Sorry to be selfish today, but I need to write this post for me. Why? Because this post is all about preparing me for an event I have dreaded for the last 10 years. It’s about assessing where I am and where I want to be. This post involves me documenting the process by which I have come to realize that I am aging and can’t do a thing about it.
As The 11th Anniversary of my 29th Birthday now lies just a week away (no, I still can’t say that number), taking a post to publicly assess some aspects of my life seems not only appropriate but necessary in my preparation for halftime (meaning, the mid-point of my life on earth).
Just under a year ago, I decided to set some goals to reach by my, um, next birthday. My 40 by 40 Bucket List resulted from this decision. Actually, setting these goals (or at least publicly declaring them) got me started blogging, but my main reason was to find a way to come to terms with my inevitable aging.
Some goals were reached fully and some partially. Injury prevented others from being completed. Others, I lost interest in very quickly, which tells me I probably set some wrong goals. In some ways, my motives were wrong for some of my goals.
In considering why I reached some goals and why others were missed, several life lessons have surfaced for me. Lessons I believe that are helping me to age gracefully.
- We don’t always have control over whether or not we reach a goal.
- Some goals are just not right for us right now.
- Goals are tools for character development even if they aren’t reached.
- Motives play a big role in motivation for reaching goals.
- You’re not a failure if you don’t reach a goal.
With these lessons learned, I have one major adjustment in my goal setting. Instead of setting another round of goals for the next monumental birthday (don’t even try to get me to say that number), I instead simply put all my goals into one Lifetime Bucket List. I think part of my mistake before was forcing myself to set a certain number of goals instead of setting the goals that were right for me regardless of how many there were.
There is a lot of advice available on goal setting. Honestly, it all overwhelms me. So, I focus on the bare minimum, what some call the SMART way to set goals. Even with this guideline, I realize that I would not get great marks from a goal-setting guru. But, I am learning what works for me and moving forward in that.
Honestly, I hate the idea of being too structured with my goal setting. I feel too confined and fear limiting the Holy Spirit’s directing in my life. But I am also aware of God’s indicating a need for balance in this area.
Proverbs 6:6-11 clearly indicates that we need to work and not be lazy with our lives and that we must make certain plans for this to happen. On the other hand, James 4:13-14 clearly shows that our lives can change from day to day and so too must our plans.
In making adjustments with my personal goals, my intent lies with creating a balance between making motivational plans and allowing for inevitable change.
As I enter my last week with an age I think still sounds young, I feel good to at least have some goals established even if I know many will change and some not come to fruition at all. Goal setting has provided, for me, a way to assess what I’ve done and map out what I want to do. It has helped me write the story of my life.
Shopenhoaur said best the sentiment I am trying to portray here:
“The first forty years of life give us the text; the next forty supply the commentary.”
I am ready to start writing the commentary on the text of my life.
DISCUSSION: Any advice for someone entering a new stage of life? (PLEASE don’t say, “Age is just a number.” I hate that.) Does my experience and struggle with goal setting resonate with anyone?