Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Goals, dreams and visions

I have a friend who has some big goals. I'm not going to call her out but she knows who she is. And as I made clear in my previous post, if you got goals, I got your back. I am cheering her on and trying to support her efforts in every way that I can.

And the truth is, I stand in awe of her goals. Because you know what I got going on in the way of big goals?


See, to me there is a difference between "goals" and a "to-do list". I got me a nice, long, daily to-do list, I promise you that. But those are the things we check off in order to meet our commitments. It shouldn't really be a "goal" to schedule your kid for a dentist appointment. That's a "to-do" for any mom who is concerned about oral hygiene.

(And as an aside, taking my kids to the dentist is one of my most dreaded "to-do's". It is an exercise in humiliation every single time. I swear I do make my kids brush their teeth and we even run some floss through those chompers fairly often, but it's always the same thing....Brush better, floss more, blah, blah, blah....me nodding and trying to ignore the judgment that lies behind that pearly white, plaque-free smile.)

Back on topic! Goals, as distinguished from to-do's, should be inspiring. They should require effort and aspiration. They should be a little bit scary and require sacrifice. They should propel your life forward in some big, exciting way.

My friend has GOALS! I got to-do's.

I'm also not a big fan of the term "bucket list" mainly because I don't have one. You know what's in my bucket? Cookies, maybe? Yes, I aspire to eat cookies, as many as I want, each and every day.

I wasn't kidding when I said I have no goals.

But in all seriousness, it's not that I am uninterested in improving my life, I think it just looks different for me. I tend to challenge myself interpersonally rather than in visible external ways.

I do not want to start my own business. I do not want to invent anything (unless it's a mouth rinse that tastes great, cleans teeth and removes all plaque with one simple swish). I don't want to write the Great American Novel. I don't want to run for office (I shudder just thinking about it). And as much as I love singing I don't even aspire to sing anywhere else but my little church choir. I have small goals for my Children's Ministry position but for the most part they all fall well within my natural skill set and don't really challenge me all that much; but that's okay because I love the job just as it is.

I believe I've mentioned before I have a tendency to be very, very content...right?

But as I thought more about this over the past day or so, I've come to realize something. There actually are things I hope for, dream about and aspire to. I do not for one minute think my life is perfect or that I have no need for change or growth, far from it. So, while walking the dog (another of my daily to-do's), I took some time to figure out just what are my "goals"?

Here is what I came up with:

I aspire to be friendly to every single person I interact with as I go about my day (and that includes Internet interactions). My kids have occasionally made fun of me for how cheerful I am to the grocery checker, drive thru cashier, or elementary crossing guards. But that is because my intention everyday is to have each person I speak with feel that I value their existence. It's as simple as that. Sometimes I could do better with the people who actually live in my own house, but that's why this is goal-worthy- because it's challenging at times.

I aspire to be a positive example of the Christian faith. This one I say with humility because I fall short in so many ways when it comes to living out my faith, but my prayer everyday is that God can shine through even me and that at the very least my life will never cause another to stumble in their journey. My prayer is that even those who do not share my faith would not have cause to look at me as another example of why they choose not to believe. I hope at least that.

I aspire to fulfill and exceed the expectations of my commitments. Yes, I know, I said this was more of a "to do", but I think there is a way to meet our commitments that rises beyond our minimum duties. I hope that when I agree to do something, lead something, or plan something...that people will feel confident that it will be done efficiently, effectively AND with a smile. :)

I aspire to take less, want less, acquire less and give more.

And of course there are always my aspirations to be a better, ever-improving, ever-striving mom, wife, sister, cousin, daughter, friend.... Those go without saying.

I don't know. Do any of those count as goals? Do you have to want to DO something or is it enough to just want to BE something?

It could all be a cop-out. Maybe this is more of my sloth peeking through. But I also think there is something to the old adage to "bloom where you're planted."

And this guy is pretty wise....so maybe he would think my goals are okay. I hope so.

But where was I to start?
The world is so vast.
I shall start with the country I know best, my own.
But my country is so very large. 
I had better start with my town. But my town, too, is large.
I had better start with my street.
No, my home,
No, my family.
Never mind.
I shall start with myself.
~Elie Wiesel

1 comment:

  1. The many hours of therapy over the past two years are pretty much summed up . . . the only person over whom you have control is yourself. If you want to see change, that's where your power is.

    I like your goals