This year, I wanted to be less “goal oriented” and more “resolution oriented.” I wanted to focus not only on the accomplishment, but also the journey to that accomplishment. Mostly, I wanted to be more disciplined.
I think that it went well, for the most part. I gave myself 21-day challenges throughout the year. They included prayer, drinking water, exercising every day, and tracking what I was eating (there were others, too). I feel like I also accomplished a lot throughout the year. We moved cross-country, I wrote and made a scripture study ebook available here on my blog, I wrote and illustrated a book for my kids, I also wrote a chapter book for my older kids. I got a hysterectomy, sold a house, and bought a new one. I continued working on some projects that I’ve had in the works for a long time. I finished some projects (like little crafts and such), and I started new ones. It has been a good year.
Yet there is one thing that I haven’t accomplished that I want to do. This single failure makes me think of a quote from Les Miserables (the actual book, not movie/play):
“Do we ever realize our fondest dreams?” – Victor Hugo
Good question. It seems like there would be a lot of “no’s” as an answer. I know that, for me, if I took a look at what I consider to be my “fondest dreams,” right now there may be more “no’s” than I’d like.
So – why is it that I’m not realizing my fondest dreams? Or, if there have been times when I have realized my dream – what did I do differently that worked?
Three things that may stop us from realizing our dreams
- Fear – We may be afraid to take a step. There is a fear of failure. And, perhaps, we’re afraid of success…what would the dream be if we achieved this dream?
- The Safety of Victimization – It seems strange, but I think that sometimes we don’t realize our dreams because we get some kind of (sick) reward from feeling sorry for ourselves because we have an unobtainable dream. And I think that it may hold us back more than we realize. For example, I want to lose weight, and I think about it – what would I do if I couldn’t complain about being overweight? What would I do if I couldn’t feel sorry for myself? Perhaps these actions – the self-depricating humor, the defeated attitude, the destructive and self-invented feelings (like my husband would love me more if I was thinner) is something I’m holding onto, and it is precisely why I can’t achieve my fondest dreams.
- The dream is far off – Sometimes, the dream is so far away, that we end up procrastinating pursuing it. Since it won’t be realized for a long time, there seems to be little motivation to change – we won’t see the reward for such a change immediately, so we are tempted to keep giving into the momentary reward rather than saving up for the big one. It is stupid when we think about it with the big picture, but it is so easy to do. It is easy to be tempted by instant gratification. And I think that sometimes, the things that we do to feel “instant gratification” comes at the expense of the long-term gratification of realizing our fond dreams.
Another Hint for Change
I think that we can get a hint to help us change from another quote that I really like…
“It is not enough to abolish abuses; custom must also be transformed. The mill was pulled down, but the wind still blows.” – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
When it comes to realizing our dreams, we can’t just “abolish abuses”…instead, we need to make a fundamental shift. We need to change our customs. If we knock down the mill, but the wind still blows, then it is only a matter of time before we end up building a new mill.
I totally love this concept, and I think that this is what I’m going to try to do this year.
For 2013, I’m going to focus on only one goal at a time. I’m setting one goal right now (with the understanding that I will maintain the good things I’m already doing). My 2013 goal is to lose 30 pounds or fit back into my pre-T-Rex pants. This one goal will bless my life in more than one area: physical, emotional, and spiritual. That is the only goal I’m writing on my list right now! Crazy. I feel like it is wrong to have only one goal! But that’s it. I’m focusing on the one thing.
I am focusing on this because I realize it is a current weakness/need. I know my personality. I will keep doing things I like to do. No doubt that by the end of 2013 I will have finished other projects, maybe written another book for my children, and done some other things that I will be proud of. But I want to be sure that weight loss is included in this laundry list of accomplishments. I know, also, that if losing 30 pounds is the only thing I do, then I’ll be happy. However, if I do a dozen other good things, yet I haven’t mastered my physical weakness, then I will still feel a little disappointed with myself.
So – that’s it. I’m working on my health. I promise myself I will realize my fondest dream. And I am going to work on more than “abolishing abuses” but changing my customs and stopping the wind.
What about you? Do you have any goals? Do you have any weaknesses you hope to overcome? How do you plan on achieving your fondest dreams?