Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Are you a resolution maker or a goal setter?



Truthfully, I've never been a resolution maker - a goal setter, yes, but resolutions stress me out. Goals seem less formal, with more room for error, a change in direction, or complete failure.

The other thing is, I NEVER put them in writing. They float around in my head (perhaps my journal during college) and I rarely make them public, not even to Kyle. Funny, now that I think about it.

But goals DRIVE me. In fact, it came up from both sides of my family over the holidays in random conversations that I am...

crazy driven
a go-getter
motivated
a reach for the stars
don't stop til I get there

...kind of gal. 

Their words, verbatim, not mine.


I had to laugh. It's truth. I never, ever want to bulldoze people with my goals, sacrificing relationships along the way, which is why I think I don't often vocalize them, but the truth is, being driven has been a guiding force for me for decades.

Here is a list I made in my head at age 17: 

Finish high school in top 5%
Go to college
Go to grad school
Get married in my 20's
Have at least two babies
Start my own business
Buy a house
Run my own business for at least 10 years

I know there were several more, but these eight goals were the most definitive, the ones I thought about constantly. And as you can see, they are ALL crossed off. Finished. Completed.

This last fall I crossed off the bottom one; it was a huuuuuge milestone for me. 10 years as a small business owner. Really? When 95% of businesses fail in the first year, I know my small, little business success has been God's grace. Big time. Hands down. I don't even attempt to take credit for completing that goal. Not a chance.

But completing that last big goal also rocked me. Like majorly shook my 32-year-old boat. NOW WHAT?

These lofty goals turned reality are fine achievements, sure. But honestly, what's my life about now? What's it's purpose?

Here's a bit of truth for you: I haven't blogged much this past fall because I kind of feel like I've gone through a bit of an identity crisis. Not in terms of faith - I know where I stand, I know who I am in Christ, I know the exact type of woman God made me to be. I'm blessed to know myself really well, and to not care about what others may think of me. So my peace flows from that acknowledgement.

But NOW...

What do I DO with my hands?
What do I do with my feet?
Where does the Lord want to take me?
As a mom, as a wife, as a friend, as a mentor, as a creative being?
What are my new goals?

It's not a place I've often been. Starting fresh with a clean slate.

The idea of a fresh piece of lined paper in front of me, waiting for a list of some kind to be made, has paralyzed me the last couple months.

I've started and stopped. Started again and just felt stuck.

And then a quiet whisper came one morning in December while sitting in front of our Christmas tree, watching snowflakes fall out our front window.

Start small. Snowflake small.

I told myself in that moment that I wouldn't get caught up in goal-setting for the next 15 years. A year at a time is a great place to begin.

As I looked around blog-land and Pinterest, I came across this goal setting one from JDC, just this morning:


I took a stab at it and it came easily.

A bad habit I'm going to break :: Staying up till 1am. FOR REAL? What on earth? When did this become the norm for me. I do have reasons for this night-owl pattern, which I can get into a bit later, but this is hands down my #1 itty-bitty goal for this year.

A new skill I'd like to learn :: I reeeeeeeally want a sliding compact miter saw and I really want to know how to use it. I think it'll unlock the ability to tackle pretty much any home improvement project I can imagine.

A person I hope to be more like :: My mother in law. {She'd laugh if she read this.} I admire her deeply. She has experienced great tragedy in her life (and even chronic physical pain) but you would never know it with her spirit. She is relentlessly kind, generous with her time, patient with those that annoy her, cautious with her words, the ultimate DIYer (even at 70 years of age), a faithful friend and wonderful listener. She is probably the person I most look up to in this season of life.

A good deed I'm going to do :: Visit my sweet grandmother, who has breast cancer, on a regular basis. My kids have a special place in their hearts for their great-grandma, and I need to make sure we get a lot of quality face-time with her before she goes home to be with Jesus.

A place I'd like to visit :: The east coast. I've been far and wide, and now I want to explore my own country. The east coast is a part of the U.S. that I haven't explored much and the images of the fall days in Maine and Rhode Island have captured my heart.

A book I'd like to read :: Wonder is at the top of my list, especially as Hayden heads off to kindergarten in the fall. I so desire to instill in my kids compassion, empathy and kindness in a world where bullying and intolerance is paramount.

A letter I'm going to write :: An encouraging note to Kyle once a month. Dare I say it, encouragement is not my spiritual gift. I'm a glass half-empty gal typically, with my practical, realistic side dominating my decision making. But my husband needs to SEE my encouragement for him in writing. So this will be a focus for me.

A new food I'd like to try :: Bubble tea. Tapioca balls terrify me.

I'm going to do better at :: Opening my Bible, instead of my mouth, in the heat of the moment or in the crux of a critical decision. It takes courage to walk away from a situation, find your Bible, open it up and choose to allow the TRUTH to seep in and flood your heart and mind. It takes courage because we may not always like what we find in the present, but we will love His direction in the end and find peace in that path.


So, are you a resolution maker? Better yet, are you a resolution keeper? Or do you prefer the goals route like me? Have you made your list for 2014?

I'm welcoming in 2014, eager for what awaits, and always anticipating His goodness.


1 comment:

  1. I love this Amber! Congrats on the accomplishments and best of luck with great new goals. I'll get bubble tea with you any day!

    ReplyDelete

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Meet Amber

Meet Amber
I feel most "at home" sipping a cup of coffee, a paint brush in my hand, a kid on my hip, barefoot in the kitchen, knee deep in dirt on a farm, my toes in the sand, or buried in treasures at a thrift store. Thanks for stopping by my blog - I hope you leave inspired.

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