In preparation for the clean slate of a new year, I asked for PowerSheets for Christmas. PowerSheets is a goal-setting system that’s more interested in setting good goals that get you somewhere, rather than lofty unattainable intention or goals for the sake of checking the boxes like a Type-A maniac (meaning me).
So I want to be a little more thoughtful about 2017. I’m in a completely different place in so many ways: geographically, life stage, professionally. For the first time since law school began, we have some flexibility with our time and energy. That means all the creative entrepreneur jobs I’d toyed with are now within reach, if I’m willing to take the leap and try.
I spent a couple days last week working through the first chapters of the book. For a lifelong journaler and external processor, this book is heaven. Spending some time working through it forced me to verbalize both my hopes and my fears for this next year. Articulating that freed me up to make good goals: instead of a “check it off” goal like “read 90 books,” I realized what I really wanted was to pursue things I love, like reading. Therefore, reading 90 books may be a step within the larger goal, but the goal is to pursue things I love. It’s less about the self-imposed obligation of goals and more about remembering the why as we go through the year.
I’m a public relations person by training, so when I saw space for ten goals, I gulped. Working towards more goals means less drive towards each one; your efforts are split and therefore diluted. There will always be multiple balls in the hair, but the more you can prioritize and focus, the better.
And yet as I thought about the things that I wanted to characterize my 2017, they somehow fell into categories. I ended up having one goal for each facet of life:
faith • personal • community/friends • marriage
professional • blog • photography • travel • local • health
They overlap, of course. But thinking of one goal for each of these pieces of my life didn’t feel overwhelming at all: it felt balanced. The reality is that how I’m doing in any one of these categories impacts the others, so dreaming up a benchmark in each instead of having one overarching goal felt right.
I also purposefully left the goal unspecific. I’m usually all about some SMART goals, but I’m also practicing being nice to myself in goals, so they’re not so much Specific-Measurable-Attainable-Realistic-Timely. Some of them seem obvious, but I’m aiming to keep my eyes on what’s most important this year without overcomplicating it.
- faith: actively follow Jesus in this next phase of life! Figure out what that looks like in a new town and new context.
- personal: pursue the things I enjoy, not just what’s on the to do list
- community: build a community here in town
- marriage: love Logan well
- professional: find a job, or do something creative as a business
- blog: continue to write regularly and expand readership
- photography: get better at it!
- travel: travel as much as possible
- local: soak up as much of southwest Oklahoma has to offer!
- health: take care of myself
Let’s keep it simple, folks!
My thinking here is that I can look back on a month and say, “well, did I work out every day?” and make excuses about not feeling well or time spent traveling and does walking count and give myself permission to eat like a pig in the meantime. Or I can ask if I took care of myself, take in the whole picture, and set more specific steps for the next month accordingly.
Like last year, I wanted to have a word/philosophy for the year. It’s cheesy, but as I looked at my goals, it somehow summed them all up. My word for 2017 is passion. I want to spend my time and effort on what fires me up, what intrinsically motivates me. I want to spend my time on things I’m passionate about, rather than allowing myself to get bogged down in obligation. I don’t want to be worn out at the end of the day and not be able to point to what took all that effort; I want to be worn out because my hard work directly connects to my passions.
My word for 2017 is passion.
I’ll be sharing more this week about what this looks like for January. Stay tuned!
What are your dreams for 2017? I’d love to hear them – comment below so I can cheer you on!
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