Adventures in Goal-setting: Here comes 2011!

I love setting goals. Back when I sold books and was a student manager with Southwestern, we had our annual meeting, called Great Recruiters Seminar or GRS the 2nd week or so in January. My manager was always encouraged us (strongly) to set goals not just for the next recruiting season, but for all areas of our life- 7 areas overall. They are:

1.Realtionships/Social ~ I always thought it was a little weird to set goals for relationships, like my goal is to obtain 3 new friends, nurture 2 existing friendships and eliminate 1 negative friend. So, I changed it a little. I expanded it to include relationships in general and social situations. For example, this year my goal is to get together more often with my teenage nieces and also to get back to attending Social Media Tulsa meetups.

2. Health- Most people make a New Years Resolution to lose weight. And we as a country are notoriously bad about exercise, so we know how that’s played out- ‘obeseity-crisis’ anyone? I have made a very deliberate choice to not focus on weight loss numbers, but rather activity. I know for a fact that I feel better when I move more, when I break a sweat- whether that’s jogging with the dog, pounding out a couple of miles on the treadmills or vigorously cleaning my house, my body like to move. And I like being in my body more when its active. This past year, I worked out with a trainer, for the first time in MY LIFE, and lo, it was awesome. Expensive, but awesome. Mostly, because I had someone to talk to and to meet with and to ask questions of- mostly social stuff, but when you hate going to the gym as much as I do, a cheerful chatty friend who I”M PAYING and therefore CANNOT blow off, is a strong inducement to go exercise. I plan to continue this partnership in 2011. Oh, and run the Tulsa Run (for reals this time) in October 2011.

3. Financial- this is a tricky one for me- my SW manager always had us goal-set for how much we wanted to earn in the summertime- i.e. how many units we had to sell in order to reach our goals. These days, I’m more focused on breaking down our credit card/student load debt load so that we can be free of it, while still living a comfortable lifestyle. In 2011, we are buying a house, so my goal is to pay for new furniture and decor with cash, and not go further into debt to kit out the house. And in fact, go ahead and pay off that pesky Bank of America credit card and at least one large student loan.

4. Career-Hmmm, this is a toughy. To be honest, I’m not really sure what to goal-set for in terms of my career. What I’ve been feeling for the past few months is that non-profits are not really where I fit best; although I loved being ‘plugged in’ and feeling like my day to day work had Purpose, I hated the stress, politics and unrealistic expectations that came with non-profit work. On the other hand, I still like the classroom, but am having a hard time finding a full-time teaching gig that doesn’t pay beans.

So, the job search goes on. Honestly, l’d like a part-time job that’s diverse and different and then to stay home when I have kids. I’d like for that to be this year, but there’s no guarntees of that. So, we’ll just go with job that doesn’t make me cry on the weekly and is not boring, pays decently. Not a terribly specific goal, but as I’ve discovered this year, my plans for big stuff like this, haven’t always panned out… 🙂

5. Travel- I love that traveling is even on this list! of course, my manager loved to travel and i think just encouraging us to think about travel as an important part of our lives was an important, wise, urbane thing of her to do. Sort of as a result of her encouraging me to think this way, travel was an important part of my college years; I’ve wanted to travel internationally again, but haven’t had the chance to do in the past few years. This year, I plan to go to Nashville to visit D&G; Portland to visit B&J and will shoot to make it to Mexico for our wedding anniversary.

6. Creative/Intellectual- I took a pottery class my last semester of my undergraduate career, as sort of ‘blow off steam’ class. It was challenging, but I did really enjoy it and still have several pieces of my own making that I proudly display at home. I would love to- and fully intended to- take another class and brush off my limited technique. In 2011, I will take another pottery course, probably at WaterWorks.

7. Spiritual/Service- I am pretty involved with my church (LifeChurch.tv, holla!)- my husband and I volunteer in the nursery on a weekly basis, we have a wonderful small group (or LifeGroup) that we attend weekly and are really bleassed to be part of a church that is “real” and challenging. For example, this past weekend, the message was about “Firsts”- Pastor Craig challenged up to put God first in our day (daily prayer and Bible study), first in our week (attend church), first in our finances (tithe) and first in the year (fast). This last point is a new one for me, I’ve not ever successfully completed a total food fast (hello, hypoglycemia!) and wasn’t terribly keen to undertake the all fruit & veg fast that my church is doing together. However, G. & I decided that we would, in the spirit of being intentional and giving up what is comfortable for us, fast from eating out. We eat out fairly regularly- after church, with friends, on most date nights, when we’re feeling lazy, etc. So, I’m having to plan my meals (healthy ones of course) and he’s packing his lunch everyday, instead of just when we have leftovers, etc. We’ll see how it goes- its easy now, but the weekend may be a challenge. Also, as a LifeGroup, we are doing a Bible reading plan together; I’m excited about that, because I’ve also never completed one of those before either (Consistency is not, apparently, my strongest spiritual discipline).

Overall, though, this year, my spiritual guideline is to “Stay in the Boat!”- this comes from a sermon series we had back in October (just after I got fired from job #2), wherein we looked at the story of Jesus and the disciples out on the Sea of Galilee with the storm. Not the one where Jesus walks on water, the other one- where he calms the storm by telling it to “Be Still!” And the point of the story is, what did the disciples do to calm the storm? Nothing- they just stayed in the boat. They couldn’t do anything stop the storm, they couldn’t get the boat to the other side faster with their worry, rowing wasn’t working, etc. Jesus was the one who calmed the storm, not them. And obviously, the interpretation is that Storm= Life, duh. It was a very comforting message to me and is a good reminder to a control freak like me to let God deal with the storm that’s happening in my life; I just need to stay in the boat of His will.

Don’t lose hope and jump in the sea, stay in the boat.

Don’t try to row against the waves, stay in the boat.

Don’t worry about what’s on the other shore, stay in the boat.

Don’t listen to the other disciples freaking out, stay in the boat.

Look to the One who calms the sea with his voice, he is in the boat with me.

~~~

So even though, we are buying a house (scary!) and I don’t have a job (even more scary!), I have peace and purpose as I go into 2011…I can’t wait to see where the boat will take me.

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