I am a very goal oriented person, always have been. Growing up, I was always self motivated by the thought of doing well in sports and academics. I was a competitive gymnast since the age of 6 and switched over to competitive cheerleading when I was 14. During this time, I had to learn how to prioritize and to set a plan and timeline that would help me to accomplish my goals. While a competitive gymnast, here is what my schedule looked like:
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday:
- School from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
- Gymnastics from 4:30 to 8:00 pm
- Homework, Dinner, Shower, & Bed from 8:15 pm to 9:30 or 10 pm
- School 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
- Piano Lessons 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
- Off the Rest of the Night
- Friday & Sunday:
- Off Days! But during competition season I would have meets on Sundays and or Saturdays.
- Gymnastics from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm or gymnastics competition
Quite the schedule for a little girl, right? I was able to pull all of this off while also keeping up my grades, going to church, and still finding time to enjoy being a kid. Let me tell you too that with how busy I was, my child hood flew! Don’t get me wrong, I loved every second of my activities and being a kid. I had an amazing family, great friends, and every opportunity available. I also knew though what I had to do to accomplish my goal, would then mark it off of my to-do list, and then move on to the next goal. Having set goals helped me to stay on the path I needed to accomplish what I started. Through high school, my goals consisted of competitive cheerleading, getting good grades to help me get accepted into the college of my choice, along with participating in many student activities at school. After high school came college where I set my goal of graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in 3 years and writing for the school newspaper. After college came a full time job, then an engagement, planning a wedding, buying a house, getting married, moving in, and now my husband and I are settling into our new life together. As thrilled as I am to be at this point in my life and to have accomplished so many of the goals I’ve set for myself, I have never been one to feel content with where I am at in life, or have the urge to settle. This quality can be both a positive attribute, as well as a burden. I sometimes struggle to live in the moment, since I am always working toward my future goals. Because of this, I am afraid that I miss savoring so many of my present moments. I am always in a hurry while trying to get through the work week, and always expect so much from myself every day. So many times I want to jump straight from the starting line to the finish line, while skipping the journey in between. Often it feels like I blink and it’s been another week, month, or year.
I have caught myself feeling this way recently. I am at my job and I am thinking about how to get to the next promotion. I am in my home and I look around to find what’s the next home improvement project. I see my puppy Tebow and I can’t wait for him to be old enough so we can run together. I am already thinking about my next blog post while I am writing my current one. I am planning my vacations for next year, before I have even enjoyed the one’s this year.
Can anyone else relate to one or a few of the statements mentioned above? Do you ever look to the future and wonder how you can better yourself for tomorrow, instead of asking how you can improve yourself in the moment?
I know this is something I want to definitely work on. I want to love and enjoy my first year of marriage, my first home, my puppy’s first year, etc., before it’s too late and I’ve been married 10 years, living in a new place, and my little Tebow ages into an adult dog.
However, having goals is not a bad thing. It can also improve our present lives if we choose to live in the moment, take it day-by-day, and enjoy the journey.
Here are a few present goals I have set for myself. I hope that every goal will help me to live each day, and every moment to its fullest.
1) Read a novel every month.
I used to love to read more than anything and would easily go through 3-4 books in a month. Lately though, I jump on the computer or watch television rather than immersing myself into a good story.
2) Remind myself that blogging has no rules.
Some days I just don’t have the time to put as much thought into a post as I would like, or some days I just need to turn off the computer and step away. I need to remember that it’s okay, I am not forced to blog every day and if I need a break, I will take that time away.
3) Appreciate the week days as much as I do the weekend.
I always feel like I am ‘Working for the Weekend.’ Since there are five days during the week, as opposed to the two making up the weekend, it doesn’t make sense to wish away almost 3/4 of the week. I need to find ways to appreciate working that 9-5, while also doing activities though the week that I love.
4) Make every meal a special occasion.
Whether I am eating a turkey sandwich, an apple with peanut butter, or a simple salad, presentation is key. I love my meal so much more when it’s plated nicely and served as if it’s an occasion to celebrate. Meal time is something I look forward to as a break during the day at work, or a healthy way for me to start my day, or a nice dinner with my husband. It only takes a minute to transport food in a plastic container to a glass bowl, or to slice up an apple instead of eating it whole, or to always use silverware as opposed to plastic ware, when available. Every meal can be special if I add a little extra flare.
5) Run a half marathon with my husband.
Tim and I have unofficially decided to run a half marathon together in May. My chronic fatigue syndrome can flare up without notice, so we plan to play it by ear and take it each day at a time. The important thing is for us to train together and accomplish this goal as a team. I hope to appreciate each and every run of our training plan and enjoy the journey and the time with my husband, not just the actual race.
6) Read a bible verse every morning.
I want to take this time to reflect on my life and to prepare myself for the day ahead. I want to work on who I am as a person every day and try to make a positive impact on others.
7) Light candles when I am home.
Such a simple action, but it really can making a huge difference in the coziness of one’s space. It always makes the night feel special and spa-like when there are lit candles giving off a warm glow.
8) Find ways to have fun and be positive in all activities.
To me, it is easy to have fun grocery shopping or making dinner, but not so much doing laundry, making the bed, or washing the dishes after dinner. I want to try and keep a positive attitude while doing all things, and be appreciative that I have a bed to make or be thankful that I had dinner to put on my plates.
Are you goal oriented? If so, what are some of your future and present goals?
How do you live in the moment while preparing for the future?
Do you struggle with wanting to skip ahead to the finish line, and in return miss the journey getting there?