It’s a new year, a fresh start. Our planet made another successful orbit around the sun, and here we are in 2014. We’re three days into January, and my social media feeds have been inundated with resolutions, hopes, dreams and goals for this upcoming year. When it comes to resolutions, and more specifically goals (since that’s what I’m working on here), I’m learning that I have a mixed heart. There’s part of my heart that feels a rush of energy, charged up with a chance for change, a new beginning. That part looks forward in anticipation and excitement of what’s to come. And then there’s part of my heart that cowers in anxiety. A part that wants to hide, and cringes at the thought of making goals because the fear of not achieving them is, in that moment, paralyzing.
I’m learning the balance. The balance between to-do lists that cause busy-ness and a false sense of worth, and practical steps toward maximizing gifts I’ve been given. I’m asking the question:
Am I investing my resources into the things I say I care about most?
Are the things on my list of goals steps toward bigger picture dreams, toward what I want my life to look like, toward uncovering desires that have been stirring in my heart…. or are they just tasks to fill a day and make me feel like I’m someone important?
For me, as I think about goals for this month, and overall into the next year, that is the most important question I could ask. Do the goals have real purpose, is there godly intention behind them or have I slipped into obligatory goal-setting to prove myself?
I hoping and working toward the former. That my goals would be steps of faith. That I would be actively pursuing the life God is calling me to.
Here’s a wrap up of my goals for December:
– Create a system for writing that is a) realistic and b) life-giving and not obligatory. Done! I sat down last weekend, looked at my schedule and blocked off one set chunk of time to brainstorm, write and dream during the week. I also blocked off a 2nd, backup time. I would like to write a little bit each day- even if it’s only journaling- and produce 6-8 blog posts a month. – Finish reading A Moveable Feast. Begin reading The Sun Also Rises. Done! I am loving my little Hemingway kick right now. A Moveable Feast I loved- hearing from Hemingway’s perspective on Paris and his early days of writing made me want to move there and camp out in cafes all day. And I’m LOVING The Sun Also Rises- such great storytelling. Can’t wait to finish it. – Not wait until the week before Christmas to buy gifts- don’t give in to the stress that our culture often associates with the holidays. Done! Feel really good about my gift choices this year. They were done early, and were socially conscious purchases.
– Exercise at least 2 times a week. I think I MOSTLY did this goal, but I fell off a bit the last few weeks with exercise. Getting out of the house and moving around is just so good for my body, mind and soul. I start to feel my mood drop when I go too long without being active. This is an on-going goal for me.
– Cut out social media on the weekends- be present with the life happening around me. Same as above. I feel pretty decent about this goal. There were a few times that I began scrolling through Instagram out of habit, but for the most part I consciously tried to avoid social media on weekends. I think I’m going to continue this one also.
– Carry on my family tradition of making sand tarts. Done! And it was so much fun. My mom ended up coming into town, and it became a family affair. My brother and sister joined in on the fun also. They were delicious and fun to carry on the tradition with my family.
And here’s where I hope to put my energy in January:
– I received The Artist’s Way for Christmas. It’s a 12-week self-guided workshop to uncovering your creativity. I want to start that this month.
– Purchase a nice camera: the first step to upping my photography skills.
– Complete my 2014 Annual Review. I found a template for an annual review last year, and loved it. It’s a guideline to help you think big picture about what you want this year to look like, what are your desires, your dreams, and then gives you the framework to plan out how to get there. It’s simple, but eye-opening. The template I use can be found here if you want to check it out!
– Finish A Sun Also Rises. Find a good fiction book to read next. I’m thinking maybe this.
– Have a “dreaming” date with Taylor.
– Limit alcohol and desserts to the weekends. A little holiday cleanse 🙂
Your turn: I’d love to hear your goals for the month!