You know that feeling when you set a goal and you accomplish it? How does that make you feel? At first I thought I’ve sort of been one to shy away from making goals – fear of failure, fear of risk, fear of discomfort-not quite sure. New Year’s Resolution season is upon us and goal setting is all around (that’s why I’m avoiding the gym this week people! How many weeks do they go until falling off the bandwagon. I want a spot back in yoga please.) However, when I stop and think back about goals I have set for myself over the years I smile with a small sense of pleasure in my own, surprising determination.
I’m 10 years old and my dad promises me he will give me a dollar for each chapter book I read so that I can have some spending money for our upcoming trip to Disney World. I read 102 chapter books and got some sweet souvenirs.
I’m 16 years old and want an off period in high school. I know, in order to achieve that and avoid dreaded gym class, I have to participate in not one, but two school sports. Focus in on the only other non-cut sport offered and I found myself on the cross country team. I ran each race and quite often finished as the last participant on my team (NO not last, last – just last of the Impalas). I did it though, I ran. Running is hard.
I’m 18 years old and spend most of my first semester of college crying. No, not just crying, bawling my eyes out, not eating, obsessively thinking about a return to Colorado. I dropped out of a small liberal arts school, but made the goal to attend state school. Even amidst terrorizing fear that led to weight loss and trouble sleeping, I took brave small steps to re-enroll in school. I went home each weekend for most of college, but I did it. I did my laundry too.
I’m 23 years old and know in my heart that working for a non-profit must become a reality. Again, through perhaps many stomach aches and trouble sleeping I found a way to return to an organization where I believe very much in the mission and heart of the work we do each day. My resume is diverse from bouncing around in jobs, but my heart was a straight-line to accomplishing a very long term dream.
I realize that I do set goals, and work to achieve the ones that I want. None of this pithy weight loss, make more friends, find a husband, build a career blah, blah, blah goals. Not to discount those working on those goals currently. These, quite honestly, are areas I too have struggled and continue to think about. I just want goals that are more realistically attainable for me. I think we put too much pressure on perfection, on areas to improve and once again set ourselves up for a continuous cycle of “OH MY GOSH I’M JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH” . You can read more about my thoughts on that topic in my previous post “Stop Trying to Improve”. I don’t want to do that for 2015.
*Spoiler alert – here comes my 2014 reflecting* As I look back on the year behind us I am proud of some of the goals I achieved. WordPress emails out these handy Annual Reports with stats and demographics all about your views and comments and “how good you were at blogging”. I’m not sure if I’m good at this per se’. I have no advertising (interested – I want you!) I only have 3700 views and a few new followers a week. I’m no world wide sensation but I did get views from over 52 countries. I’ll try not to think too long about that. That one kinda weirds me out. I published 53 posts! I met my goal for 2014. I have been able to connect with other women who are similar to me in uncanny ways. This has been a space to heal and express and ask and find some peace and gratitude. I’m proud of myself.
We planned a wedding, I got married, I have grown in a job that continues to challenge me. I’m learning to be a wife, a daughter and a friend all in new contexts. I traveled a little and I read some books. I am not sure what 2015 has in store.
Here are some achievable goals that I hope to accomplish for 2015. Don’t laugh.
1) Continue this blog. I like this adventure more than I thought I would
2) Paint my nails each week. Isn’t a manicure nice. I have SO much Essie nail polish and not enough time to keep up my hands. I’m going to try it. Maybe I’ll share my colors each week. 52 weeks of Essie.
3) Keep chugging on towards my goal of 20,000 pages to read. Hurry up with this Katie. You have reading to do!
4) Travel – even if it is little weekend adventures try to go to a few new places.
5) Make more biscotti. Biscotti is delicious.
6) Continue to be open to what the universe has to offer. Even if that means you encounter hard or challenging opportunities to grow or change or adopt new patterns, build new relationships, or close some out. It is a grand adventure isn’t it.
I believe there is beauty in accomplishing goals big and small. Beauty in being proud of yourself. Beauty in setting realistic limits and expectations. Do you have big goals or little goals for 2015? Do you like resolutions? Are you mad too because the gym is so damn crowded?