As one year ends and another begins, many of us set aside time to evaluate the year that was and plan for the year that will be. Some people do this around their birthday. I have fallen into the habit of setting goals at the beginning of January and reevaluating them on my birthday (which was last week).
Two months into the year, I can usually tell if my goals are realistic (or need to be adjusted). Also, after adding upcoming family and community events to my new calendar, I have a better idea what the year will look like. So, at the end of every February, I recalibrate.
Dreams & goals. Plans & habits. Systems & best practices.
I learned a long time ago that what works for one person is not a good fit for everyone and that there are a finite number of hours in a day. Everyone gets the same amount of time. Each of us gets to decide how we spend that time – spend being the key word.
Time is a resource, a commodity. It is valuable. Spend it wisely. Don’t waste it.
When you add one thing to your schedule, something else must be removed or reduced.
In order to embrace one thing, you have to let go of the thing you are presently holding.
I go through this thought process at least once a year, reevaluating where my time, energy, and money are being spent. Asking myself: are those things worth what they are costing me?
At the start of 2017, I made new goals and renewed old goals (ones that had not been completed or are on-going life goals). With an eye toward reaching those goals, I decided which things I needed to jettison from my life and schedule. Too many things had crept onto my schedule.
This past year, I removed unnecessary activities from my calendar and drastically reduced the amount of time I spent online (reading news and blogs, researching random topics, and social media), as well as watching tv. (Here is my mid-year progress post .)
With the time vacuum created, I concentrated on three primary goals.
Consistency in sleep, exercise, and food plan.
In years past, my focus would have been on performing. I have now shifted my time and energy to writing (mostly fiction).
I made a list of books and scripts I had been wanting to read the past couple of years. Ultimately, I ended up with a reading list for the year that included: 12 scripts, 12 classic literature, 12 contemporary fiction, 12 books on writing and 12 other non-fiction.
My total reading goal for 2017 = 60 books. An average of 5 books per month. I figured that was doable. I have always enjoyed reading, even when I was in grad school, but setting such a specific goal made it seem like a bigger deal.
I am thrilled to say that I not only met my goal, but surpassed it.
Last year, my reading list included:
All Things at Once by Mika Brzezinski
Quiet by Susan Cain
Fight Back with Joy by Margaret Feinberg
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda
A Bronx Tale by Chazz Palminteri
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
The Farnsworth Invention by Aaron Sorkin
A Letter to My Congregation by Ken Wilson
Perfectly Imperfect by Lee Woodruff
As for my other two goals … I completed my writing goals and made progress on my health goals (though not as much as I had hoped).
Among my goals for 2018: blog posts on a more regular basis.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
~ Walt Disney ~
I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading and what goals you have set for yourself. Please comment below.
May the remainder of your year be filled with goals attained and dreams fulfilled.
Until next time.