Saturday, January 30, 2010

My New Thinking about Goals

Yesterday was the fifth Friday of the month, which meant that we didn't have our weekly homeschool co-op and yet I had the day off work.

I had planned that after working with Peter on some schoolwork in the morning, I would then spend part of the afternoon either meeting a friend or doing some of the weekly grocery shopping...or both. But the friend had something come up and I ended up moving the shopping plans forward to today.

It turned out to be a very productive day! Peter and I were able to work on a couple of important, time-consuming, homeschooling projects before going out in the evening to his semi-monthly teen group.

What a wonderful feeling I have when I feel like I am getting my priorities right. Do you feel that way too?

When we used to be in a certain multi-level business, we used to hear different motivational speakers. A couple of them talked about setting goals for each of six or eight areas of your life. I would try, but then I'd get overwhelmed and just forget it all. Of course, I did have unspoken, unwritten goals, just trying to be a good wife and mother and raise our children. Somehow I managed that without breaking it down into planned, written goals...except perhaps for the lesson plans I made for our children's schooling.

For a couple years now, I've been striving toward written goals. I keep thinking I should include a number of areas of life, that I should expand the list. But every time I start to get past the first two, I can't seem to get the wording right. I change my mind. I'm not really sure what I want to pursue in this area or that. Slowly, something has begun to dawn on me.

Two major goals are enough for me! What a revelation. Maybe someone else can handle six or eight, or maybe another person can handle only one.

I'm not advocating forgetting everything else. Yes, life definitely needs to be balanced. And we can improve ourselves. I'm not saying I won't make a change in my diet along the way, or find a way to exercise a little more, or keep learning new things for my job. But do we need to set conscious, major, long-term goals for all of it? For some of us, I think that can be too overwhelming.

My two major goals (in case you're curious) are:
1) To help our youngest son Peter get through high school, and do all we can to help him prepare for college to pursue his career goals.
2) To get ourselves out of credit card debt.

Yes, like any good goal, I have dates set for the culmination of both of these goals. Both of these goals generate enthusiasm for me rather than the discouragement I get when I start trying to set too many goals at once.

When we reach these goals, I will probably know what new goals to set. By then, I should have the emotional energy and mental clarity to set a couple of new and equally exciting long-term goals.


Elizabeth said...

Excellent Goals!
And I like the fact that you have given yourself permission to relax about the "other stuff".
Blessings, E

Sarah Reinhard said...

I love the insight that you have to know YOUR OWN limits, not set your parameters based on anyone else, not compare yourself to anyone else, not feel badly (or good, for that matter) because you're doing less (or more) than anyone else.

Kudos to you. Thanks for sharing!