Monday, December 31, 2012

How I make goals that make me EXCITED

Perhaps my main goal for 2013 should be to learn how to apply lipstick like this creeper t-rex. Yes? No?
I have been thinking about goals a lot. A lot a lot. Growing up I was never really into making goals because I felt like, more often than not, I failed at them. It seemed pointless to me. Oh, I finished my young women's recognition for church and I always planned to go to college--both examples of goals that I achieved--but I was never into making goals about the little things.

And by little things, I guess what I really mean are the big things.

Because, really, it's all the little things we do day in and day out that make up who we are now and who we are becoming. It's the way we choose to spend our free time. What we put our work and dedication into. Where our heart and soul drive us. The morning prayers. The family dinners. The daily journals.

But my problem with goals about the little daily things is that I tend to get really worn out with daily goals. I miss one day at the beginning of the year and then I feel like there's a big black mark messing up the perfect year I had in mind. It's silly, I know, but it's true. Setting daily goals at the beginning of the year is dangerous for me.

Luckily, I think I've finally learned what kind of goals I like to make and meet. The concrete kind. The ones that I can start, work on, finish, and cross off the list. If it's a big goal then it always trickles down into my daily life in a really good, healthy way, but I can work on it when I have the time and energy and enthusiasm and I don't get burned out and discouraged when I choose to skip a day.

So I'm picky about the goals I'm willing to even write down. They have to be:

1. Realistically achievable within the time I've set for myself

2. Something I'm looking forward to working on

3. Something that will result not only in a finished project, but a better me

I've thought very carefully over the past several weeks about what I want to accomplish in 2013. Some things I can't control. Some things will change with the end of the school year in the summer and the start of a new one in the fall. Even the weather and the way it changes from season to season can change the reality of my goals. These are things that I've tried to be realistic about and take into account as I consider what goals I'm willing to invest my time and heart and soul into in the coming year.

And, as I look forward to the year ahead, I've also been doing some very personal and very practical thinking about what I went through in 2012. Having a miscarriage has changed my perspective on so many things. Not in a bitter way, but in way that makes me appreciate my good health, my little family, and the fact that you can't always plan on heartbreak and sickness. And while I hope not to experience any of that again, it's taught me a lot about being flexible with my life and accepting the fact that unexpected things come up and need to be addressed almost every day.

Sometimes it's my little girl needing some extra love and attention. Sometimes it's my husband needing to stay late for a meeting he didn't know about ahead of time. Sometimes it's just seeing a need in somebody else's life and stepping away from my own wants and aspirations and taking the time to be there for them in the way that so many others are always there for me. I've learned that being Christlike hardly ever fits in my schedule, but it fills me up in a way that nothing else does. So I've learned to be flexible in that way. It's always worth it.

As for 2013, I've made 11 goals so far that I want to accomplish in the next 365 days of my life. Maybe I'll add two more goals to make it an even 13. (If for no other reason than it would be easier to remember.) Each goal is something that will take a lot of work and a lot of effort, but each one is something that I truly believe is realistically attainable, something that I'm sincerely excited about, and something that I know will result in a better me.

Here's to worthwhile goals!

...and to remembering what they are two weeks from now. :)

1 comment:

Kathy Haynie said...

I like the criteria. I'm curious to find out what your plans include. You always inspire me. :)