At the beginning of the year, I wrote an 8 ways post about goals and about accomplishing stuff (January 1, 2008) . With a month left in the year, I went back to that post to see what I had said, to see how I was doing.
I realized that the original post is worth reviewing as we get to the end of 2008. There is still time to redeem the time.
1. Ask yourself or your partner in accomplishing life, “list three words for the year.”
Rather than giving you a roadmap, these can give your heart direction for the year. (One of our words for the year is “smaller”, reflecting a desire to live more simply with many fewer purchases.) [This was a great idea, except that I don’t remember all three words. One was “smaller,” one was “simpler,” and one may have been “finish.” I’m hoping it was because this has been a year of finishing some things.]
2. Identify month-long rather than year-long goals.
This year I set a goal for August, for thirty days of posting. It was achievable because it was sustainable. I did the same for Advent. I’m planning it again for Lent. [The lent project turned into a group project, which was great And I’m finishing two months of posting tomorrow. And I’m still working with shorter-term goals. What about you?]
3. Talk next to rather than across from a guy.
Nancy realized that part of our success in walking and talking this year came because we weren’t looking at each other. I’m certainly not opposed to looking at my wife–quite the contrary. However, it is easier to talk while side by side. (The real principle here is that we need to make progress comfortable).
4. If “purposes” or “directions” are more helpful than “goals”, great.
Progress is more important than language.
5. Interact with people.
I’ve been stretched by conversations this year in ways that I never would have imagined at the beginning of the year. I think differently than I did…and so do some of the people that I’ve talked with. And the truth? Our projects may fail or fizzle, but the more we are deepening in relationships, with both other humans and with God, the less significant those projects are. [This has been ever more a year of meeting people and talking with people. And of having to remember how important that is.]
6. Let goals masquerade as things you want to do.
You think, “I want to read that particular book.” Do it. Then you will have read something, grown your world, given yourself something to talk with others about, challenged your thinking, and kept either a library or bookstore in business. (And here are some books to consider…from my “bookstore” or I could loan them to you)
7. Tell other people about what you are wanting to do in as direct or vague a way as you want to be held accountable.
There are a bunch of people who are really tired of hearing that we’ve been walking. The more we talked about it, however, the more we knew we needed to keep going. And as we were at the mall this morning, we noticed a couple we know who have decided to walk at the mall. So we’ll keep talking about walking. [They didn’t keep walking. We have. But I am also sure that we need to tell people our core goals. Or we’ll forget them.]
8. Forget about lists. Just live.
(Although ironically, just living can turn into a whole collection of 8 ways lists.)
Advent starts on Monday, December 1 (at least my book does). You could make one of your goals to use an advent calendar or book.
My advent ebook is available as a FREE downloadable pdf, advent2008, (Right click on the link to the left and save the file to your computer). Or leave me a comment and I can email it to you. It’s also a digital book on yudu.