Goal Setting for Stuff that Actually Matters: Part 1

goal setting

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is two days away!  In just nine days, all that was 2015 will be over and 2016 will be here to greet us.  It was almost 10 years ago, when a boss introduced me to the idea of a life list, which today many refer to as a bucket list.  I loved the idea!  Setting goals and working to achieve them around things that I actually wanted to do in my life seemed so exciting, so different than the goals I was setting (or let’s be real, had set for me) at work.  Since then, this time of year has been very special to me.  I was very fortunate in my past career to be able to have a lot of vacation time off for the holidays.  This week I would be hustling and bustling around getting ready for Christmas.  And the week after, I always set aside time to review my year and set new goals.  Somewhere over the past five or six years I got more caught up in setting career goals, that I all but abandoned my life goals.  I was too concerned with the next promotion, the next raise, the next big project, everything was wrapped up in work.

It’s an intense feeling to wake up in the morning and barely be able to look at yourself in the mirror.  For 13 years I knew exactly where I wanted to go.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  And somehow, I got it.  Today, I would give God the glory for where I am going, but that me, I gave myself the praise.  Of course, I did thank my bosses and mentors, and I definitely didn’t forget my husband who was always 110% supportive, but mostly I thought it was about me.  So here I was with the dream job, with the dream title, something I coveted probably more than anything else, with the dream pay at an organization working on the dream mission of supporting girls.  Oh, I was in hog’s heaven!!  This was it…I had arrived!  My picture announcing my job was in the newspaper…I know this because my Gran cut it out and sent it to me.  The journey to become something, someone had happened.  But then one day I woke up, and could barely recognize the person staring back at me.  Yes, she looked the same, but she was different.  She wasn’t anyone I knew.  And on top of that, she was miserable.  You see, in the midst of getting to where I was going, I completely forgot who I was.  Most importantly, I forgot about who I wanted to be.  I could only see the career me.  I completely lost the other 99% of me.  Long story short, with the support of my husband, family and friends, with the coaching of the most wonderful executive coach, and only by the grace of God, I decided to leave it all behind.  May 29, 2015, I closed a 13 year chapter.

Since then, I have been rediscovering who I am, but most importantly who I want to be going forward.  I really began to understand that the journey was not to become something, no final destination with a one time arrival.  It really is a journey of becoming who I am meant to be.  If you told me 207 days ago (yes, I have a weird thing about counting actual days in between dates…it’s an app on my phone and I use it often!) that I would be writing a blog, that my husbands company would be moving, that I would be wishing and hoping for an awesome kitchen appliance under the tree, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.  But these 207 days have been some of the most wonderful days in all of my 35 years.  This morning, when I was reading If by Mark Batterson (you know I love his books – don’t forget about the giveaway), he started talking about vacuums, not the Dyson or Hoover type, the void, emptiness or vacancy type.  Mark shared that the nature of God is to fill vacuums.  And boy howdy has that happened in my life.  Along with God filling my void, I have rediscovered my love and joy of cooking.  I remember telling Shane 17 years ago that if he was looking for a wife that would cook and clean, he should probably date someone else.  I still don’t clean, but cooking is something that brings me sheer and utter joy!!  It allows me to get in the zone.  I get to be creative.  I get to channel my energy.  And on top of that I love feeding others and eating myself!!  WIN-WIN-WIN!!

So what does this have to do with goal setting?

Three things:

  1. Sometimes you need to step back from other things so that a vacuum can be created in your life for new or renewed things.
  2. Don’t ever become so consumed with one thing in your life, that you forget about all of the other things that make up who you are.
  3. Set goals around things that will make you who you want to be!

homemade pasta

The 2016 Cooking Bucket List

I don’t have the original life list that I created all those years ago.  Since then I have started new ones.  But one of the things that I remember so clearly was setting the goal of hosting and preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  I will never forget what it felt like to accomplish that goal!  So this year I am going back to my roots, and setting new goals around my cooking bucket list.  In 2016, I will learn how to make the following things:

  • Homemade pasta – pappardelle, fettucine, linguine, ravioli
  • Tamales
  • Osso bucco
  • Lamb chops
  • Sourdough bread (made from my own starter…which I need to start)
  • Lobster
  • Cheesecake
  • Crepes
  • Popovers
  • Beignets
  • Standing rib roast
  • Onion rings
  • Eggplant parmesan
  • Sushi rolls
  • Fried chicken
  • Coq au vin
  • Ice cream
  • Duck
  • Homemade pancakes
  • Paella – I’ve tried this one before and screwed it up!
  • Soufflé
  • Molten lava cake
  • Pâté
  • Strawberry rhubarb pie – my great grandmother’s recipe

My hope is that as I am learning how to make these yummies, that I will share with you.  Some of it may be about food, it may be about patience or failure, but whatever it is that I learn I am excited!

who you are

What can YOU do?

  1. If you don’t already have a life/bucket list, take 30 minutes to write one down.  What would you like to experience?  Where would you like to go?  What do you want to see with your own eyes?  Now you can totally google bucket list and copy and paste, but I really urge you to think about what’s important to you.
  2. If you do have one, revisit it. Do you need to brush the dust off of it?  Need to add to it?  Is there something that you accomplished that felt so damn awesome that you want to dig deeper into that?
  3. Set 3-5 goals on something other than work or your career.  What else in life makes you, YOU? How can you go deeper into those things?  Heed my advice, if you put your entire being into your career, you will lose who you are.  Your career is only one facet of what makes you awesome!!
  4. Mark your goals with dates and put those goals with reminders on your calendar.  If you want to run a half marathon by next September, chart out what you need to do between January 1st and September to get there.  Want to write a book or take the dream trip?  What’s it going to take to make it happen?

Don’t allow life to just happen to you.  Or let me put it another way.  God created you for a purpose.  You may not know exactly what that is yet, and that is a-okay!  Put your dreams, hopes and wishes on paper.  Learn to live into those dreams.  Live into your life!  I for one, believe that learning how to make handmade pasta, will be one more opportunity for me to live into my life!

Never forget that I am praying for each of you!  Though I may not know you personally, God does.  I circle your deepest and hardest prayers every single day.



PS – You know you want to make sure you see Goal Setting Part 2…subscribe to my blog below so you won’t miss it!!

2 Comments on “Goal Setting for Stuff that Actually Matters: Part 1

  1. I’ve never goal planned before and I’m doing it now, but I’m having a hard time. I think I feel like if I write, it’s set in stone and it will be harder to change my mind. Not that changing my mind is necessarily a good thing – I think I’ve done it too much! Either way, I’m taking my time to set personal & professional goals and we’ll see where that leads me.

    • Setting goals can definitely be intimidating! But remember that just like life is fluid, your goals can be too. And yes absolutely set professional goals…just make sure you don’t forget about the personal ones as well! Good luck and let me know if you need any help!!!

Would love to hear your thoughts!

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