You would think, having written a dissertation, that I would have mastered the art of goal setting. There’s nothing like a massive independent project to get you all lined up with dates and deadlines. And yet, I find that I still have quite a lot to learn about goal setting. I do my best to set them and check in on them, but I often find myself caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, or else I find myself flustered by the multiple locations where I have ideas and plans scribbled down or saved. I am really happy with the amount of stuff I manage to get done, but I can’t help feeling that if I devote a little bit of time to really thinking about what I want to get out of a month or a week, I will get much closer to achieving it. This post, and the idea of setting monthly goals, is inspired by Elise Blaha, who never ceases to amaze me with her awesomeness and has inspired me in more ways than I can count. Each month this year, she has been posting a little list of monthly goals. I always love seeing them, and I have been realizing that what moves me the most about them is that they encapsulate a a fresh perspective on time itself. Through this lens, time is not something that merely passes us by, but something that we can be aware of and take advantage of at every moment. It is something we can choose to consciously get the very most out of. That is most definitely how I want to live. And so I am trying my hand at monthly goals!
I have to say that even taking the time to think about what I want this month to look like has been meaningful (and fun!). I loved pondering big projects and also simple day-to-day things. Out on the balcony, in the pool, all over LA, and with my camera in my hand is where I want to be, and who I want to be this month. Sewing and Big Kitchen Experiments are a few of the things that usually fall by the wayside when I’m busy, so I chose just one of each to keep me plugged in in those areas. And, of course, the Giant Project! This idea is inspired by Ali Edwards, whose 52 Creative Lifts emails are entirely addictive. This past week, she shared Tracey Clark‘s idea of dedicating one day to really focus on a big dream that often gets lost in the shuffle of daily life. I have such a project, which has been on the shelf since January, and the very idea of spending a day with it makes me tingle with all kinds of excited anticipation.
I’m so grateful to all the wonderful people who inspired this post, people who share their creative journeys with us every day. I’m even more grateful to be part of that conversation. I would love to hear what your goals are too!
Update, August 2012:
I wanted to look back at these goals and see how I did with them. We definitely had a lovely anniversary, did tons of exploring, and ate on the balcony lots and lots, and I have the prescribed tons of pictures to prove it! Jumping in the pool after work became a challenge because the water is too cold by 6 or 7pm, when I get home. However, we did institute a new tradition of swimming on Saturday afternoons, which has been great. I don’t think I did a sewing project in June, but I did one in July. My yeast experiment was a total fail (ha!), and I didn’t bother with the butter, since I didn’t have any bread. I think this project will be better moved to a winter month, when I won’t mind having the oven at 450 for hours. I didn’t exactly spend a whole day dreaming about my Big Project, but I did start devoting a few hours a day to it, which might be even better. So, all in all, not bad!