December of 2010 is about to start. Is there anything we need to complete before the end of the year 2010? Anything we need to complete before the end of this first decade of 2000? Now is the time to get cracking on those things. Even if we can't finish them before the end of the year, we can take the first steps toward the end goal. Any steps you take are a step in the direction of progress and a feeling of self control.
Yes, I know it's hard, especially if you started the year 2010 with great expectations and plans. Beating yourself up about it isn't productive. Just shake your head, clear your mind, and start anew. If it was worth putting on your to do list (and still is), then it is worth putting some time into. If you drop a china plate, you would not then break all the other plates in the set, would you? One broken plate is no justification for throwing the rest of the set out. One lost expectation or unworked plan is no reason to give up on the idea. Just start again.
Let's resolve now to do better in 2011. For this next month, I want you to be thinking about several different things, which I'll be bringing up each Monday for the rest of the month. For now, do an assessment of where you are now. Look at what you have accomplished in 2010, evaluate the quality of those successes, and consider the areas in your life that may need some further thought:
- Did you accomplish what you wanted this past year? This past decade?
- Did you leave something undone? Does it need to be done?
- Did you do too much? (consider this carefully)
- What do you need to improve in your life?
- Is there something you would like to accomplish in this next year?
- Does your personal life give you satisfaction?
- What areas of your life need attention? Prioritizing? Focus?
- What people in your life are you neglecting? Spending too much time with?
- Where do you have trouble setting boundaries? Limits?
- Where do you need to spend more time? Home? Work? Church?
- Are there some big life moments up ahead? A milestone birthday? A major life event?
- If you could only work on one thing in your life (absolutely one thing), what would it be?
- If you had 6 months to live, what would you do? 3 months? 1 month? 1 week? How do your answers change with each change in time limit?
- If you aren't doing what you said in the previous question, why aren't you? What's holding you back?
Yes, I said to write this down on paper. There is some research to support the success of written goals. I recall testing this myself. One year I wrote down a very comprehensive list of goals, at least 20. The goals covered some very "out there" ideas. I figured, why not? Writing these things down didn't mean I really would accomplish them, right? Funny thing, but I lost that list. Just completely forgot about it. I found it a year later, and I had managed to do every single thing on the list, without even being aware of it. I have tried using computer lists, but I think the written word is so much more powerful.
That was a powerful lesson for me. So let me encourage you to write down some of the concerns, questions, thoughts, and ideas you come up with as you read through those questions I listed above. Just get a little notebook and start writing. We'll visit this topic again next week after you've had a few days to think about it.
Meanwhile, if you haven't figured out your personality style yet, read yesterday's blog post and send me a comment about it. And get thinking about your goals!