It’s January. The new year is upon us and that mean’s one thing. It’s time to set some goals.
LIKE A BOSS
I’m not one for making big blanket statements like “I’m never going to watch reality television again” or “I can’t even look at chocolate“… let’s be honest, we rarely keep those types of emotional resolutions. It would only take one E! TV marathon of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” for me to fall off of that wagon.
It’s just not going to happen.
That being said, I do whole-heartedly believe in being intentional with your life. We all know how fast time can go. It was just yesterday I was watching “Reading Rainbow” and loving it… oh wait, that was yesterday… well, whatever, you get my point. Time slips away from us quickly and if we’re not intentional, life can happen to us instead of for us. I know that’s been the case in my life many, many times. I keep saying someday I’m going to do x,y or z. I hate to break it to
me you, someday is never.going.to.happen.
This fact is just as unsettling to me as it is to you. That’s why I’ve recently started taking time at the beginning of the new year to get away from the every day and think big picture about my life. I ask myself, and more importantly God, the big questions like “What are the things that I am dedicating my time to?” “Is this what I should be focusing on?” “What are the dreams that God has put in my heart?” “What makes me happy?” “What makes me sad/angry?” and the list goes on…
I have to be honest and say that these are rarely fun conversations. I am forced to confront the reality of the life that I am living on a daily basis. It’s not always pretty. The good news is that, when you invite God into the conversation, you don’t have to face them alone. What’s more, He has a perspective and a plan that always leaves me a bit overwhelmed at His grace and goodness.
This time away, is not just about big thoughts, though, it is also about concrete plans. That’s the part I have trouble with. Since I find this part particularly challenging, I’ve reached out to a number of people that I look up to over the years and have asked their advice on this process. One thing I’ve heard on numerous occasions is the term SMART goals. Awesome. That seems like a no-brainer. Who’s going to say, “Actually, I prefer DUMB goals.”? Upon further review though, I’ve learned that SMART actually stands for goals that are:
- Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
- Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
- Assignable – specify who will do it.
- Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
- Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
wow… right? I’ve seen how adopting these types of goals can take your dreams from wishful thinking to actual concrete plans. Less you think I have it all together, I should say that I’ve, more often then not, seen it work in my friends’ lives because they actually adopt it. I’m clearly still a work in progress.
Another technique that a friend told me about this year is based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Since I’m pretty sure that the first habit includes actually buying and reading the book, I wasn’t so sure I was on the path to success with this one. My friend kindly gave me the cliff notes though and talked about the idea of mapping out the various roles that you fill in your life… such as mother, friend, employee, blogger, superhero… and then setting just one goal (might I suggest a SMART goal?) for each of these areas. One goal… I can get on board with that.
So this weekend I took myself off to Charlottesville, VA and holed up in a coffee shop to ask the big questions and set some SMART goals. I can’t say it was easy, but I’m excited for what came out of it. Now it’s just time to actually do the work. Bring on the fun!
I know we’re already a few weeks into 2014, but you haven’t missed your chance to set a few goals for yourself this year. Maybe you can’t actually leave town, but you can go to a new coffee shop or even room in your house for an hour or two. It’s worth the time commitment… trust me. Who knows where you could be in a year from now if you intentionally put a plan to your dreams. I believe you can do it! I’m going to try (and trust God) my hardest to do the same!
In closing, can we all just agree that Sharlett is the coolest? My main resolutions for 2014 is to be more like her. I’m working on breaking it down into a SMART goal now. I just need to find leather pants and start wearing my sunglasses inside.
Photos: Lauren Modny Photography
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