Goals. Failures, and Wiggle Room

Written By Allie Perry June 23, 2024

I failed.

I had planned an entirely different blog post for this (last) week, but things got sprained and things got delayed, and here we are.

Back in December of 2022, President Joe Biden mandated federal recognition of same-sex marriages by signing the Respect for Marriage Act into law, hockey legend Alex Ovechkin scored a hat trick in an away game and became one of only three NHL players to score more than 800 goals, and I sat down and wrote out my business goals for 2023.

One of those things is not like the others. 

I typically hate setting New Year’s “resolutions” because to me they inevitably feel like a way of saying “I’m not good enough and I need to fix myself”. That’s a message needed by precisely no one, and we all know using uninspiring messages to change our habits at the beginning of each year is a recipe for disaster.

So instead of resolutions, I set goals. Not SMART Goals (though that’s something I’d like to change), and usually not finite goals, but goals that will help guide my decisions throughout the year. Asking myself “Will this task or project advance my goal?” is extremely helpful when it comes to sorting or weeding out tasks that may seem important in the moment but won’t move the needle when it comes to the bigger picture.

Goals are fluid. Some get immediate attention and then fizzle out right around the same time all those New Year’s Resolution Memberships at the gym get canceled. Some rightfully demand more and more attention as they prove themselves to be worthwhile (like actually sticking with your exercise routine), and some get forgotten about entirely. I don’t usually feel bad about the goals that get forgotten about entirely, because if they weren’t important enough to remember, they certainly weren’t important enough to gobble up my most valuable commodity- time. 

Basically, goals need wiggle room.

Back in February, I wrote an article on time management (which you can read here if you feel like procrastinating)  and since then I‘ve somehow miraculously managed to follow my own advice. 

After trying and failing with one digital planner after another, I started using Asana for my task and project management. I took a course* to quickly learn all of the ins and outs of the program and immediately started using it to prioritize and color code my to-do list in a visual-friendly calendar format that allows me to see what I need to do at a glance. I still use it daily and I love how it takes the twisted ball of mental yarn that is my brain and effectively untangles it all in a way that actually works for me.

I started using time blocking with more success than I’ve previously seen. Setting my cute little rainbow cloud timer to 30 minutes and focusing on a task for no longer than that allotted time manages the pressure of that task. At the beginning it adds the good kind of pressure that helps my brain want to jump into work, and when it goes off at the end, it takes away any pressure I may feel about whether or not I’ve completed the task. Did I finish? Woo hoo! Go check that puppy off in Asana so the colored bar disappears, especially if it’s red! (I hate red, so color coding all of my time-sensitive projects in red gives me another incentive to finish them, check them off the list, and make my calendar a red-free zone). Did the timer go off before I was done? No worries- I’m 30 minutes closer to the end than I was before, and that’s going to make the task less daunting to pick back up again whenever my time blocking schedule tells me to.

This is my adorable timer. Click here to get your own!


And since setting deadlines for myself has never really been that effective, the biggest thing I did to help me focus on my goals was to get an accountability coach. Every week I tell them what I want to achieve or what I managed to achieve and that simple act of writing it down and telling another person that I’m going to do it has been the magic trick that got me to finally meet two of my long-standing goals: write a blog post each week to educate my customers about jewelry, and email the delightful people on my email list each week so they can get to know me better and I can build stronger relationships with my customers.

I set these two goals loosely in 2021. I made them more real by writing them down in 2022 for 2023. And I finally stayed on track to achieve the goal in 2024.

And then I failed.

My trusty Asana calendar tells me that I should have my blog post written and my weekly email sent on Friday.  There have been a few weeks during the year where I didn’t get it done until Saturday, but I was ok with that since it was late but still in the same week. But now, almost six months into my shiny track record of weekly success, I missed the Friday deadline AND the Saturday deadline, officially writing this post on Sunday.

A day late and a blog post short.

I’m a very competitive person, even when I’m only competing against myself, and I hate breaking streaks. (The day I broke my 545 day Wordle streak I was practically despondent.) So while I knew breaking the streak that had taken me years to (nearly) achieve would upset me, I also knew a few other things:

  1. Outside of my husband and my accountability coach, not many people even know (or care) about this goal. I am letting no one down but myself.
  2. I needed to spend my time working on the two massive custom projects that I have due at the end of the month. They are far more pressing, and have real consequences if I don’t complete them.
  3. There’s only so much any person can do with one hand.

Oh, that’s right- I forgot to tell you.

I sprained my wrist last week. It’s the first time I ever sprained anything, despite playing three sports in high school, one sport in college, and generally being a pretty active person for the last several decades. Another streak (but not wrist) broken.

People have been relieved for me when they hear it’s the wrist on my non-dominant hand, but when I’m at the bench making jewelry I use both hands nearly equally. I solder with my left hand, I stabilize pieces with my left hand, and as I work I adjust the volume on whatever music I’m blasting with my left hand…three incredibly important and unavoidable tasks.  

The nice doctor at the Orthopedic walk-in clinic let me know I likely sprained my UCL, or ulnar collateral ligament (allowing me the prime opportunity to dub this injury collateral damage, pun intended) and fitted me with a brace that allows me to use my hand to work. I was thankful for the option, but it’s a bit like eating soup with a fork; you really only get the big stuff and everything takes a whole lot longer.

If you’ve known me for any amount of time, you know the word “quit” isn’t in my vocabulary, so a sprained wrist might slow me down, but it isn’t going to stop me. And despite this new, slower pace, I’m still confident I can get my two big projects done on time. I just had to be willing to sacrifice one goal to advance another.

I had to be willing to fail in order to succeed.

I’ll have to tell my accountability coach I fell short, but he won’t chastise me. And my customers will be happy that I delivered their projects on time.

Sometimes, it’s all about the wiggle room.



Allie is the owner and goldsmith behind Allie Perry Designs.

Learn more about her here, or connect with her on Instagram!

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