Friday, December 28, 2018

Why I won't set goals for 2019

Over the last several years my husband and I have met with our best friends to go over our goals for the next year. The goals ranged for all of us, and while I had never really done goal setting before I gave it a whirl. Mostly I enjoyed the double date night out. I am here to say that after three years of this, I am quitting.

Each year I have tried setting goals, something crazy has happened in the first few months of the year and it completely ruined and derailed everything right off the bat. Examples? A concussion from sledding which derailed my training plan for a race, a foster baby who was sick the entire time he was with us which derailed every single thing in my life but was totally worth it.  I am an all or nothing kind of person, for better or worse, and this just wasn't working. My goals became a list of things I saw at the end of the year that I didn't accomplish, glaring unchecked boxes of failure. Setting goals made me so hyper focused on accomplishing them that I seemed to become inflexible and obsessed with the completion of it. If I set a goal and didn't hit it, I felt awful. In fact, I started adjusting them often to make sure they were attainable. I wondered what the point of it all was.

So, at the end of this year I had an ah-ha moment. For me, goal setting sucks.

Here is what I do know:

I have things I love and care about and so I am going after them full speed.

I am fostering and with that I am raising awareness, writing, encouraging others and involving myself in every way I can. I will not always be a foster Mom, but while I am I will invest what I have to the cause.
I am working in Kindergarten where I give my all in helping to love those kids, teaching them and being a consistent source of encouragement in their lives. I won't always be in a Kindergarten class, but while I am there I am all in.
I am a Mom to three young boys. I am going hard after their hearts, being intentional with how I speak to them, how I interact with them and how I listen to them.
I am a wife, and I am committed to putting in the hard work of being married. I continue to invest in my spouse and our vows however that looks year by year.
I have a call to ministry and am being diligent in my schooling, stepping into each opportunity that comes my way and putting myself into positions where I am being coached, mentored and invested in.
I desire to be like Jesus, who was selfless, kind, caring, compassionate and gave His life to serve and love others. If I desire to be like that, I will spend time in prayer and scripture, in relationship with others who live like Jesus and then living that out in community with others.

If we know what we are passionate about, we can commit fully to those things and be present in each of them- relentlessly seeking to apply whatever gifts and talents and resources we have to the things that we love.

Do we make plans? Yes. Do we have things we desire to do and need to make a plan in order to accomplish it? Yes. I had to follow a plan in order to train for the two half-marathons I ran. We make budgets so that we can save and plan for trips, emergencies and spontaneity.
Goals though? Goals try to turn my life into a neat and predictable roadmap for which it is not.

Something I did last year and will do this year is ask some reflective questions. These help me look back over the last year and also look forward with intention and purpose into the next year.
Some examples are "What are my top three memories of the year?" or "What was the most humbling experience of the last year and why?" and "What is one thing you are most grateful for from this past year?"

What about you? Are you a goal setter and checklist driven person? Maybe you are like me and don't like to stick your life on a list with tunnel vision but hope to find movement and purpose with what is in front of you. I am not saying there is a right way or a wrong way-  but finding what works for you may be the best thing you can do for yourself heading into the new year! Don’t get me wrong, I am a hardworking, get crap done kind of person. My point is, I am making sure that what I am investing my time and energy in, isn’t just self-gratifying but actually matters on a deeper level. I’m not going to set goals for the sake of checking things off- busying myself with a list of things I must do. I’m going to make it my “goal” to live a life of great intention and investment in the lives of those around me not to check it off but to live fully into who Christ has created me to be.


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