It’s true. I’ve been me long enough to know how I roll.
I have structure and form to how I set and knock out goals. Want my house clean by 2pm? Done. Need a project written in three days? Done. Want to reset my diet or hit a goal in the gym? Done. I’m not bragging, I’ve just figured myself out. And to be honest, a lot of this is my personality and how I am wired. Add a sprinkle of O.C.D. and A.D.D. et voila.
I’m kind of just a doer. I do things.
But setting goals and achieving those goals is one thing, making those things stick and be sustainable for the long haul is another thing.
That’s where our emotions come into play.
In 2014, I didn’t make any resolutions or set any goals. It was the first year I haven’t done so. My husband and I usually love to get pen to paper and dream about what we are going to accomplish in the coming year. Last year, I decided I wasn’t going to set any goals. I was going to do things different.
I was going to sign up for everything I felt interested in and see where the chips land. A resolution free for all!
Here’s what happened: I went to a writing conference, I signed up for the CrossFit Open, I took a theology class that left my head spinning, I reached out to people to create opportunities for myself, I worked for free – a lot, I became a contract writer for a sport I freaking love, I went to the CrossFit Games with fantastic gals I met at a conference and then connected with on Twitter, I volunteered more at my kids school, I face-painted at a Halloween party and somewhere along the way, I turned myself into a business. All this with no goals.
The secret was that I put myself out there. I allowed myself to be emotionally uncomfortable for stretches of time. I asked people favors with the prospect of them telling me “no” because I believed in what I was asking for. I kept myself connected to people and invested in relationships that were and are important to me – a practice I have come to rely on over the years.
I wrote. A lot. I wrote all the things all the time and you know what?
Yeah, people told me “no” and people didn’t like my ideas and I felt like a ding dong because I said the wrong things at the wrong time (too many times) and I thought “what in the world am I even doing?”
But, I grew.
My husband, my kids, my family, my friends – these are the people I rely on to get me through patchy spots. These are the ones who hear the struggle, the confusion, the heart ache and all the words that don’t end up on this blog. Because raw conversations are meant for real people (and also for prayer).
I know lots of us will have resolutions and goals this year and that is a really great thing.
But do me a favor. Don’t just write them down and then try to cross them off your list.
Leverage your community, your church, your friends, your family.
Don’t be afraid to be emotionally uncomfortable for stretches of time. Don’t hide from the emotional process of growth.
Lose the weight, change your diet, forgive someone, go into recovery, start volunteering, write the novel, make the team, change your job, hit new PR’s in the gym, start a business, finish a degree or get another one, go to the conference, but track your emotional progress along the way. We will all stall out at some point and when we do, staying connected to your emotions and your process will get you to the next place. Stalling out is a reminder that we are human; that we need other people to give us a push.
In psychology it’s called “borrowing strength.”
It’s okay to borrow strength from someone further along the road, it’s not a cop out. You haven’t cheated yourself one bit.
Most of my goals this year are emotional goals. I have other goals I hope to hammer out too, but I’m less concerned whether or not I hit those goals if I lose connection with my family and my communities.
Because long after the weight is gone, the PR is hit or the degree is obtained you want the people who were walking alongside you to help make that happen to still be there.
Categories: All The Rest