I signed up for a handful of free webinars when this year began, mostly because I was my own newly-appointed boss, and I wasn’t sure what to make myself do except learn things, and free webinars fit the non-existent budget. I’d sit at the dining room table, notebooks spread open before me, pen in hand, and all distractions put away, so I could learn everything the expert hosts had to teach.
It didn’t take long to realize they were all big fans of goal-making, and I loved that, because I’m a big fan of itmyself. Lists, multi-colored pens, deadlines — give me all of those, and I will dream big dreams and make fabulous goals.
These experts also said to leave your goals out where you can see them. They said goals left in plain view are more likely to be met. Ooooooh. And therein lies the problem. I’d purchased very pretty file folders for the safekeeping of all my paperwork and the tidy appearance of my tiny office. No leaving goals out in plain view. Too messy.
About ten months later, I sat in a coffee shop, laptop, notebooks, multi-colored pens, and my trusty goal lists all spread out before me. (And coffee in hand, of course.) I had set the day aside to revisit all my goals, see which ones I met, and make new ones for the year to come. I stared at the goals and noticed an interesting trend. The ones that were the biggest in my mind were checked off in neat rows. The ones on the fringe had faded from even holding a place on the fringe. I’d completely forgotten even writing them down. Out of sight truly became out of mind for me.
December is the month in which most people reflect on the year gone by. Whether they reflect while crafting a family Christmas letter or filling out a New Year’s Even questionnaire or penning a blog post that recaps their year — they’re reflecting. They’re remembering the good and the bad that filled the last twelve months. And more than likely, they’re also thinking ahead to the next twelve months. Making goals to remedy what went wrong in the months that just flew by.
I’m with them. I’ve already started filling out brainstorming sheets (thanks, Pinterest, for making so many printables readily available!) and dreaming the beginnings of baby dreams.
But in the year to come, I want to do things a little bit differently. I want to pay attention to the one piece of advice I ignored last year. This year I want to keep the goals in plain view. All of them. Even the fringe ones. I know there will still be some that sit on the fringe when the year is done. But I would rather have them sit on the fringe because it wasn’t time to see them become reality than to have them sit on the fringe because I forgot they existed.
I’ll spend this month celebrating Christmas and all its warmth and coziness, but I’ll also spend it reflecting, dreaming, and giving those goals and dreams a place of visible honor. And a year from now, I look forward to seeing what came true because I remembered to pursue it!
Bekah Shaffer is a wife, writer, blogger, and lover of life and creativity. God has redeemed and restored the life that felt broken and useless, and she loves to share pieces of her story so others can find hope in what God has done. She’s married to Ryan, her answer to many years of prayers, and she loves to scrapbook, make memories, cook, write, and point others toward the Lord!
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