Here’s the pass and the shot…GOAL!

By Phyllis Smith

Part of the requirements of my former high-tech job were yearly reviews from my supervisor. These usually consisted of summarizing my accomplishments for the year, setting some goals for the next year, and getting feedback on where I could improve. Being a software release manager for a large corporation, I felt like every day what I needed to achieve was presented to me upfront and personal. It was like I had my own private sportscaster in my head. The goals were hard to ignore or miss. During my current career change, I find that I miss that environment, as frenetic as it was back then. 

The February Women Inspiring Women (WIW) call gave me some great insight into how to set a course for a great 2024. The call was based on Mel Robbins’ workbook. The hour of sharing with other intriguing and smart women provided a succinct way for me to set some great goals for 2024. Here’s what I came up with and just so you know: writing these here makes you a witness to my intentions and my results! 

2024: A new calendar and a new word

One of the ways WIW set up 2024 to be the best year yet was to pick a word of the year. No, Rest, Yes, Intention, and Kindness were some of the ones shared by the thoughtful women on the call. I loved all of these, and each woman had such great reasons for picking them. My word is related to Intention and Yes. I picked Ambition. Part of a career change or any change really is having the drive to see it through. Here is what I got when I searched the definition of Ambition:

Ambition means a desire for achievement or distinction, such as personal advancement, preferment, honor, power, fame, or wealth. It can be a specific goal or aim that a person hopes to do or achieve, or a feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state. Ambition can be praiseworthy or inordinate, depending on the object and the extent of the desire.

Being self-employed means that my goals are self-imposed and self-created. What I’m finding difficult about this is being able to define a goal so that it is clear each and every day. That is where ambition comes in: I want to make changes in my livelihood during this transition, and I believe that means accomplishing something each day towards my goals.  

I’ve talked in other blogs about my daily writing practice. Finding an excuse to write later or not at all has become a problem lately. I therefore modified my word of the day to be a phrase: Writing Ambition. I am setting intentions around, and focusing my energy on, my writing. Figuring out some goals and measurements (how many words per day or submitting pieces for review regularly) will be my way of setting a bar to assess my progress. 

I am not one to do New Year’s Resolutions but my birthday is in January so I often do reflect on the previous year and think about the one just starting. On the call, we talked about over our 2023 accomplishments and challenges and set a course for 2024 by thinking about three verbs: 
We then shared our objects of those verbs for 2024: What are you going to Stop/Continue/Start in 2024? 

Start by Stopping: A whole new me

This first one is going to be tough, especially as it relates to sharing my thoughts in these blogs: I declared that I am going to stop comparing myself to my previous self. Those younger Phyllises are really not relevant to my life right now. I am not that person anymore and I never will be again. Of course, I must think back on how I got here but I can’t beat myself up about not being 20 or 30 or 40, with the drive, energy or even the body I had then. The problem with comparing myself to my younger self is usually I end up thinking that my current self is lacking. In fact, that isn’t true, I am much happier now than I was even a few years ago. My ability to have objectivity over challenges has improved. So many things, but my main point in picking judging my current self for my Stopping in 2024 was to set myself up for new opportunities.

Continuing: Read on

In 2024, I am going to continue with these blogs riffing on the content from the LRobInspires WIW calls. My sharing these blogs on the LRobInspires website helps spread the word on the content of the calls, shows the reach and impact of the content and provides representation of actual inspiration provided by the WIW Network. I also share the blogs on LinkedIn which helps provide exposure for LRobInspires organization and communicates my adventures with my network. For me personally, the WIW blog has been a fun and rewarding effort and has helped me flex my writing muscles. I discover new insights about myself and the world while I write. As I said in my introduction, sharing here makes me feel accountable to my readers for doing what I say I am going to do! 

Starting: Expanding my territory

You heard it here first: I am going to start a new publication based on these blogs and other original content on Substack. Look for me there and send me an email at if you would like to subscribe. I am currently working on an essay about how a pair of sneakers I bought in 9th grade helped me realize I needed to quit my high-tech job. My Start goal will be supported by my 2024 word/phrase. I will need my writing ambition-that specific goal or aim that a person hopes to do or achieve—to show up each day and work toward something cool and interesting to share. 

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