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Reality Unscripted
Goal Setting: Live Your Dreams!

I had a birthday a few days ago. My children tell me I'm old. So does my drivers license.

They say that with age comes wisdom. I think they're right, but not because you naturally get smarter. You just have more opportunities to hang out with smart people.

I encountered one of those smart people at a conference 5 years ago. My husband and I were there for his business, but one particular session changed my life and our marriage. The topic was goal setting.

I realize many of you already are goal setters, but I was not. As a generally easy-going, laid back person, I was geared toward letting life come to me. I was flexible and usually saw the glass as half full. I adjusted to life as it happened. Not bad qualities to have, and I certainly was easier to live with than some. The problem was, I ended up living other people's dreams, since I didn't have any of my own.

Psycho-babble aside, I need to learn how to set goals. It made me think about what I wanted out of life. It gave me permission to dream my own dreams--both big and small.

Here are the 5 areas the speaker laid out for us: Spiritual, Family, Business, Financial, Personal. We had to set 5 goals in each area, then add 5 more "Fun" goals. He also had us set 5-year goals and write a "Life's To-Do List". He then asked the question, "What kind of person do you wish to become?" and "What character qualities do you want to develop?"

At first it was hard for me to think so specifically, but after a while, I loved doing it. I found out I have a great capacity to set goals and reach them. I also found out I sometimes overreach, not all goals are worth my time, some goals need to be reset day by day, and life does not end when goals are not met.

I have lost and gained the same 10 pounds several times, and my photo albums are still not complete, but I have accomplished so much more than I would have had no goals been set.

We have now incorporated goal setting into our family. We sit down at the first of the year and have everyone think about what they want for the coming year. It ranges from the kind of family vacation they want to grades they want to work for, money they want to earn, ribbons they want to win, and games they want to play. They love looking back to see how well they did. It also gives my husband and me a chance to set some goals together--so we're working towards the same end.

How about you? Have you set any goals for 2008? Are they specific? Attainable? Track-able? I would love for you to share them with the rest of us. Sometimes we need to get our good ideas from someone else. Don't just share your professional goals; we'd love to hear about the rest of your life, too! I'll get us started:

Family: Take at least 4 family bike rides.

Spiritual: Join a Bible study.

Business: Learn to use the new ECG machine at work.

Financial: Inform Dave of expenditures over $75 before shopping.

Personal: Read 2 books/month.

Fun: take a class from the Park District.

Character Quality: Be more of an encourager.

Now it's your turn. Let's live our dreams!

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4 Responses to “Goal Setting: Live Your Dreams!”

  1. Lindsey Says:

    What a great idea!

    Family: Take a trip to see my sister after my niece is born.

    Spiritual: Become involved in a ministry at church.

    Business: Graduate and get a job!!!

    Financial: pay off my car and my husband’s truck.

    Personal: Lose 40 lbs (already lost 7!).

    Fun: Learn to sew.

    Character Quality: become more assertive.

  2. Kathleen Says:

    Family: Stay at home for the year and spend some time with my sister before she leaves for college.

    Spiritual: Find a way to get involved with music at church. I miss singing!

    Business: Step up to all the challenges ahead.

    Financial: Get rid of the credit card debt!

    Personal: Work out as much as possible, if anything, just to be a healthier person.

    Fun: Write my book!

    Character Quality: Become a better friend.

  3. judy Says:

    Darn it! Now I have to think about my goals. I’ve never been a goal setter, either, Jana. Here’s my first goal: to set my goals by next Friday!

  4. Jessie Says:

    Dear Nursing Friend, Unfortunately in the US you must pass a nursing ceorificatitn for each state you work as a nurse in. You will have to check with the Board of Nursing in the state you will be working in to see what additional education or ceorificatitns you will require for that state. Each state has it’s own requirements. Best wishes for your success.

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