After an inspiring phone conversation with Emily yesterday, I gave some serious thought to my goals and my somewhat haphazard efforts to attain them. I have an hazy idea of my big picture, but wonder if I am spending my time in activities that will help achieve that. I felt a little anxious when I realized that my plan was vague, and my path leading to that plan was poorly marked and wandering. Because I work best in an organized environment, I knew I needed a tangible, visible method of tracking my progress.
First, I gave careful consideration to my goals and dreams for my life and wrote them down – because a goal without a plan is just a dream. Then, building on an idea Emily uses, I created a personal system to track the activities that are important to me and will lead me in the direction I say I want to go. A handy Excel spreadsheet – because who doesn’t love a great spreadsheet – allows me to see at a glance if I am making progress towards my targeted aspirations. As Nikki posted about exercise, personal accountability is key. One check mark on a list is gratifying, and a whole page of them can be cause for celebration!
In addition to my monthly tracker, I have created a list of projects I want to complete this year. That list includes things like painting the cedar chest, making Nikki’s Christmas stocking, and completing Mark’s scrapbook. Those will be added to my monthly list as I am ready to tackle them, but not all at once, because that just overwhelms me.
And last, but not least, I’ve created a list of things I want to do before I die. I dream about a visit to the villages in England that were the birthplaces of my Berrett ancestors. I get really excited at the thought of a cross country road trip in a small RV – check out the Roadtrek and you’ll want one too. Several other dreams have a place on this list; just seeing them written makes them more realistic to me. I’m excited about what I can accomplish.
So I’m on my way, and February promises to be awesome!
“Because how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
– Annie Dillard, author