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Genevive Chamblee: How to Set Goals — Quarter Goals and Measuring Up
Monday, July 17th, 2023

July is here, and that means 2023 has passed the halfway mark. For many people, July marks the beginning of the fiscal year. It wasn’t until I began this article that I realized the federal government fiscal year begins October 1 and ends September 30. Maybe I did know this but never paid it any attention or gave it thought because I’m so used to working with how the state measures the fiscal year which is July 1 to June 30. In any case, despite when the fiscal year is acknowledged, July marks the beginning of the third quarter for many others (using January as the starting month). Thus, I thought goal-setting would be an appropriate topic.

  1. Just because July has begun doesn’t mean goals can’t be set. It’s never too late to set goals.
  2. Writing goals on paper, in an electronic document, and/or on a vision board helps to make them more “real” and easier to remember. However, documenting them isn’t enough. They need to be kept in a place that can be either easily seen, viewed daily, or both.
  3. Clearly define what it is that you want to achieve. Having a goal to be happy is fine but often too vague to be achieved. What specifically would make you happy? Does that entail traveling, getting a new job, or both, or neither? Ambiguous goals should be specified in order to develop an effective plan of how to achieve them. Think of it this way. If a person is always disappointed at the birthday gifts he/she receives, how will he/she ever be given gifts he/she wants if she doesn’t tell others what he/she likes and desires?
  4. Don’t be afraid to change, modify, or alter goals. Life is a series of ongoing events, and sometimes adjustments are needed. In her youth, an associate had dreams and a goal of having a large, fairytale wedding. As she aged and her loved ones passed away, her desire for an extravagant wedding dwindled. Her revised wedding goal is to have a pretty dress for an intimate or private ceremony and to have a fun honeymoon. She’s not to the point of eloping in Vegas, but she’s far removed from the 200+ guest list.
  5. & 6. The next suggestion actually is in two parts or can be viewed in more than one way, and that is to set goals that are measurable and the goals need to be realistic. One reason why people fail to reach their goals is because they do not feel they are making any progress. Here’s an example.

I once worked with a young man (I’ll call him Eddie, but of course, that isn’t his real name) who engaged in self-injurious behavior in the form of striking his head with either his hands or nearby objects. The policy of the place where I was employed was that any incidences or forms of self-harm were unacceptable. That wasn’t an unreasonable policy to have. However, the method of measurement was one of the huge issues. As a result of this policy, Eddie had been written a behavior modification goal of having zero incidents of self-injury each month. Here’s the problem.

Eddie had been engaging in self-injury for over thirty years. The likelihood of extinguishing the behavior in a week or month (especially given the limits of behavioral techniques the facility approved for use) was extremely low. Additionally, any psychologist worth his/her salt will tell you that when attempting to extinguish a behavior it probably will get a lot worse before it gets better. That’s just part of the process that will be overcome with time. While the self-injury was harmful, for Eddie, it was also functional. He gained attention, tangible, and could avoid certain activities. Thus, his self-injury was reinforcing on multiple levels. This was challenging because a common technique for getting rid of unwanted behaviors is by replacing it with a desired behavior. However, the intrinsic value or reinforcement of the replacement behavior must be equally or more reinforcing than the original behavior. When a behavior has more than one function or reinforcing value, each one of those conditions must be addressed. In short, this can become complicated stuff.

The second major issue is that any instance of self-harm and the goal is blown. That is a very difficult challenge. The psychopharmacologist discussed with Eddie’s habilitation team (and was met with much resistance) the difference between idealistic goals and realistic goals. The psychopharmacologist’s position was that the habilitation team had set an idealistic goal when they needed a realistic goal. And here is how he broke it down. Ideal goals, he explained, are like the grand finale. Realistic goals are the small steps taken to reach the grand goals. He suggested that instead of aiming at zero instances of self-injury per month due to the behavior being high frequency to aim at reducing the existing behavior by 10%. Once that goal was achieved, then the goal would be to reduce it by another 10%, and so on and so forth until 0% was reached. With a slow taper, progress could be easily measured. For example, with the idealistic goal of 0 instances, if Eddie’s baseline of engaging in self-injury 60 times a day and he engaged in it 1 time, he’d be said to have made no progress because 1 is greater than 0. But with a realistic goal, if his baseline was 60 and he engaged in self-injury 40 times, he has made progress. This method was far more accurate than the all-or-nothing approach. However, this method highlights that there are no quick fixes or shortcuts. Slow and steady is the approach, and that wasn’t what the agency wanted to hear. Which brings up the next point.

