Setting Goals, January 2015
From the Publisher
“Setting goals is the first step in turning
the invisible into the visible.”
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind me, which included two straight months of agonizing early deadlines, I finally feel I have a moment to take a breather. Relaxation doesn’t come often or easy for me, so I cherish the moments I get to just breathe in and breathe out and actually notice I’m doing it.
Needless to say, the New Year is one of my favorite times of the year. I don’t know if it is purely psychological or if there is a physical energy actually at play, but somehow the New Year seems to naturally generate feelings of freedom from last year’s burdens and bolster the determination to start fresh.
So as we all stand at the starting gate of 2015, with 364 glorious days ahead, I look at those yet-to-be-lived days as unwritten chapters in the book of my life. The more I am involved in myself, the more the story will actually be one I want to live. I am as guilty as the rest of America in getting caught up in the mundane, the routine and the procrastination of it all, not only in what I do, but also in how I do it and how I think about it. I want to change that. I want excitement, adventure and laughter. In order to have those things, I must do and be different on purpose. So, here is my plan:
1) Do something new: I started something new in December—gong meditation. I have been told for years about the benefits of meditation, but I never could sit down and quiet my mind. If I did, I always felt like I was doing it wrong or I would fall asleep, which is not surprising considering my pillow time drought. I received a text from a friend one Sunday at 11:00 a.m. to come to gong meditation at 1:00 p.m. With two hours notice, I decided why not. I loved it, as it was the first time my mind stopped bouncing around and I actually heard wisdom coming from within me. I’ll have more of that, please! It was an amazing experience that is on my “new-to-do” list for 2015.
2) Read something old: Every year, I pick one classic to read that I have never read. Over the past few years, I have conquered “Gone With the Wind,” “Wuthering Heights” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” This year I am choosing “The Holy Bible.” I have never read “The Bible” cover-to-cover and this is a task I want to accomplish. My plan is to download an app to my iPhone that will tell me what to read each day in order to achieve this goal before year-end. Just the sheer daily discipline will make me a better person. In addition, I plan on finally getting beyond chapter 1 of William Faulkner’s “Unvanquished.” It’s been on my reading list since 1986 and on my bedside table for the last two years—this is the year to vanquish the “Unvanquished.”
3) Stop something you’re sick of doing: One of the most powerful words you can tell yourself is “stop.” My life coach used to interrupt me by saying “stop” when I was talking non-sense or going down a negative path. She explained using the “stop” technique interrupted my brain synapses and helped me to get on a better path.
Admittedly, I have many bad habits that I would like to stop, but to avoid setting myself up for failure, I am only going to focus on one: Procrastination, specifically in regards to work. Procrastination hurts me; it burns me out. It never has my best interests in mind. Who needs it if it’s just going to make things worse? Bye procrastination; I let you hang around much longer than you ever should have. Go figure.
4) Finish something you’ve started: There is internal power in finishing a project. God knows I have started stuff and not finished it. The most glaring being the book I started writing in August of 2012. This is it; I’m telling you and everybody that I’m finishing it this year. Feel free to stop me in the grocery store and ask me if I’m done. What have you started that you haven’t finished? Let’s all say this together: Get ‘er done!
5) Set one new goal and achieve it: Well, if you’re not exhausted by now, let’s set one new goal for 2015. Be sure it is specific and achievable. My 2015 goal is to finally lose the last 20 pounds that I spent all of 2014 taking off and putting back on. (Sorry, you knew weight-loss had to come into play eventually.) This is something I’m sick of and I think procrastination ties into the problem. For those of you who don’t know (there might be one or two of you), I have lost 60 pounds. My mantra for 2015 is “Never go back!” So my goal is two-fold: Annihilate 20 more pounds and keep the other 60 behind enemy lines. If you think I’m describing this as war, it is. And, fat is truly the enemy. It has never done anything good for me and it terrorizes my health. Bring it on…I’m ready.
Now let’s talk about you, girlfriend. What will your 2015 story be? Do you plan to be the author or will you let someone else write it for you? I have to remind you that this is your one wild and precious life. Don’t wait another year to start living on your terms. Give your life thought. Live on purpose. Make 2015 anything but routine. Live. Laugh. Love…because if not now, when?