It’s that time of year where everybody is talking about goals and resolutions. Then, there are a lot of people who tell you not to set resolutions and set goals instead because goals are more likely to be accomplished. It can be a really confusing time of year. Especially for me because I’m task minded and I think about all the things I want to do and accomplish in the next 12 months.
I actually heard a statistic—actually, I don’t know if that would be the right word for it. Maybe it was more of a fun fact. Perhaps just a fact, some people might not really think of this as fun. Whatever, it doesn’t matter. I heard something while listening to a podcast that I found really interesting. Basically humans look at things in 3 month increments. We cannot really see much further than 3 months out and that really hit home for me. I’ve seen this played out in a planner/journal thing I tried years ago. The planner broke up the year into four quarters and you would list out goals, plans and everything in between for three months out and then at the end of the third month you would go back in and reflect on the past three months and then plan for the next three months. It was an interesting concept. When I got this planner, it really wasn’t working for me so I didn’t really keep up with it. My point is, that hearing this, while it hit home and struck a chord for me, it wasn’t something all together new. The planner was just laid out in quarters but there wasn’t an explanation for it, like humans can only think in three month increments.
I digress. The point is, we see things in 3 months at a time. Anything further than that and we can get disconnected. As I sat down with my planner for 2020 and thought about what I wanted to accomplish, I quickly felt a list growing. I want to do more family trips. I want to renew our passes to Universal. I want to publish my book. I want to have a smooth transition to Kindergarten for Little Man and have it be a smooth transition for our schedule as a family. I want to create products for Writing Out Loud and start working on the business side of this. I want to make weekends scared family time that never gets interrupted. I want to incorporate exercise into my schedule. I even want to get a bike this year. I want to keep my 3.8 GPA and maybe even get it back to a 3.9. (Thanks art class.) I want to crush school, crush motherhood and crush being an adult. I just want to do it all and I want to do it all in 2020.
Now it is time to bring it back down to reality. While there are 12 months in a year and 365 days in a year, I cannot spend every waking moment working on these goals. There is my sabbath day, my family time and life that will come into the cracks of all the goals. Things that will take priority and will push my goals to the back burner. There are 365 days and every single day is going to be apart of a season and those seasons might look different than the seasons I went through this year. We have some big changes coming up next year that we already know about, like Little Man going into Kindergarten. There might be other changes I don’t know are coming yet. There are some decisions my husband and I have to make this upcoming year in regards to our future, the big future, the future that I really cannot see yet. I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow much less in the next hour. I love having goals and having a plan, but as I’ve spent a majority of my life learning, I cannot account for everything and I have zero control over what is going to pop up at any given moment. I’ve had to learn how to chill and accomplish things in the in-between. The in-between of what I can control and what I cannot. I’ve also learned that some goals are for now and some goals are just glimpses into later.
So I’m taking all that knowledge and I sat down with my planner to plan out 2020. I sat down with my dreams, my ideas, my life lessons and took a planner and some worksheets I made and got to work. First, I set big picture goals that will most likely take all of 2020 to complete. Most of these goals have to do with writing and Writing Out Loud. These are things I’ve been wanting to do and start and this next year is the year I’ve decided to focus on it. I wrote the big goals in a little list I have for goals in the front of my planner. The big overall yearly goals, that sits underneath my information in case my planner gets lost. This paper has like 30 some odd lines for goals. Which is great, if you want to set 30 goals, you do you. However, in my experience, and something I’ve really learned lately is that wanting to do 30 things is cool. Focusing on getting 30 things done is a completely different ballgame. That’s a ballgame I cannot play. In the past two months, I’ve learned the beauty of focus and focusing on what is right in front of me. Big pictures are great. Big pictures are beautiful and help see the future. The future is built on the small steps of focus though so that I what I am choosing to lay out this year. Instead of 30 small goals. I have selected 3-5 big goals that will take most of the year to complete.
As with any big goal, you have to break it up into smaller, more manageable pieces. So my goal sheets that I’ve made (that I designed off Christy Wright’s Business Boutique) lay out the small steps I am currently focusing on. I’ve also laid out my small steps in 3 month increments. So for January-March, I have three-four things I am focusing on and working on that go towards my big goals. Sometime in March, I’ll go through my progress, see where I’m at and plan out the next steps for the next three months.
I like this plan and test out for goals for a few reasons. First, this is manageable. I have already set up times for me to work on these goals and these times fit in my schedule. Limiting my goals down to 5 maximum helps me not get overwhelmed with everything I want to do and helps me limit potential disappointment. The phrase, you win some, you lose some comes to mind when I think about that. The odds of me being able to accomplished 5 big goals is bigger than 30 some odd goals. However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to get it all done.
Here’s to 2020 and accomplishing some big goals! I’ll probably keep updates on how the worksheets and planner thing work out. I should probably mention, that in the midst of these 5 big goals I do have some small things that I would like to do this year. The main thing is I would like to actually use my planner and use it all year long. I have a habit of using one for a little bit, getting tired of it and grabbing a new one. These smaller things I would like to do aren’t necessarily goals, just things I want to do. If it happens, awesome! If it doesn’t work out, I’ll rethink for another system.
This year, I’ve made some goals that are for right now. While this seems like a logical thing to do and a basic principle of goal-setting, I’ve had to learn how to set goals and accomplish them. This wasn’t something that was taught to me or shown to me as I grew up. This was something I had to figure out for myself and I’ve spent years making goals that I gave up on because I felt behind because I made the mistake of having too much on my plate. I’ve spent a little over a year learning to cut back and say yes to only the things I should be saying yes to. Now is the time to start accomplishing goals that I set. Now is the time for intentionality. Now is the time for God’s purpose for my life to start shining.