Happy New Year lovelies!!
I hope everyone has been having a great new year so far. I’ve missed you all! Jump down into the comments (after you read this post) and tell me what you’ve been up to lately. I can’t wait to hear how your holidays went.
Late last year, my church began a series of sermons to help everyone get ready for the new year. The series was entitled, “Everything’s gotta go,” and while there were a lot of gems that came from it, one of the homework assignments that stuck with me was one where you were to write down what your goals were for the new year and beyond. Now, in this writing — you not only had to say what you wanted to accomplish/achieve/complete, etc…. but you also had to list out specifics of how you would go about doing this.
So for example, you couldn’t just say “1: Get a promotion.” You had to give a date by which you were seeking to achieve that promotion and list out specific plans you would do (with dates as well) to help you get to that goal. Such as, maybe — “1: Present my boss with at least 3 new detailed initiatives by May 2014. 2: Manage at least 4 projects by September 2014. 3: Attend at least 3 training sessions by November 2014.”
The reverend listed several reasons for writing everything down, but I’ll just give you the top three here:
Writing stuff down actualizes what you are seeking to do. It makes it more real. It puts some depth behind what’s in your thoughts, and it forces you to look at what you want to do in black and white.
Writing specific details gives you a chance to see if what you are attempting to do makes any sense. For example, in your mind — you could say, I’m going to lose 40 pounds in a month. But when you sit down and write out how you plan to lose those pounds, what you plan to do as far as eating and working out, and how many pounds you should realistically lose in a healthy way in a month — chances are you’ll quickly find out that 40 is quite ambitious. That sound far fetched? Well, how about this example — “I’m going to become debt free, but I also plan to buy this outfit for NYE, this outfit for MLK weekend, this one for Valentine’s Day… without saving any money or paying off my debt in the process.” Basically, it shows you where your goals and plans do and don’t match up.
Writing your goals and desires down shows God that you are moving in your faith. Most Christians believe that faith requires action. Well, the simplest first action is to write down and plan for what you believe is coming to pass in your life.
Now, the kicker was that you were not to just write down these desires and goals about one part of your life (which I think a lot of us do). No, no — you were to write about every facet of your life, and to give the same time and attention to every single one of them. I broke my categories down into the following — Career (books), Career (non-books), Finances, Health/Wellness/Family, and Love Life — but I’m sure others broke theirs down differently. And while I really did get a lot of good out of this exercise (and I absolutely encourage you to try it if you don’t already do so), I was also compelled at times to go a bit further in my list.
For example, in my books category — I not only wrote down the steps I planned to take to get an agent, but exactly what I want in that agent. Now, these were not specifics about who that agent would/should be, but mostly they were about how he or she would care about my book (s) and take care in getting me a book deal. And then I realized, if I was going to do that about my book(s), I should be just as detailed about what I want in my love life as well, especially if I’m saying that it’s just as important to me as my career. And so I took the time to write down a list of things I want in a potential partnership with future Mr. D-Magic, just as I’d done about my future agent.
Let’s be clear, this list is not like the tongue-in-cheek Tips for My Future Husband series I do here on the blog. Neither is it a list of deal breakers or things I’m looking for in a man. It is what I’ve learned over the years makes me happy in a relationship. It’s not complete, but it is a first look at what I am saying I want to eventually achieve in any future relationship I enter.
So here’s what I wrote –
What I want in my future relationship:
–> A great friendship foundation
–> To be filled with prayer
–> A relationship that includes lots of laughs and one where we can (and want to!) hang out and drink and have a great time with each other
–> A relationship that allows both parties to be open, honest, and vulnerable
–> To be filled with respect for each others’ passions/skills/ambitions
–> Supportive of each other
–> One in which a certain amount of independent fierceness is allowed for each person, but where both of us soaring only creates an even greater bond/appreciation/respect for each other
–> Great chemistry
–> Great sexual chemistry
–> Serves as a place of comfort and peace for both parties
Your list may not look anything like my list, but it helped for me to see my future relationship goals in black and white. Now, when I’m dating folks (if I feel we are getting serious), I can look back at this list and see if I’m following what I saw I want. Makes no sense to date a guy for 6 months who I can’t laugh with if I say I want a relationship filled with lots of laughter, right? Right.
Obviously, you can see that this list is not extensive, and it doesn’t need to be, but it’s honest and true. And it helps set my path. And really, I think that’s what all those new year, new list, new homework assignments are meant to do.
What about you all? Do you have any goals that you’re working on in the new year? And do you engage in list-making/vision boarding etc when attempting to set your path?