Tuesday, January 5

A Goal or a Wish?


I’m starting us out this first week of 2021 for the Word Wranglers. We are ready to talk writing and reading and anything else that strikes our fancies. Today someone quoted one of my favorite writers to me—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: A goal without a plan is just a wish.” The quote comes from his novella, Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince)—a book I’ve loved ever since reading it in French class in ninth grade. The 2015 film included the Dude—Jeff Bridges—so of course, I loved it, too.

The quote spoke to me particularly today because although I’ve chosen peace as my word this year, the path to peace, for me, anyway, must come through setting goals and boundaries and guidelines in my life. In my writing life, my editing life, and my personal life. I want to choose more carefully everything I do in 2021, whether it’s work or play. Will this activity, this project, this person, this event make me happy?

This may seem shallow, but for too many years, my choices have been predicated on the question of other people’s happiness and satisfaction. That works because you don’t tick people off, you do what’s expected, almost always what is right, and everyone is happy—well, mostly everyone. 2021 is my year to listen to Nan—what do I need? What do I want? Will this bring me joy?

One thing that does bring me joy is writing, so I intend to have a writing goal with a plan, not just a writing wish. The plan is to go to bed early enough, get enough sleep that I can wake up at 6 a.m. refreshed and ready to spend two hours with my WIP. On Mondays, I will do sprints from 11 to 1 with my fellow Tule authors. I can make those commitments to my writing career.

There are other goals—not getting overwhelmed with work by being choosy about what I take on in the way of editing gigs, moving every day, meditating for a few quiet minutes each day, spending time with Husband, cooking good healthy meals, enjoying my time with Liz each day because she is such a blessing to me, cherishing the time I spend each week with Grandboy instead of trying to do a thousand other things while I’m helping him with virtual school, keeping in touch with my friends, staying in the moment, acknowledging all moments as precious.

If 2020 has taught me nothing else, I’ve learned that our time here on earth is limited, that what I have is always more than what I need, and that the most precious gifts in my life are the people I’ve chosen to be with—family and friends.

I thought about challenging you to set some goals, make some plans, and separate goals from wishes, but I decided that’s not my job. Instead, I wish you all a happy, safe new year. May 2021 bring peace, wisdom, and joy to each and every one of us.


  1. An excellent post and an excellent word. I bypassed the word this year, making a "new plan" instead, to give up dwelling and let things go. Good luck to both of us!

  2. I too, want to get up early and put in a couple of hours of writing. But I've been struggling with that. I know when I've done it before I've had good results. Not to mention the sense of accomplishment at getting a lot done in a day. But I'm having trouble going to bed early too. Have you got any suggestions, Nan?