This Year’s List
Creating a random list of accomplishments does not typically work for me. When I scratch off a goal, I can’t exactly find a way to add value to myself. What happens is that I get all excited about marking through a listed item with a fresh Sharpie. I really do get excited. And then I sit and wait for something else to happen. Like something magical is supposed to go down or something. It doesn’t. I half think I am more proud about marking through a goal than actually completing it. Because I never set that goal up to mean something to me.
So, for me, goals need to have at least three characteristics.
Time Out. Before I start there, I know there are such things as SMART Goals. That means they need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. But this isn’t that kind of post so I’ll be making up my own kind of characteristics.
Let me start again. Goals need to have at least three characteristics: to be intentional, manipulative, and have a sense of accountability. As in, their purpose should be to stimulate a certain feeling that will alter who you are, and this feeling must be one you intend to generate (intentional). This cannot simply be the satisfaction of completing the goal. There must be an effect that impacts and changes you to feel and become a certain way (manipulative). They should require you to track your progress (accountability). And these goals should serve as a benchmark-point as well as a space for reflection. This is where you assess the before and after. It gives you the opportunity to process where you were before, where you are now, and where all of it will lead you.
My friend sent me a list that helps guide you through your goals and how they should affect you. I don’t know where it came from, but I thought it was pretty good and relevant as far as a type of list I was looking for. Here are some questions you can answer and with them, are my answers:
#1 What are you proud of/what did you accomplish in 2013 that served your highest self? What made you a better person?
Here is my answer: My proudest accomplishment was my strengthened relationship with God. It was painful to get there. And it lead me to live like I have never lived.
I felt love for and from strangers, people I did service with, friends, family–all relationships. I felt love in its purest form, in away that I hadn’t.
I also felt alive. So alive. I didn’t know it was possible for me to get there. It has taken me on adventures, on travels, to unexpected avenues that have lead me to so many special people, places, and life occurrences.
I did not know how to do that, and I could not do that by myself. None of it would have been possible without me giving up control, folding my cards, and handing them over to God.
#2 What feelings, things, thoughts, beliefs and/or relationships do you want to LEAVE BEHIND in 2013, and not bring into 2014?
Here are my answers in categories:
Feelings: I got a lot better about feeling “worried” this year. Once I gave complete control of my life to God, I was no longer contained by shackles of worry and fear that I created for myself. In the past, I allowed anxiety to cripple my appetite, my motivation, and my health. I had a talent for worry. There were points in my life where I would be so worried and anxious, I’d developed terrible side effects. At one time, I could not eat anything and lost 10 pounds; meanwhile, I’d be uncontrollably throwing up the only thing that was in my empty stomach, acid, every single morning for about two weeks. That sounds crazy now. I thought it was normal. I didn’t understand this was not something to which I should be subjecting myself.
At other times, I’d allow my anxiety and worry to set me up for failure. It’s interesting how these feelings can invade your life and physically take control of you. It’s pretty sad, and I can say that because I lived through it. This year, I wasn’t like that. But I still worry about a few things, and I’d like to leave that behind.
Things: Clothes and jewelry that have served their purpose. Except I am taking sewing classes to alter and update existing outfits–I guess that’s a little bit like getting rid of them.
I have this really bad receipt problem. I collect receipts and don’t ever do anything in particular with them. I am getting rid of them all. I also need to get rid of stupid bags that I have, which are clearly bent out of shape and taking up space. Some of my shoes need to go. I haven’t worn the Chunky Heel since 2003. Shoes with Chunky heels need to go.
People: I love everyone in my life. I can’t imagine it without them.
#3 How do you want to FEEL in 2014? A list of goals, where you want to travel, names of people who you want to spend time with, events you want to attend are all great things to add here, just be sure to include how those things will make you feel.
My answers in categories:
How I want to feel: I want to continue to feel full of love, energy, and gratitude.
Travel: I want to travel to places (close or far) that make me feel alive, allow me to serve, and tousle my sense of adventure
Accomplishments: I want to accomplish projects and goals that make me feel purposeful, that make me feel creative, that make me feel like I am doing God’s work, full of energy, strong, and that make me feel happy. I know this will probably entail things I do at work, cooking projects, craft projects like sewing and designing, taking awesome pictures, service, and more. This will give me perpetual energy, gratitude, and let me love.
Events: I want to attend events that stimulate my creativity and intellect. I want to attend events that allow me to meet more people who will diversify my realm of knowledge and challenge me, or, like-minded people who will help me carry out my goals.
People: I want to spend more time with friends who live out of town or friends who live locally and I do not get to see often. These people are: Leah, Ashlee, Minal, Allison, Angela, Khadija, Shawne, Micaela, Amanda, Ms. H. I also want to spend more time with my friends who like to be adventurous: Sarah, Carrie, Nicole, Qasim, Natasha, Stefani, Amy, Lily, Saira, Rasika, Sydney, Christa, my culture club. And my childhood best friend who knows me inside and out: Lauren. And the people who bring me closer to God: Nick, Michael, Ryan, Angela N, Christine, Margo, Emma. And the people who love to do service: Liz, Rubi, the girls at watermark. And family. And new people. And everyone in my life, basically(i.e. Joe, Stef, Amanda, soror girls, Natasha, etc).
I think everyone should make some sort of list for themselves. This doesn’t have to be your New Year’s List of Resolutions. Just a list to better yourself and life would suffice. Otherwise, what is it exactly that we are all doing here anyway.
*FYI this was typed in stream-of-conscious form, so I apologize for errors, winding passages, cliches, and etc. Or if it doesn’t make any sense at all.