Sometimes I feel a little awkward sharing my goals each year and month. I worry that people may look at my list and think it’s silly, or feel inadequate that their list isn’t the same, or that I’m bragging about the things I want to accomplish, or have.
That’s not my intention at all (quite the opposite!), so I thought I would share my journey and my hope behind all of the goals I share.
“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that- that’s what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself” – Amy Poehler
I love that quote. Trying new things and setting goals helps me learn about myself. It sounds a little self-inflated to learn about yourself, but I think understanding the personality and the gifts that God has given can help you understand how to grow and become the person God intended you to be.
One of the most beautiful things to see is a person use the gifts God has given them. Here are some examples:
- My pastor is an incredible public speaker. He is able to speak clearly and articulately to thousands of people week after week with ease and clarity. I get the sweaty palms just thinking about having to do that.
- My friend Diana has a beautiful voice, and she pours her heart into every lyric. I love to hear her sing!
- My friend Allison is an amazing decorator. She doesn’t do it to show off, but truly loves the making things beautiful, and it reminds me of God and creation. If no one sees the flower that blooms in a forest, He does, and delights in it!
- My sister is a preschool teacher and is able to explain life concepts in a way that makes sense to three year olds.
- My dad is a great guitarist, and his music has blessed so many. I remember the many hours of work it took to learn hard songs, but the whole process brought him so much joy.
- My friend Melissa is so handy, and is able to take a pile of wood and make something functional with it. She has used that gift to help build Habitat for Humanity houses and many friends with their projects (like me!).
There are so many other examples… thrift shoppers who are so good at finding treasures in the midst of junk, authors who are able to weave a story that leaves you emotional and weepy at the end, a photographer who is able to capture art in the every day.
Each and every one of us has been given these talents and gifts, and I set goals to help discover my gifts and practice the ones I know about.
More reasons why I set goals…
Some goals help feed into the things that make you come alive.
I love to travel, so I set goals on where I want to go, then prioritize our schedule and budget to make it happen.
Some goals show you what you don’t like to do.
After setting a few goals on accomplishing a few big DIY projects, I’ve learned that I don’t like them at all. Nine times out of ten, I’d rather buy the thing than make it myself. So if I embark on a DIY project, the outcome will have to really outweigh the process.
Some goals, though, show you what you may not like to do, but just require you to learn or practice more.
I tried to grow a vegetable garden last year and failed miserably, so I didn’t really enjoy doing it. That partly it’s because I don’t know much about gardening and need a lot more practice. This year there are a few bigger landscaping things we need, so I decided not to add gardening to my list. But eventually I want to learn more and try it again, just to see if I may come to love it or not. And if, after some practice, I learn I still don’t love it? That’s okay — just because gardening brings others great joy, doesn’t mean it will bring me the same.
Some goals show you that you’re capable of more than you think you are.
I NEVER thought I’d be able to run a marathon, and yet, I did it. That one accomplished goal has given me confidence to do so many other things I never thought I’d be able to do.
Some goals help you accomplish the things you want to do or get done.
This one’s obvious — if I want to go on more dates with J, then I set up a goal to go on a date once a month and make it happen.
Some goals help you become a person you want to be.
I want to be a person who spends time in the Word every day, so I set it as a goal to read a Bible-in-a-year plan and set my alarm for 5:30am. I want to be a person who isn’t obsessed with her weight, so I’m not going to weigh myself for six months. I want to be a person who doesn’t fall apart at 4pm because she hasn’t planned anything for dinner, so I meal plan.
And you know what? If you’re looking at this list and are starting to stress from the rigidness of it? Then maybe goals aren’t for you. Writing things down works for me and I am motivated by steps, but if you don’t like that structure in your life, don’t worry about it! That is exactly the point — do what fires you up! Try things, experiment, fail, learn something about yourself, and keep moving.
What is your approach to goals? Why do you make them, or not make them?