I’m one of those crazy guys that feels that if I’m going to have a time period thrust upon us to measure our age, that I should still be able to set some of the ground rules myself, including when to look back and take stock in what’s been going on and what’s coming down the pike. A couple of years ago I decided to start setting goals instead of resolutions and I chose to start doing it on my birthday every year instead of sharing the headache of doing so with a hangover on New Year’s Day watching whatever was actually decent on television that day.
I started setting my goals for the year around my birthday after having two sub par years of life the day after. During that timeframe, I had a falling out with a person that I still consider one of the best friends I’ve ever had and an ex-girlfriend that I thought was “the one.” Now, the interesting thing about these events were that they each occurred after celebrating two of the more enjoyable birthdays that I’d had up to that point. The letdown factor after the second year was enough to throw me into the “whoa is me” stage that those that know me recognize as not very productive or pleasant. I figured the only way to get out of it was to set realistic goals that were possible to achieve.
So now I sit down with a yellow pad of paper and spell out what goals I have for the next year of my life, using New Year’s as a check-in point for me. Let me not fail to mention the glass of scotch on the rocks that accompanies this process. They can’t be silly broad goals either; they’re only allowed if it is necessary. I only allow myself one of those types of goals every year.
This year’s process was delayed slightly because of Hurricane Katrina. Life has settled down enough now to take the process one step further this year: posting this list out here on the web for all to critique and in some cases pass judgment on. It should make it interesting though. This has become one of the more important things that I do every year.
This year that overall goal was really easy to come up with, “To do whatever I need to do to sensibly enjoy happiness in my life.” Life is not supposed to be perfect. My hope is that I can do my part to make it livable and enjoyable without being reckless.
So, what are this year’s goals? Here they are in no specific order:
- To return to my playing weight in time for the Savannah River Bridge Run in early December & to run my PR in both Savannah and Charleston
- To visit one new city each month
- Make the best effort to stay in contact with the people I care about
- Write one short story and attempt to get it published
- Be able to seriously look at purchasing a home by next September
We’ll check in around January to see how it’s going…
Another thing I’ve been thinking about as I’ve written this is how has it changed my luck for the day after my birthday? Let’s see…
Two years ago Bets and I started a 10-day road trip that took us through almost every state east of the Mississippi River. Last year I got a phone call from Birmingham telling me that I was being offered the job that I now have. This year the best part was before when I got a chance to hang out and have people over to the loft that I never thought I’d have a chance to live in.
I think it’s definitely changed my perspective on life, letting me seize the moment rather than wait for the moment to happen to me. Strange question to ask, but how easy has it been to make changes in your lives for the better? Have they actually been good for you if you’ve attempted them?