June. Seriously? How did we get here already?
I don’t know about you, but I’m in need of a quick pause. With time flying by exponentially-faster each moment, sometimes it really helps me to stop, take a breath, and reevaluate the last few months. Care to join me?
*Inhale.* Breathe deep. Let your lungs fill. Let your mind slow, just for a second. *Exhale*
Do you feel that? Another moment slipped by; but before you let your heart-rate kick back up about another seemingly-lost moment, remember that life isn’t about adding up lost moments, but rather embracing the moments where we are truly present. What good is it to be busy all the time without actually experiencing your life?
With that in mind, rather than berating myself about what seems like a lost month, a month without a single post, a month that tells me I’ll never make it in the writing world, I’m going to celebrate being present in my life. After all, Henry David Thoreau had it right when he said, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
This past month I wanted to live.
I joined friends in countless new food experiences; I spent a day observing and assisting at a local high school; I (slightly) lessened my fear of needles by donating plasma; I experienced parts of the city I had never explored before, I celebrated family birthdays; I worshiped with hundreds of students at a powerful night at church; I said ‘see you later’ to a friend who is now deployed for the next year; I applied for a job at the organization of my dreams; I changed the way I grocery shop and prepare dinner; I celebrated a friend who got into medical school; I started running again.
And those are just the notable things.
It’s extraordinary when we take a minute to look back at what a month held. Scanning the pages of my planner, I’m shocked by all of the things that happened in just thirty-one days; I’m disappointed that I needed a reminder that some of these things even happened.
So where does that leave us?
The past is what shaped us; it’s a great reminder of God’s faithfulness through the hard times and His blessings in the good. The present requires us to be present. God is always teaching us; if we let these moments slip by without fully experiencing them, we are far less equipped for what He has for us later. And the future? Well, I think it’s important to make plans so we don’t waste these moments that so quickly fly by. However, we need to be aware and available for the interruptions that are God’s divine invitations.
So I’m reevaluating.
I’m a list-maker and goal-setter by nature. I find so much bliss in crossing out that quickly-scribbled line of text on the back of my grocery receipt. But I also think we need to look at those things we’ve had on the list for weeks (months!) without being able to cross them off. What kept us from completing them in the past? What patterns can we change now to make them possible? How can we alter them so we can finally cross them off in the future?
After years of being molded, and a month of intentionally focusing on the here and now, it’s time to tweak some plans for the future. Below is a short list of goals I have for myself. They may seem insignificant or even silly, but they have implications that are far-spread, and I want nothing more than to be able to cross them off my checklist.
1. Originally: Post 2-3 blogs a week. // Reevaluated: Post 1 blog a week.
Key implication: consistency over quantity. Quantity can grow but without consistency as a foundation there is nothing.
2. Originally: Run 3 miles a week. // Reevaluated: Run 3 times a week.
Key implication: don’t settle for complacency. I’m fit enough to run 3 miles at once. There is no reason not to push farther where God has left doors open for me to grow.
Goals for 2015:
1. Originally: Run a half marathon. // Reevaluated: Run a half marathon.
Key implication: follow through with the small steps (weekly goals) and the larger will follow. This is an attainable goal.
2. Originally: Finish book draft. // Reevaluated: Finish book draft.
Key implication: perseverance is a perspective-changer. Finishing something that seems unattainable gives you the confidence to do it again. Even if this project goes nowhere, the confidence of completion will propel you forward.
3. Originally: Read 15 books. // Reevaluated: Read 15 books.
Key implication: growth is a mindset. Strengthen your craft and wisdom by opening up to different views, opinions, writing-styles, and the like. The minute you discount the views of those around you, you become irrelevant to the very people you’re trying to reach. Ignorance is impotence.
I encourage you: think about some of the goals you’ve set for yourself, even if you hadn’t realized you set them. Write them down. Evaluate them. Are they realistic? Can you alter your current patterns to produce future success? What seemingly insignificant goals can have greater implications for your life? Then take a minute and share them below. The implications from your goals could be a game-changer for someone else!