I am not a goal person. In the past I’ve seen goals as a way to set myself up for failure. And failure is bad. But I’m trying to change my perspective.
In the last year I’ve discovered that I’m a perfectionist and tend to have a black and white view of myself. If I set a goal I had to achieve it perfectly. If I didn’t it meant I was a failure and that meant I was a horrible person. I could say I blame Yoda. His whole, “Do or do not, there is no try,” is really stupid. Trying is okay. Trying is worth it. Trying can be good enough. I’ve decided to look at goals through the lens of a Knight Radiant (from Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives). One of the ideals of the Knights Radiant is, “Journey Before Destination.” Rather than expecting myself to perfectly achieve my goal I’m going to try, to do my best, and focus on what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown, even if I don’t achieve or meet it perfectly.
So, being the new year, I’ve decided to set some goals for myself. I’ve divided them into three categories—mental, physical and spiritual.
I wanted my mental goal to be something that would help with my mental health and happiness, so I’m making this year the year of birding. Birding brings me joy. My goal is to go birding at least once a week for the whole year. I’m hoping this motivates me to go new places to look for new birds rather than going to the same places I always go.
My physical goal is stop eating treats, snacks and soda late at night. My husband and I enjoy relaxing together after the kids have gone to bed. This usually means watching a show or movie and eating. I gained a lot of weight, and just felt bad physically. A few months ago I actually did good at not eating late at night, and I think it helped me lose some weight and feel better about myself. So I’m going to try to do this again, and see if it helps.
My spiritual goal is to have personal scripture study every day. I tried to have a more specific goal last year, and it didn’t work out. Having something general that can include any book of scripture or conference talk (from General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and not having a specific time I have to study will help, I believe. Part of why this goal is important to me is not just to improve my relationship with God, but to be an example to my kids. We are good at having family scripture study, but that will only take them so far. I want them to have a desire to learn scriptures and religion for themselves. I want them to want a personal relationship with God. So I want to be that example to them.
While I’m trying to have a better perspective about goals and not beat myself up if I don’t do good at keeping them, I am setting them for a reason. I want to do these things that I think will help me mentally, physically and spiritually, so I asked my husband if he would help. He agreed to occasionally check up on me and my progress. I feel good moving forward. I feel good about the journey.
Have you set any goals? Is there a change in perspective that might help you along your journey? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts!