Since 2010, every summer I have set out a list of goals / areas for self-improvement for myself for the coming year. It made sense to do this in summer, because I worked at a school and my life revolved around the school-year. Now that I'm working in Corporate America, keeping track of this mid-year goals cycle is confusing even myself, so I think it's time to switch to calendar-year-based goals.
Time now to review my mid-year 2013 goals:
Set reasonable, achievable goals
Also, Stop stressing about how much I can't accomplish
Continues to be a roller-coaster of success. Honestly, I think I'm regressing. If you consider yourself a close friend, or even distant acquaintance, and are reading this: please, text or email or Facebook or call me every now and then, and remind me to stop stressing about my todo list. Seriously. Please do.
Regressing here as well. My follow-on goal remains to take this beyond being on time, but instead aim to be early. Aka, plan for bad traffic and other unexpected hold-ups.
I continue to do well. I also continue to struggle classifying my "todos" into "important and urgent", "important and not urgent", "not important but urgent", and "not important and not urgent". See Randy Pauch's lecture on time management for further explanation.
Focus on tasks that matter
I'm slowly getting better. Still not there.
Focus on people that matter
Continue to succeed here. Mostly.
Take one thing at a time
I constantly remind myself, "just do this one thing, focus on this one thing", because otherwise I thrash. I continue working on how to reduce the "clutter" that induces thrashing, like having too many separate todo lists, or physical todo piles, etc.
Accept that I cannot solve every problem
I'm getting better at this, particularly when it comes to listening to other people's stories and wanting to help, but knowing my own limits.
Strive toward better anger management
I continue to ace this. My friend John, who has served as my unofficial anger management counselor, has on a few occasions read some email drafts I wrote, and said there was nothing he would change. Rock on.
Move on from Minnehaha
As complete as it's going to be.
Eat more healthfully
Yeah... I should do that. Regression.
Take responsibility for my own actions
Sub-goal: be discerning about whose opinions I let matter
Still succeeding. And still work to be done (always :)
Second sub-goal: find my value in the Lord; aka, be myself, and do so unashamedly
Success. My value as a human being is not found by the measure of my job / career, income, number of friends, relationship status, number of blood donations, the movie projects I've worked on, and so on. My value as a human being comes from being a beloved son of the Most High God. And not only do I just say that, but I've witnessed myself actually live it out, which was pretty cool.
Regarding the "be myself": I still only know how to be myself, and I have been somewhat successful in worrying less about what other people think. Particularly when it comes to expressing my faith, and the eternal optimism that grows out of that faith, I'm successfully living out what I wrote about in my last goals post: "This is me. Deal with it."
Spend time with God
Mixed success. I have committed myself to attending both of my churches every week (I'm part of both Jacob's Well and Upper Room), and I volunteer frequently at both.
I sometimes ask God, "what do You want me to do?" and when I get answers, I have tried to follow through. After a conversation in early December, I felt God challenging me simply to read for 5 minutes a day in my Bible, which I have been doing since then. If you've known me for any length of time, you know the Bible and I have a love-hate relationship, and for many years I refused to even pick one up, because of the pain and hurt I saw from The Church using the Bible as a weapon. The fact that I'm now choosing to read anything at all in it, every day when I wake up, is quite monumental. There have been a few other "what do You want me to do?" experiences, too, that's just the most tangible.
Continue maintaining a healthful life/work balance
I'm getting decently good at booking "me time" in my calendar, and defending it.
Take more risks
Yes. Particularly with being bold in my faith (at work, in my prayers, with friends, even at church), I've seen a lot of growth in myself here.
Take a vacation
I need to do this.
Always speak my heart, and always speak what God is asking me to say
I continue to grow and do relatively well here.
Let go of some grudges
I still have a ways to go here. However, thanks to some EMDR therapy, I'm happy to say I'm now pretty much ambivalent toward my 9th grade year at North High School. If you know me, this is dramatic progress.
Being where I should be
It boils down to: why am I feeling what I'm feeling? I'm getting pretty good at this.
Recognize when there is no one "right" choice
Continuing to improve.
For 2014, I continue to hold all the above goals, and I'm adding one more:
Chase after my own dreams, rather than getting distracted by other people’s dreams
Too often I have found myself longing (dare I say envying?) for the careers and lives of my friends. I'd like to be very deliberate this next year about discerning my own dreams.