  1. Achieving goals takes time, and it is critical to allow the plan ample and sufficient time for a goal to be reached. If a person wants to use lose twenty pounds, it’s unrealistic to expect that amount of loss in one day or even a week. This would be considered an idealistic goal. When a goal like this isn’t reached, the person may be inclined to give up or quit. However, reframing this goal for three months would be durable and the short-term (realistic) goal would be perhaps to lose two pounds per week. This goal is more likely to be obtained. This is frequently seen in New Year’s resolutions when the person begins a goal gung-ho and by the three-month mark has abandoned it. Results are wanted quickly and the expectation is unrealistic.
  2. A huge part of setting a goal is the willingness to put in the work to achieve the goal. In other words, the person must be serious and dedicated, otherwise, there is no reason to set the goal.
  3. Expect setbacks. They happen, but that does not mean they can’t be overcome. One way to avoid this is to allow enough flexibility is the goal-setting plan for setbacks. This is along the same lines as building or renovating a home. An amount is calculated into the budget for unexpected or unforeseen expenses. For example, if the walls are being opened, there is no way to know what the insides will look like. There may be termite damage, issues with wiring, or old plumbing not up to code. Any number of issues could be found. A conscious renovator would have figured additional funds in the budget should any of these situations occur. It may have not been enough, but it assures that some of the expense could be covered. Without this safety net, the renovator may have to abandon the project or leave it unfinished. This same principle can be applied to most goals set.
  4. Goals should be something you want for yourself and not what someone else wants for you. Yes, the two can coexist, but the latter can’t exist in isolation. Frequently, this is seen between parents and children. The parents may have one set of expectations while their child may have another. For example, I have a cousin who wanted more than anything to be a musician which, no doubt, is a difficult industry to break into. Members of the family wanted him to work for the postal service. His love for music, despite his talent, was not supported. Instead of following his dreams, he allowed family members to dictate his goals to him. He obtained a job at the local post office and was miserable. He was a good employee but not great because his heart wasn’t in it. After several years, he got the courage to quit, move to a different state, and end an unhappy marriage that his family had for years pressured him to stay in.

By then, many of his earlier music opportunities had dried up. Starting over was a struggle, and he received much family criticism. Eventually—again from family pressure—he returned to the postal service. However, he also managed to maintain a career in music—playing local clubs, private events, and songwriting/producing for other musicians. He frequently speaks of how he regrets not going for his music goals sooner and what could have been had he not squandered that time.

That’s all I got. Now, it’s your turn to sound off. What did you think? What is your take on the subject? Do you agree or disagree? Did you find this information helpful or informative? Did you learn anything new, or did it change your opinion? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. Your feedback allows me to know the content that you want to read. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.

Get ready. It’s time to hit the ice again. Future Goals has arrived and is available.

When a college hockey player needs the help of an attractive older attorney, he gets more than he bargained for when trying to sort out the troubles in his career. Falling in love was never part of either man’s plan, especially as Corrigan’s and Sacha’s lives should never have collided. Now they’re left questioning if they’re standing in the way of the other’s future goals, or if there’s room for redirection.

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Missed the first four books in my hockey romance series? No frets.

Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links on where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit

Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at or Crossing the line could cost the game.

Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at or

Penalty Kill (book #4) retakes the ice. Get a copy at or and let the pucker begin.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search for me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors or BookBub or TikTok.

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Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.

About the Author

Genevive Chamblee resides in the Bayou country where sweet tea and SEC football reign supreme. She is known for being witty (or so she thinks), getting lost anywhere beyond her front yard (the back is pushing it as she’s very geographically challenged), falling in love with shelter animals (and she adopts them), asking off-the-beaten-path questions that make one go “hmm,” and preparing home-cooked Creole meals that are as spicy as her writing. Genevive specializes in spinning steamy, romantic tales with humorous flair, diverse characters, and quirky views of love and human behavior. She also is not afraid to delve into darker romances as well.