Around the end of the year, I remember how much I love reading about self-development. And the nice thing is, people go crazy about goals this time of year, so the blogs share a lot of reading material. I like setting goals because it makes me feel like I’m a growing, smart, wise person. Just for setting a goal. If I actually work on it, that’s a bonus. But simply setting the goal will give me little endorphins in the brain. (I always think of dolphins when I hear that word. I think we should rename them “brain dolphins.”)
This year, on December 31st, as the clock neared 10 pm, I decided I should set some goals. Here’s how I did it:
- I grabbed my sketchbook and drew up a few columns.
- On the first column, I wrote “Habit Goals”
- On the second column, I put “Number Goals”
- On the third column, I wrote “Identity Goals”
Using these columns, I came up with three goals and wrote them in each of the three different ways. Take my “reading goal,” for example. Under the first column, I wrote “I want to read every day for 30-45 minutes.” Under the second column, I wrote “I want to read 50 books this year.” And under the last column, I wrote “I want to be a bookworm.” Next I drew a picture of a worm reading a book, with the usual glasses. See what I mean? Statistically, I have a better chance of achieving this than others who set goals. Not only because I wrote it down, but because I looked at the same goal from different perspectives. Also, I drew a picture. That’s worth ten points. Now I don’t have to actually work on my goals, because they will just magically happen by themselves.
Just kidding. I knew that wouldn’t work. So last night, I wrote out a few “daily’s” (things I want to do everyday) and a few “weekly’s” (you get the picture.) Then I decided to put all of these in a binder and review them every week. My idea is that I can check up on myself and be sure I’m completing what I want to complete. I don’t want to be obsessive about doing a list of things. But I do want to make sure that I am doing them most of the time. Alas, this probably won’t work either. So… What are goals? Why do we set goals? Do we only set them for that
rejuvinating rejuvenating (that is a difficult word) feel of self-betterment? Or are we actually accomplishing something? That is a question I don’t know the answer to.
Here’s what I hope to enter the new year with: (of course, we’ve already entered the new year, but you know what I mean) I just want a passion to do and be better. Not because I have some high and mighty idea that if everyone improved themselves we’d make the world a better place, (maybe I should have that idea) but because I like being better. I like knowing more and having fun through fiction, so I want to read more. I like being energized and feeling refreshed, so I want to walk and exercise more. I think we set goals because we really just want to like ourselves better (at least, most goals are like that).
But the replacement for that is not to simply refrain from setting goals. Or even “decide to like oneself and then move on.” The solution is to stop thinking about ourselves as much. As CS Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of…” What’s that last part? That one always confuses me. I’ll Google it. Here it is: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” Isn’t that great?
Please, set goals this year. But remember this: even if you never attained physical fitness, academic stature, or a perfect social status, you could be awesome. Just by focusing on others. The moment we give up on dying with an impressing legacy, we get a lot closer to dying with an impressing legacy. People care about people who care. Not about people who are smart and cool and always on top of things. So… This year, purpose to be better and not focus on yourself as much. This blog post is all the retrospection I get for like, a whole month.
Thanks for reading this blog post. If nothing else, you got a really good CS Lewis quote. Hopefully you gleaned some other benefits too.
Happy New Year!