I’m an inveterate goal-setter. From way back.
I started setting yearly goals at the age of 19, maybe before. I remember that set of goals because that was the first time I formulated a “lifetime goal” to write a book. One book. I figured, how many people manage to write a whole book in their lifetime? I thought it’d be cool, whether or not I ever published.
Within a few years, I revised that goal. I made “write a book” a five-year goal (my broad categories were—and remain—one-year, three-year, five-year, and lifetime goals), and “publish a book” a lifetime goal.
I missed the five-year goal by a year or two, but I eventually met both. Along the way, of course, I revised and updated many goals (eventually adding another broad category of “pipe dreams,” to at least acknowledge my most unlikely aspirations, since I know God is always listening).
For many years now, I’ve conducted a mid-year review of my goals, to reward myself for the goals I’ve already achieved (or made great progress on), remind myself of areas where I need to redouble my efforts, and revise any goals that need to be adjusted. (Notice the alliteration of those tasks: reward, remind, revise? Yeah, buddy, that does an old preacher’s heart good). I’m not as thorough or careful as some folks who actually review their goals on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis; that may be the only area in life where I’m less OCD than others.
So, rather than bore you with the first two areas of review, let me just mention a few 2020 goals that I’ve decided to revise:
- the weight loss I planned to achieve by May 1 will be updated to Dec. 31; I blame the COVID-19 house arrest and my wife’s cooking for the change. (Anyone buying that?)
- I deferred another of my physical goals, reducing the number of hikes and visits to area national and state parks, a change directly related to the “COVID lockdown.”
- I deleted one financial/household goal relating to a purchase I had planned; it’s become unnecessary.
- The rest of my 2020 goals—in six areas: spiritual health, physical health, mental/intellectual health, marriage and family, financial and household, and professional—are still achievable.
Happily, I’m on course or ahead of schedule on my writing goals (though I canceled one project because several others presented themselves) and on my goals as a literary agent.
So, do you set goals? If not, should you? If so, are there goals that are ready for rewarding, reminding, or revising? Do tell, in the comments.