Ideas, Plans & Goals

I’m a planner, an organizer, a list maker. It’s my nature. I find comfort in the delusion that I have an amount of control and that I know what to expect. I do not like surprises. At all. It’s getting to that time of year when people start thinking about New Years resolutions. I prefer not to think about my planning as “resolutions” although I’m not quite sure what I have against the word. But I do like to think, plan, and set goals for myself. I have a file where I’ve kept my yearly lists. Each year I open up the file and take a look at where I’ve been and what I’ve accomplished. One thing that I’ve noticed is that I’ve learned how to make better lists. I’ve learned the difference between a good idea, a goal, and a plan.

I start out with an idea that sounds good to me – I’d like to skydive this year.  Then I set a goal – I will skydive for my birthday this year. Then I create a plan – I will look up skydiving companies, research and decide on one, find out if there are any skills or information that I need in order to be allowed to jump, and how I go about setting it up. Then I follow that plan and make it happen! FYI – I’m not yet planning to try skydiving, just an example really.

Another thing that I’ve noticed is that my lists have become more specific, rather than saying I want to get into better shape, I might say, I want to run and finish a marathon or I want to workout 1 hour everyday, five days a week, etc. Getting into better shape is a good idea but it is not a goal or a plan. And the lack of specificity doesn’t actually help me get to where I think I want to go with the idea.

I begin to see how my goal planning year after year has continuity. Because meeting my goals actually leads me to other goals, there is a very lovely chorus that has sort of grown naturally. It’s neat to see how this structure has taken place and how accomplishing things drives me to accomplish more things and to want to accomplish more, new and  greater things!

Supposedly very few people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions. My goal lists for the year are usually between 15-20 items long and so far I usually make 85-90%. That’s pretty darn good! So it’s time for me to take a look at my file and start working on my goal list for 2011. That leads me to another thought…

I’ve never shared my lists with anyone. I’ve shared singular goals with individual people – my husband, best friend, trainer at the gym, ballet teacher, but never the whole list with anyone. Shall I, will I, am I that brave? One of the things about putting yourself out there with your name and face is that you are left with the responsibility of your words. Sometimes its easier and maybe even wiser to cloak in the anonymity that the internet can bring. Too late, I’m already out there. And there is a part of me that is grateful that I have chosen the path of disclosure because there is an honesty to it, a responsibility, and an accountability. Even if it is only self-imposed and there are no actual readers.

So, what do you think? Shall I share?

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