Update on Goals

I had 3 BIG goals for the last half of 2015:

  1. Rent a Stand-Up PaddleBoard.
  2. Climb a tree.
  3. Read fiction.

Of course, these were not big goals at all… except they were. The point was to show before we worry about life goals or changing the world, maybe we should work on small stuff that can have big impact on changing us.

So… how did I do?

1. Rent a Stand-Up Paddleboard… accomplished in late June or early July, shortly after I set the 3 goals, while I was still excited about them. It turns out, I have a passion for paddleboarding and have since made it a hobby! This was a very satisfying goal because it turned into a lifetime habit.

2. Climb a tree… accomplished November 25th. This was a lot scarier than I thought it would be and I procrastinated as long as I could. The last time I climbed a tree, I think I was in my teens and practically invincible. At 43, climbing a tree is a daunting, fear-inducing challenge. What if I fall? What if it’s covered in ants? What if there is a snake on that branch? What if I can’t get back down? I’m glad I did it but I have to admit, I probably won’t climb a tree again without a lot of incentive. Still, I had to pull up some courage to do it, and that was good.

3. Read a book of fiction… This was the toughest one. I finished “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” in late December, cutting it close. Over the last few years, I have read nothing but non-fiction. Reading fiction was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I started about 10 books, including many classics, before I found one that captivated me enough to read it all the way through. By all accounts, this was not a well-written (or well-edited) story but the approach was clever and I enjoyed it. I can’t tell you if it worked my creative muscles–they feel the same, but I would not say it was a waste of time. It was fun to explore a new world in my mind.

Will I set another 3 goals for the first half of 2016? Definitely! It was a great exercise that gently pushed me from my comfort zones and, if nothing else, I gained a new skill with paddleboarding. I haven’t decided what my next 3 goals will be (I am probably going to carry over “reading a book of fiction” though) and I do not plan to blog about them (been there, done that) but it is a great, practical exercise everyone should try.

Before you set your New Year’s resolutions up (for failure)… consider scaling them down to 3 absurdly small goals that can make a big difference. Maybe instead of “lose 20 pounds”, try “explore three new places while walking around my city” or “iron my work clothes every week for a month” or “write a poem”.

Sometimes thinking small is the best way to achieve BIG results.