30 Before 30

this pic has a little to do with the post….if you stretch it. but it’s pretty and everyone likes pretty photos. Stay tuned for a post about our shoot with Caryn from http://carynnoel.com/wordpress/ (but i’m sharing it because it relates to the goals I had of who I want to be, relationally  and how that’s helped me not wig out like I usually do.

I added a new page to my “About” sections today. I don’t know if that set up is helpful of confusing, so any comments about how you navigate the “about” pages (or, if you don’t) is greatly appreciated.  I’ve been working a lot this year on goal setting and so I refined a lot of things I’ve been kicking around forever and made a 30-before-30 list. I made it a page so that I can highlight things as they get accomplished, and link to the post I write about them. But here’s the list so far:

1) Go to a UT football game.

2) Earn my MA in Professional Counseling

3) Earn my full LPC license. (This means getting all 2600 remaining hours post-school in 21 months.)

4)Become a fully licensed MT.

5) Do a headstand.

6) Do a handstand.

7) Skydive.

8) Write a novel.

9) Write a memoir.

10) Dance a half marathon.

11) Develop a financial plan for paying off school.

12) Live according to a budget. Like a real, numbers-on-paper one.

13) Have a garden for as much of the produce I usually eat as possible.

14) Develop a compost heap to reduce waste and promote soil health at home.

15) Go organic for all the meaningful produce I’m not growing.

16) Eat only free-range or ethically treated meat.

17) Purchase only ethically responsible goods.

18) See a professional ballet performance.

19) See a professional symphony performance.

20) Record tracks of original songs with my father in Tennessee.

21) Raise and keep chickens to support my egg consumption habit.

22) Develop and keep a meal-planning system.

23)

24)

25)

26)

27)

28)

29)

30)

As you can see, I have a few spots open. Most of these goals were just ideas I knew I wanted to put into place “someday.” I have learned over the past few years that things ALWAYS happen faster and better for me if I put a plan in place. Even if the plan doesn’t work out, I’m still closer to the goal and better prepared for life choices than if I didn’t have a plan, just letting my dreams lie fallow.

eating: hummus, corn tortillas “quesadilla,” steamed veggies and fresh bell pepper slices: an example of how I eat more often now. (hint: it’s impressive because it’s not microwaved or from a package and because it constitutes an actual MEAL)

The are basically two kinds of goals I have on this list: the achieving a one-time (skydive!) and the lifestyle-change (composting).I want to take steps toward making all of my choices and moments count the best they can. To me, that’s not a burden, it’s an opportunity. I feel great about TRYING rather than burdened about not achieving.

working out: I made it a priority to get in a certain number of miles. I made it about half the time, but even when I didn’t, I still got to the gym for at least a couple of them.

I turned 27 in September, and I acknowledge that it’s possible “34 months” is too short a time to institute all these changes. It’s also possible that it’s really, really not.

I feel good about trying for this much because I’ve seen that God’s grace is big and strong. In just this past year I’ve

  • become a consistent worker-outer,
  • started steps toward eating clean and organic,
  • learned to cook,
  • gotten into a serious romantic relationship and
  • become a massage therapist all while maintaining a 4.0 in grad school the two semesters I had.

If I hadn’t set goals, I would have

  • worked out just “whenever” (in the past – twice a week to once a month)
  • broken up with my boyfriend in the first 24 hours (not an exaggeration)
  • eaten like I always had, which means
  • no cooking, and
  • zero organic items, and
  • not done ANYTHING toward becoming a massage therapist.

All of those things only happened because I decided to make them goals, and when I have a goal, I pursue it. IT DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK OUT, which I’ll try to talk about next blog, but obvi it’s always better than if I’d had no goal at all.

school: massage school was really hard sometimes. But it was also REALLY SUNNY.

I’ve also learned that I have a high level of gumption most days, and can get a lot done. So I want to set goals that allow me to pursue doing the RIGHT things, as opposed to watching every episode of MTV’s AWKARD….Or wahtever.

Anyone else making life goals? I want to hear them! What are your systems for goal setting?

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