Dec 5, 2017


For the last several years, I've chosen a word to direct and focus my annual goals and intentions.  I've then applied the word, as it fit, to various areas of my life and made plans accordingly.  It's always been sort of a mix of finding a word that fits with my goals and finding goals that fit with my word.

For 2018, (I think) I've decided to leave out the word and just set goals.  I'm still considering choosing a focusing word for the year, but a word hasn't yet found me and I'm kind of liking the idea of leaving it out. 

My goal planning process, this fall, was not a lot different from what it's been in the past, but I recently read this blog post from The Simple Dollar and decided to add one of the suggested process tips to my own.  The key suggestion that I took away was to make a plan and then sit on it for a few weeks.  The hope is that the rest period will give room for ideas and plans to percolate and improve.

So, a couple weeks ago, I spent a few hours doing something of a review of the various areas of my life.  I chose to focus on:

Friends/Extended Family

One of my favorite takeaways from doing reviews of this sort is realizing just how much these varying topics relate to one another and overlap.  It looks like a list of defined topics, but they are all a part of life and life is definitely not compartmentalized like this.  When I start writing about our marriage and realize how much our kids and careers and financial situation play into our marriage, it really highlights how important each area is to the others. 

My process looked like this:

I filled up a notebook with a quick assessment of each area - giving it a rating of good, bad or ok - and then followed up with more details on what was going well in each area and what was not going well.  I then went back through and made a list of goals, projects and other fairly specific things I could do to improve each area and move me closer to where I want to be in the future.

I'm currently playing the waiting game.  I'm taking the advice of The Simple Dollar post and just letting thoughts work their way through my head and heart for a few weeks.

I want to have things finalized a week or two before the new year.  So, I've put a reminder in my calendar for the week of 12/18.  At that time, my plan is to re-read what I wrote, add new thoughts, insights and plans and then come up with a finalized goal list for 2018.

And about the waiting period - I'm already seeing it's value.  New ideas have come to mind.  I've had time to talk with Brian about a few of the specific projects, to ask for his input and to verify that the goals we have for our marriage and family are in alignment.  I've been able to think out more specific ways of working toward end goals and had time to reconsider what is most important in this phase of life.

Good stuff.  I'm already excited about new plans and goals to come and will share more in a couple weeks. 

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