How To Set Attainable Goals

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It is almost midnight and I have been sidetracked from writing my post by the artwork of an amazing sidewalk artist, Julian Beever also known as the pavement Picasso.

He creates unbelievable 3D optical illusion drawings all over the world.

Which then led me to look at another street artist,  Joshua Allen Harris who makes inflatable art.  He makes creatures out of plastic bags and positions them over subway vents.  When the subways pass under the art fills with air and becomes gracefully animated.

It constantly amazes me where inspiration can come from and the unlimited possibilities of where it can go.

It is only the second week of 2010 and I am finding myself already needing to edit my dreams. I claimed my dreams for this year to be going to Italy to paint and participating in a mini triathlon known as a sprint.   I can tell I already bit off more then I can chew.

My lack of enthusiasm and discipline for exercise, has made me realize that I am going to have to start small and that the Wildflower sprint is way beyond my abilities.

I was already feeling defeated before I started with that overwhelming feeling of dread.

I have not given up on it forever just realizing that my get healthy goal needs to be as simple as eating good foods and getting any regular exercise.

Meaning we should set smaller, attainable goals so that we build momentum and confidence which allows us to build on them and set more difficult goals.

In the book  One Small Step Can Change Your Life

Dr. Robert Maurer of UCLA’s School of Medicine tells the story of Julie, a divorced mother of two, who was 30 pounds overweight, fatigued and depressed.

The solution to her problems was exercise, but she was resistant to an exercise plan.  So he gave her a challenge –

“How about if you just march in place in front of the television, each day, for one minute?”

This was just the trick to get her going. One minute of low-intensity exercise did nothing to improve her health but everything to improve her attitude. When she came back to see him, she asked –

“What else can I do with a minute a day?”

After few months Dr. Maurer slowly stepped up Julie’s challenges and her resistance to a strenuous exercise program had disappeared.

She got there by making great and lasting change through small, steady increments.

The philosophy is simple – great change is made through small steps.

Can you create change in your life by taking smaller steps?

Speaking of smaller steps . . .

The trip to Italy is evolving and I have successfully hooked my husband into the plan.  I even found a one day course through the local college Santa Rosa Junior College called “The Secrets of Traveling in Italy” and we are signing up.

To pull this trip off financially is going to take some creative maneuvering.  Last summer I had some good sales at shows and had put some money away for a vacation.  Somehow between my son’s sixteenth birthday, holidays and bills, it melted away.

Every year we get a decent tax return and we have always used it for home improvement. This year it is going to the trip and instead of putting it somewhere where we can dip into it, tickets will have to be purchased early.

I am still brainstorming on ideas for more fund raising for the trip to Italy.

I have a tentative plan for creating a show in March, finally printing those elusive cards using my images and possibly a calendar.

See you next week –


  • Remy G

    I loved Italy and reconnected with my passion for photography there. I’d love to know what they recommend in your class at the JC. I’ve often thought about starting a little travel company to take people as a tour guide to different places..I wish I knew more about Italy I’d offer to go with!

    I like your exercise comments, I’ve had to step up mine a little, in order to support my son in his efforts to make the rugby team at school. He needs to run 4-6 miles over the weekends, so we were walking alot this week to get our strength up! Yikes. Did I tell you about the North Bay Art Fair in April – its in Rohnert Park, lemme know if you want info…that could be a place to earn a little money. Remy

  • Kim, the traveler

    It sounds like that Italy will be a strong goal for you this year. How exciting! You’ll make it happen!

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    I am interested in this book of his and I am going to have to see if I can find it. I wonder if he is available for an interview . . . it would make for a great post here on setting goals.

    Darlin, you have the Bay To Breakers with us – now that is a goal to start training for. Think of it as 3 times around Howarh Park from the Spring Lake side. Go up there and walk the large circle once – at 2 and a half miles and see what kind of hiking goals you have to set for yourself before May.

    Here is the map in pdf form:

    In Petaluma someone has mapped a 2.6 route from McDowell to Goodwin Ave and you can see the map here (the pop up ad is annoying but you can move it if needed).

    For a full list of Sonoma County walk routes go here –


    have your husband drive out 1.25 miles from your home, mark it and drive back and there you have your 2.5 miles!! Then all you have to do is work up to walking it three times in a row.

    Ta Da!!

    Oh yeah – I need to do this too.