As we once again mark off the days of another year gone by, for one moment, untainted by disappointment and struggle, we look into possibility and allow ourselves to dream. To dream of what could be. To dream of accomplishment and hope. To dream of more wins than losses, of more goals reached than forgotten, and more held than abandoned. So, we set those goals. We make those resolutions. We look bravely into a fresh start and reach for it, excited about leaving new footprints on a new path.
Statistics show that within just a few weeks, most of us allow life to steer us right back into the rut we just climbed out of. We continue to dream in the back of our mind about what we wished we had done while we face the same routine battles that we have fought so many times. Then we mark our efforts as failure.
This endless circle of rise and fail really got me thinking this year about setting goals differently. What if I didn’t set multitudes of resolutions? What if instead of focusing on the tasks to be completed, I focus on what stops me from completing the tasks? It all kept coming back to the same revelation. I need to put things in their proper place.
For those that know me for the overly organized perfectionist that I am, they are currently asking why this goal would be any different than any other day. Putting things in their proper place is like a life mission for me. But I am not talking about straightening the spice cabinet (even though that does make me terribly happy), I am talking about what I allow to take up the space and time my goals and dreams should be abiding in.
I am talking about taking what I do every day and lining it up with my why. Measuring my behaviors and my choices against who I say want to be. I am talking about giving the time, space, and attention these things I call my priorities deserve. Which means whatever is currently taking up that time, space, and attention has to go.
I cannot say I want to accomplish something and then allow my time to be divided up amongst things that will not get me there. It’s like saying that you want to be a pilot but never actually taking flying lessons. If you want to get where you want to go then you have to be doing the things that move you in that direction.
Want to be an artist? Then your schedule should include art. Want to be a college graduate? Then you should be taking classes. Want to have a successful marriage, then you should be investing time in your spouse. Want to be a basketball star? Then do what basketball stars do. Want to be a preacher? Then do what preachers do. In our schedules and our actions, we have to put things in their proper place. We must give priority spots to the things we say are priorities. It sure does sound simple, right? But we all know moving toward success in priorities is anything but easy. But we at least have to start.
Look at what consumes your day. Do these things that are taking up all your time match up with your goals? Or are they tasks that take you away from them? Imagine it like this, if someone else took a look at how you spend your time, what would they say is important to you? Would it line up with your purpose? Will it get you where you want to be when you’re eighty? If not, then this may be the moment you also do what I plan to do, put it in its proper place, for you can only reach the goal if you are steadily walking towards it.
Let the footprints you leave behind you show you walking in the direction of your dreams.