I have learned a lot about goal setting in the past two years. First and foremost, choose something that means something to you. I know this sounds very obvious, but somehow me deciding I wanted to wear green colored contacts for a month didn’t actually have any relevance to my life, I just thought it’d be cool for a little bit. Second, I love having very tangible quantitative goals. And third, I also need an overwhelming theme of the year.
Two years ago my word was “happy” and last year I never came up with one. So last year felt a little bit more… haphazard than the year before. In retrospect, 2014 had a lot to do with getting my ducks in a row. As you saw yesterday, there were a lot of big people things that happened in 2014 and as you will learn next week, it had a lot to do with making my day-to-day more functional.
This year’s word is going to be experience. Experience as a noun and experience as a verb. I first noticed that I wasn’t quite capturing experiences (literally) back in October 2013. I was in India for my boss’ wedding. I captured hundreds of pictures, but after looking at them all I noticed that I captured a lot of details but none of the experience. I could tell somebody what the mehndi looked like on my hands, but I couldn’t explain what that process looked like or how it felt. I could show somebody a picture of a friend sitting on the ground during dance rehearsal, but I couldn’t explain how many people were there and how much work was going into it. It’s kind of sad if you think about it. I had all of these experiences, but I didn’t capture any of them.
In a less literal sense, sometimes I’m so worried about what people think or I want to get so many people’s opinions on something that I don’t actually live my life I just talk about it. That’s not okay – and that’s what I want to work on in 2015. I want to capture experiences and really feel like I’m living life instead of just talking about it.
As I mentioned previously, I also need some more quantifiable goals to appease the left side of my brain. I have broken this down into year-long goals and month-long goals. Here’s what it looks like so far:
Send birthday cards to everyone I love
Create one digital scrapbook page a week (inspired by CZ Design)
Attend First Friday mass each month
Reread Harry Potter
Finish writing my book
Travel to Luxembourg, northern California, Chicago, & DC
Clean out my front closet
Spend less than $500 in January
Send packages to friends in February
Go to a drive-in movie in June
Make a sauce in August
Have a beer & cheese party in September
Bake a pie in October
Learn about the polling questions in November
Record another song in December
Totally do-able, right? We’ll see how this goes. Oddly enough, the one that I’m most nervous about is getting all the way through Harry Potter in one year since my tollerance for reading fades in and out (unpredictably) with the season. What do you have in store for 2015?