As the New Year barrels in on us, it’s time to set some goals. I don’t do resolutions because a resolution feels so resolved, so I-have-to-get-this-done-no-matter-what, not taking into account that life continually throws curve balls at us, knocking us off our resolution game. Instead, I set goals, which I don’t see as being pinned to the New Year. They are rolling goals and I check them periodically to see how I’m doing or whether I have changed my mind on them. Once a number of them are accomplished, I set a new list of goals.
I reviewed my goals in early December, but since looking at them, I came up with an additional one, one that I could easily make a year-long goal, starting in January and ending in December. (You’ll see in a moment that I didn’t actually stick to the year. Rolling goals … rolling goals.)
Before I launch into it, an aside. Have you noticed that there are very few audacious goals for people to accomplish on earth? At least in terms of being a “first”? Like, you can’t be the first person to climb Mount Everest or the first person to set foot on Antarctica or discover a new continent. A good share of firsts have already been done. Other potential firsts take so much technical skill or expensive specialized equipment that very few people are even in the running. (Last night, Hubby and I watched a documentary about a team seeking the Coelacanth – called Dinofish – a task that took both skill and expensive equipment to accomplish.)
Because people need challenges, they’re increasingly making up their own, like the woman who read a book a day for a year after the death of her sister, the man who took a photo of himself every day for over 12 years, the guy who canoed the length of the Mississippi River (I see a lot of these folks at the museum where I work because it’s on the Mighty Mississippi) or the man who chose to live biblically for a year. And, of course, there is the ubiquitous Bucket List, something most of us seem to have if we’re concerned by our mortality.
That leads me to my new 2015 goal: Reading books on creativity from the BuzzFeed list “37 Books Every Creative Person Should Be Reading“. Understand that this isn’t all that audacious for me, nor is it any kind of hardship. I typically read between 30 and 40 books a year and gravitate toward books on creativity, so much so that I’ve already read 7 of them on the list. Most of the 7 I read years ago; some of them I own, but before I codified my intention into a goal for 2015, I wrote the list down in my notebook (in October) and started in. I’ve already read Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like an Artist” and his follow-up book, “Show Your Work,” which isn’t on the list. I’m almost done with David Lynch’s “Catching the Big Fish,” which is on the list. And I’ve read Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking,” which isn’t on the list because it was released after the BuzzFeed article, but it really should be on the list. I’m not even to January 1 and I’m making headway. See what I mean about rolling goals?
Have you ever set yourself a challenge like this? If so, how did it go?