La Vie en France #31: Staying Focused on Goals



Regular readers know that the “La Vie en France” blog posts talks about the Webmaster’s cultural experiences in France and/or the process that led to his sabbatical pursue his passion as a freelance tour guide for the AEF battlefields on the Western Front.  This post covers the latter topic.  specifically, it talks about staying focused on one’s goals–whatever they are.

It is all too easy to lose track of one’s goals or to lose momentum in reaching for those goals.  Sometimes life gets in the way.  Perhaps a relative or friend gets sick and/or dies.  In other cases family or personal “drama” can be a major distraction.  Financial issues, too, can impact one’s decision-making.

Yet the important thing is to remain focused, and to recognize when setbacks might only be temporary.  For the last several years the Webmaster has made a list of goals at the beginning of each year.  Setting goals that are tangible and achievable helps him remain focused.  Once goals are set, it is important to evaluate how close one is to achieving those goals from time to time.  With one-third of the year now complete, here is the Webmaster’s scorecard toward his 2018 goals:


  1. Take at least a 1 mile (1.6km) walk every day–Yellow, he is averaging 0.5 miles.  That is, he walks 1-2 miles on several days, but then he misses some days.
  2. Cut down on sugar in the diet–Red, his bad habits are returning now that he has returned to the U.S.
  3. Eat less / eat healthier foods–Red, for the same reasons above.
  4. Publish the Griffin Group Photo Archive–Yellow-Green.  He finally started marketing them in late April.  The color would be green, except that the marketing should have started in February or March!
  5. Book a Full Tour Season–Yellow-Green.  Randal will be in France from mid-Sept. to mid-Nov.  The first month is quite well booked, but there are still numerous free dates from mid Oct. to mid Nov.
  6. Practice speaking / listening to French at least twice a week–Red.  Randal rarely does this.


Lest one think the Webmaster is perfect, note that there are no truly green achievement markers, but there are several read ones in his list of 2018 goals.  That is all the more reason for this mid-year review.

The Webmaster realizes that not all people can afford to take a multi-month sabbatical to live and work as a battlefield tour guide in France.  It takes strong relationships with family, strong finances, intelligent spending decisions, a lot of planning and determination, etc. to do something of that magnitude.  However, almost every person can find ways to make their passion play a stronger role in their life.  For example, a family friend who loves to work with animals has spent the last several years temporarily adopting animals and working with a local shelter; while still holding a relatively well-paying job in the corporate world.

The key is to set goals that are achievable and to continue to work towards them.  When one experiences a set-back or when one strays from those goals, one needs to devise a strategy to get back on track.

The Webmaster is humbled by the number of people who have listed him as an inspiration; and he hopes that his writings will encourage others to pursue their passions!