Reflecting on 2015, the highs and the lows while sipping coffee and trying to set my goals and intentions for 2016 feels both terrifying and exhilarating. One one hand I’m incredibly goal oriented. At the start of each month I like to set out a handful of goals for myself. I believe living with intention is critical when it comes to moving forward. Without a list of my intentions my dreams are rather meaningless, they’re lost in a swirling sea of ideas, perhaps never to be recovered again.
Over the past year I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned a little more about navigating the world as an adult. I’ve learned to trust myself, to open my heart and to take accountability for my actions. I’ve learned about who I am, about what I want and even more about what I don’t want. I feel more at ease with who I am than ever before and though I am not where I want to be in life, I feel I am at headed in the right direction. The past year has been an incredible learning experience, but none of that was because of a goal.
My monthly goals were excellent guidelines for me each month. These goals helped remind me to read more, run more, study more and focus on tasks I hoped to complete. Goals give me a sense of purpose, they’re motivation but so often goals alone (and completing them) do not equal substantial progress. As someone who considers herself rather “Type A” it’s strange to finally understand that checking items off a To-Do list isn’t necessarily growth. Growth comes from experience-from travel, from having your heartbroken, from allowing new people into your life, starting a new job, loosing an old friend, taking a class, or adopting a new hobby. Goals can help lead you to and through new experiences, but goals alone aren’t enough.
While I plan on continuing monthly goals, I wanted to set the tone for the year with an overarching resolution. More than anything I want to continue to grow. I’m fearful of becoming stagnant in life, settling into a complacent life of monotony and forgetting to strive to be more. I’m already introducing a lot of “new” into my life in early January and again in February, combining the known new variables of 2016 with the life I’ve just started to settle into in 2015 will surely present an adjustment. Enacting and embracing change is part of growth, but dealing with the uncertain changes we all face is an even greater opportunity for character development.
Without reflection change and progress are meaningless to me. Processing the meaning of things has always been a source of fulfillment for me. I can understand and accept sadness when given the time to dissect every little piece of a situation and linger on what it means to me. I can’t fully love without reflecting on what it means to share your life with someone and accepting the responsibility of holding another’s heart in your hands. I need deep introspection for satisfactory mental and emotional growth. Too often I worry life passes us by like we’re on a dizzying merry go round filled with the busyness of each day. It seemed I blinked and my college years were over. I thought I hit pause and accidentally pressed fast forward instead, another year passed me by.
Don’t let your life pass you by.
I want to live in each moment relishing the hope and pain and happiness and despair. To feel the full range of human emotion, t wake up each morning with a little bit broader of an understanding about this world and my perception of it, that is satisfactory growth.
In 2016 I want to improve as a writer, I want to embody love and explore the world with a doe eyed exuberance for life. I want to take more classes, be more present in my friendships and more dedicated to my health. I’ll never read as many books as I would like or create a piece that feels satisfactory but I want to succeed and fail fully. When my heart breaks I want to feel it smashing and take all the time I need to mosaic myself back together. I want to feel the air inflate my lungs and cry when I watch the sunset with someone I love.
I want to live in intensity without fading into passive acquiescence.
What are your goals for 2016? How do your small goals feed into the overarching concepts of who you want to be?