Email This Post HomeHumorPetty Goals Amy Vansant October 31, 2012 Humor 28 Comments Everyone craves a sense of accomplishment. Sadly, you can’t expect to become rich or famous overnight, and too often, people create such lofty goals for themselves that they’re left wanting. Keanu Reeves probably craves an Oscar, but he’d be a lot happier if he shot for something a little more manageable; like adding actual human inflection to one line of dialog before he dies. I learned early to avoid lofty ambitions, and instead revel in the sweet reward of achieving petty goals. Leading a life of utter fulfillment is easy when you keep your hopes and aspirations low. For instance, I keep a “to do” lists for myself, for no other reason than the joy I attain by crossing off items. Could I add “make more money” to the list? Sure. But why, when it could remain there for decades? Why, when instead I could write “make a vodka and lemonade?” Remember to add things you already did to the list retroactively, just so you can immediately cross them off. Breathe in. Breathe out. You can also achieve petty goals at work. For instance, has a co-worker had a baby, forcing you to watch everyone coo over photos of a bald-headed peanut you could have made yourself, given nine months, the reinstatement of prohibition, and two minutes alone with any living male over the age of consent? You could get married and have an adorable kid, but why? That’s way too difficult. Instead, you can pretend you adopted a kid. Adopted kid always trumps biological kid. And most picture frames come with adorable kids already in them. Just buy the appropriate frame, put it on your desk and wait for the onslaught of adoring fans. Steal attention from breeder. Or, you could just bring a box of kittens into work. You can get kittens at a shelter for almost nothing. Tell everyone that you found the box o’ kittens outside in the parking lot. Immediately, everyone will forget about Momma, and your cubicle will be the center of attention. Whenever people utter your name, it will be followed with “you know, the girl who saved all the kittens.” As a side bonus, you might find actual parents for the kittens, which is good, because shelters really frown on taking boxes of kittens and then returning them the next day, believe me. Become office kitteh hero. Collections are another great way to feed a craving for accomplishment, but be careful to avoid collections that never end. Coins? Stamps? There are millions of those. Write “collect all the coins” on a to do list and you’re in for a world of hurt. You need to start collections you can complete, like “own all top ten hits by Chumbawamba.” Chumbawamba just broke up so you don’t have to worry about another “Tubthumping” coming out of left field. Special note: Be wary of bands with a lot of remix albums like the Beastie Boys. That’s a trap. Watch all episodes of “Animal Practice” There are a million goals you can accomplish within your own family. I like to play a game called “Make Mom Curse.” My mother rarely curses. But if you work her up into a proper froth, by, for example, suggesting that Tom Selleck isn’t the sexiest man alive, sometimes she’ll slip. The joy derived from hearing your mother call someone an asshole is almost indescribable. Give yourself a point scale ranging from one point for a “hell” or “damn” to 10 for the f-bomb. If all else fails, you can trick her by wondering aloud what they call those structures beavers make. Like any mom she’ll have to tell you, and then BOOM! – one point. Take TV remote from Dad and change channel once without him noticing Sure “damn” and “dam” are technically different words, but it isn’t really cheating. Remember, with all your petty goals: You make the rules. About Latest Posts Amy VansantAmy Vansant is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author specializing in fun, funny fiction --- even the murder mysteries. Latest posts by Amy Vansant (see all) Earn Gifts by helping me grow, giveaways and book deals - November 28, 2018 Win a Kindle, Poltergeists and Book Deals… - November 21, 2018 Where being hard-headed and cooking doesn’t mix… giveaways and deals - November 15, 2018 28 Responses Lynn Kellan October 31, 2012 Ah. Perhaps my revised goal for today will be “be a mom for Halloween.” There. I’m already dressed the part! 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant October 31, 2012 That’s the spirit! 0 likes Reply Abby October 31, 2012 I’ve always been a big fan of making a list of things I’ve already done so I can cross them off. Another option? Simply change all the “o’s” in your “to-do” list to “a’s” and then Ta-da! Mission accomplished. Rock star status of productivity achieved (crosses “comment on Amy’s blog off the list…) 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant October 31, 2012 Nice – I’m always saying “ta da” so that works perfectly… 0 likes Reply Carrie October 31, 2012 Petty Goals are the way to go. Mine for today: Show up at work. DONE!(see how I left out the part where I actually do my job? because, yeah right.) 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant October 31, 2012 Hope you remembered to put “bring vodka” on the list before you left home… 0 likes Reply Jessica October 31, 2012 I can totally get behind this. I’ve already crossed off: Get dressed, drink tea, pee, and swear at dog. So productive!! 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant October 31, 2012 I’m, like, OPRAH inspirational, aren’t I? 0 likes Reply Lance October 31, 2012 I don’t do “to do Lists” but if I did I would put “wake up” and “go to the bathroom” in the first two slots. I’d feel very accomplished if I did nothing else. 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant October 31, 2012 That’s the only reason my dad drinks coffee. 0 likes Reply SarcasticNinja October 31, 2012 Be careful with your creature of choice for becoming the office animal rescue hero–kittens and puppies are ok. Frogs and rats may have unintended results. 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant October 31, 2012 Granted. The honey badger was a HUGE mistake. 0 likes Reply soynailcider October 31, 2012 Love the “Steal attention from breeder” idea. Clever indeed. 0 likes Reply Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd October 31, 2012 The box of kittens can backfire because then you’ll become the person everyone comes to when THEY find a box of kittens. And it happens. Oh, it happens. 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant October 31, 2012 Oooh, and I’m allergic. That would be bad. Unless I developed a taste for them… 0 likes Reply Tiffany N. York October 31, 2012 So glad I’m not the only one who thinks Keanu Reeves is one of the top 5 WORST actors around. 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant October 31, 2012 I’ve heard (and it could be BS) that real American Indians naturally have little inflection to their voice, and I’ve heard (could be BS) that HE is an American Indian. So I suppose I could give him a pass… Nah. 0 likes Reply Sue October 31, 2012 I am generally an underachiever but never thought of writing a to-do list that I’ve already finished all that stuff on… that’s brilliant. Plus, if I can make myself look good in the process it’s a win/win for everyone (that I care about which is mostly just myself). I can leave the finished list on the cupboard so my husband (who is totally correct in thinking that I don’t do crap while he’s at work) will that I’m totally amazing. Thanks!! 1 likes Reply Amy Vansant October 31, 2012 That’s a good idea… I can leave notes all over the house making it look like I’m amazingly productive! Of course Mike and I work in the same house, so he could get suspicious. 0 likes Reply Sue October 31, 2012 I’m going to add learn to proof read on my real to-do list. 0 likes Reply Laura October 31, 2012 I just added “be as funny as you” to my real to-do list… Setting myself up for failure there. Great post! 🙂 1 likes Reply Amy Vansant October 31, 2012 You’re too kind, but you made my day – thank you! 0 likes Reply Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point October 31, 2012 So what I’m hearing is that I should get rid of my todo list that has win an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony on it? OK, done. 0 likes Reply Jen November 1, 2012 You beat me to it. I was just about to write about my “un-list.” I may do it anyway. I can’t cross off “watching Animal Practice.” Tried once and it was so bad I had to change the channel. But, maybe that was your point. It’s early and my brain is still in barely functional mode. 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant November 1, 2012 Definitely, you beat me to Brad Pitt so we’ll be even! 🙂 0 likes Reply Natalie the Singingfool November 1, 2012 I want to be known at work as the “kitteh rescuer.” That’s all I’ve ever wanted. 1 likes Reply Banana Stickers November 4, 2012 This is brilliant. I am often so busy every day with a to do list twice the size of the migraine it induces, and I wind up going to bed feeling like a complete failure when things like “learn to be in three places at once” and “clone thyself” don’t get crossed off the list. So I’ll make yesterday’s accomplishment “get a mild concussion”. CHECK. Today, “obtain a delicious hamburger”. PENDING. But very doable considering there’s a Dairy Queen about twenty feet from my work. You may have changed my life in a very good way. Thank you. 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant November 4, 2012 At least split them so you can always be sure to be 50% AMAZING. I would like burger too thanks. 0 likes Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Add me to Amy Vansant's Humor Newsletter!