Tag Archives: end of year

leave it in 2008

It’s been bugging you for months now. You got everything done except for that last piece.

Maybe it’s writing the thank you.

Maybe it’s putting the project in the mail.

Maybe it’s putting the knobs on the door.

Maybe it’s throwing the scraps away.

Maybe it’s deciding that it isn’t worth finishing.

Maybe it’s the last coat of paint (or varnish).

Maybe it’s returning the book.

Maybe it’s admitting that she was right and restoring the relationship.

Maybe it’s changing the lightbulb.

Maybe it’s hanging the picture.

Maybe it’s walking back in.

You know what it is. It’s been bugging you for months.

Here’s what’s funny: it will take 15 minutes at the most to finish at least one project in 2008.

So in the almost three days that are left in 2008, spend fifteen minutes to finish that one thing. On Thursday, when you look back at the year, you’ll be able to say that for all the chaos, all the change, all the ups and downs and annoyances and celebrations, at least you got ________done.

And that can be a very good feeling.

So write it down. Now. And then go do it.

And then tell us about it.

(Me? the knobs. Time to put the knobs on the closet doors in the living room and finish a three year long project. You can read about it here.)

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not much year left

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.)

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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.