Yeah, about those 2015 goals…

In a comment on Monday, Michael Coughlin asked me how I did with those 2015 goals I set last January. While I’m not sure anyone else would be interested in this, I decided I’d go ahead and report on those, briefly.

The short answer is: 2015 was a colossal failure from a goal-keeping perspective…but I’m okay with that. 

The only one I definitely accomplished was my goal to take at least four overnight trips with my wife. Turns out, I really like hanging out with her, so getting away on a regular basis is a really refreshing thing. (Crazy, I know.) And our relationship is growing stronger, which is such a blessing.

As for the others:

  • Reading through Bible / memorizing Scripture: Not even close. But I’ve begun again, and am now just seeking consistent daily Bible intake and prayer.
  • Weight loss: I actually gained 4 pounds over the course of 2015. But I’ve still maintained a total weight loss of more than 50 pounds since June of 2014. Something to build on.
  • Paying off debt: We made some progress but not nearly what I had hoped. However, that’s partly due to changes in household income, increases in cost of living with a move across town, and some unexpected large car repair bills. But God is faithful to provide for us, and He has given us everything we have needed. For that, we are most grateful.
  • Catching up with old friends: I have been able to spend time with a few old friends in recent months. I’m glad of that. But there are still a few I’d like to see.
  • Reading only books I own: HAHA, not even close. I do have a plan in place to dive deeper into my To-Be-Read shelf this year, however.
  • Consistent Writing Production: Nope. I probably hit about half of the total word count I was originally shooting for. However, I did take part in NaNoWriMo for the first time, and I really benefited from that experience.
  • Getting all A’s in Seminary: Missed it by that much. Got a high B in Systematic Theology 1, my only class in 2015. However, I really enjoyed that class and benefited from taking it, and one of my textbooks made it on my 2015 top 3 list.

I know why I failed to reach each of these goals–I stopped thinking about them. I didn’t keep them in front of me consistently. I put them away and moved on to other things, and time kept passing. I understand that, in order to be successful, I can’t lose sight of what I want most.

With all that said, it was a good year, and set up a lot of good things to come in 2016, so I’m actually really hopeful about what comes next.

Do I have goals for 2016? Yes, I do. They’re simpler than last year’s goals. You could argue that they are not totally specific, quantifiable, or measurable. But I think they could work for me.

My buddy Trevor chooses a “word” for each year as a guiding principle. I think my word for 2016 could be something like “rhythm.” I want to create consistent, steady rhythms in my life concerning the following areas:

  • I want to read the Bible every day in a meaningful way. No specific reading plan or hard deadlines–just read some portion of Scripture and take time to meditate on it.
  • I want to pray every day. I am using Dr. Don Whitney’s method of praying the Scriptures, taking a Psalm a day and using it as a guide to prayer.
  • I want to be active for 30 minutes every day, no matter what the activity is–just something to get my heart-rate up and work up some perspiration.
  • I want to choose an eating plan and stick to it all year. Still working out the details on this.
  • I want to keep writing–both on the blog and on the novel I started during NaNoWriMo (the first of a possible series).
  • I want to read a book a week, using Tim Challies’ 2016 Reading Challenge as a guide. The list forces me to be a little more diverse than normal, which is good.

That’s it. I want to begin building the habits of the man I want to be in the future. And you can bet that I’ll keep you posted of my progress along the way.

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Your Turn: Any new goals, resolutions, anti-resolutions, or buzzwords for 2016? Post them in the comments below!

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It’s 2015. Bring on the hoverboards and the Cubs’ World Series title!

Today is New Year’s Day, and if you’re like me (and everyone else in the world), you probably have some things you want to do differently in 2015. 

I’ve really been motivated lately to make small changes in my life, to “upgrade” myself (in a non-Cyberman kind of way), and I’ve been listening to and reading a lot of smart people to get ideas for that.

Even if you’ve already blown your resolution, 15 hours in, you can start over. You can set new goals to make sustainable changes this year, so that when you get to New Years Eve and everyone’s wearing those ridiculous giant-year-number sunglasses (the kind that would make Elton John go, “Mm-mm, sweetie, just stop.”), you will be able to look back at the last 12 months and see the difference these changes made.

Or maybe you’re like me, and you really want to attack this year and take charge in different areas of your life. Like Jim, who I found out about through a mutual friend. Jim lost over 220 pounds (and is still going) in one calendar year.  One. Calendar. Year. That’s focus, passion, and determination right there, folks. Jim is a rockstar. I wanna be like Jim.

Whether you have small goals or big goals, the key is to make them meaningful so that you’ll follow through. For help with this, you need to check out these links:

As far as how to follow-through, well, I don’t have a magic bullet for that. I wish I did, because that’s the area I struggle with, too. But I’m going to do the next best thing: I’ll be posting my goals for 2015 on Monday. That’s right, I’m going public. And hopefully, over the next 12 months, I’ll keep you posted on my successes. If not, you can keep me accountable in the comments.

New year, gang. Fresh start. Let’s do this.

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Your Turn: Okay, time to spill–What are some of your goals/resolutions for 2015?