. The Strides app, by the way, is very simple, not very intrusive. I didn’t want an app that just made for more time wasted NOT doing things I wanted to do.

There you have it. Til’ next time.


2 thoughts on “Following Through

  1. Well, it seems to me that you have thought this out and determined what works for you. Bravo! This is not exactly an issue I have but I can appreciate its impact on you. Now I am going to go look at those posts that help you follow through on goals as January hasn’t been quite as successful for me. Thanks!


  2. Working for January. Just have to keep it up. Pod casts are great, but I found my self spending more time listening to what I should do rather than doing it. But good ideas. Melissa is fun. Tomorrow is a new day! Set q tiny goal. Happy new year, Pam!


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