A Longer View on Goals

A Longer ViewWhere do you want to be in 3 years? What kind of person will you become in 5 years?

What will you do in the next 3 Months? What are you going to change TODAY?!?

Take a minute to think about these questions in your own life. Is your future a clear vision? A foggy haze? Total darkness? If you want to accomplish something specific, your something will need to be visible.

The holidays are almost here, and 2015 is approaching faster than you think. For me, that means New Year’s Resolutions and a chance to create something totally fresh in my life, but that doesn’t mean that I create a wall between this year and last year.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been making big plans. I’ve been brainstorming. I’ve thought hard about the future and where it might take Kristin and I. Though we’ve made some really great strides and accomplished many awesome things, I feel like there is so much we’d still like to do. And so the list of goals and aspirations keep growing.

We’ve got years of goals piling up, and thinking long term can be daunting. I’m starting to look at the list of resolutions in terms of multiple years and what might actually take several years to accomplish.

What I’ve found in our lives is there is so much we want to do and not enough time to do it all. So we must decide. Have you heard the phrase “you can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything”? Desiring is the easy part, deciding is the hard part.

It is time for us to decide.

Last year I made some pretty well-rounded goals that touched all aspects of our lives, but many of them I noticed were pretty easy to accomplish in hindsight.

It felt great to be checking things off the list, but many of the harder tasks are still left undone.

It turns out that some of the big audacious goals are actually things that will take years to achieve. They can’t be done in just 365 days. (This is a good thing, by the way.)

Last year was really one of the first years of setting structured goals, and overall, it was really great. I had an easy-going list in the first year to have some quick wins and build up my momentum.

 

This year, however, I want us to get a little more serious. I’ve been toying with the idea of quarterly goals. This will be a way to supercharge my activities.

 

I’ll be sharing some of those goals in the future. Today, I want you to begin reflecting on your year, and be open to where it may take you.

 

 

Righting the Ship

Righting the Ship

It is easy to get off base during a hectic season of life. Increased demands with our time create a bigger strain on what we feel we can accomplish.

Before you know it, you’re living a life that’s far away from what you are intending. Is it time to right the ship?

When things feel off-course, simply return to your original methods of past successes.

Knowing where you’ve succeeded in the past is a quick reminder of what you’ve been able to accomplish and how you got there. It gives you a feeling of satisfaction and it builds trust in yourself at a time when you need it the most.



 

Personally, October has been a really rough month.

I’ve been thrown off course many times in the last 30 days: by multiple commitments coming together at the same time, new endeavors, and by my own mis-management of time. After all of the tumultuous times of October, I realized that it was vital for me to return to my past methods of success. Referring back to what worked in the past is a great way to see quick success today.

My success begins with a great morning routine. I am grateful that I can return to it any time almost sub-consciously. I also have written success stories that show all of the great things I’ve been able to accomplish. I just search my journal for times when I was able to achieve greatness. It keeps the courses to success fresh in my mind as I figure out how to get back on track.

If you don’t yet have a written set of successes, just start today. It’s simple, really. Comb through your past achievements and build from that. No list is right or wrong, and remember this is a personal and detailed list of success. It is meant to rebuild your confidence and help you press on through difficult times.

There will come a time when you feel defeated like you can’t get out of a rut. Having your success list will help you right your own ship.

What’s your method for righting your own ship?

Why I sold my childhood for $7

I used to collect baseball cards as a child. I had a sizable Ken Griffey Jr. collection, and I loved checking out all of his new card models.

childhood

I don’t really know why. I wasn’t a baseball fan. I never understood the stats on the backs of the cards. He was the hottest player at the time and it was something to get excited about. I may as well have been collecting hubcaps and I’d be just as excited for the shiny objects I got to collect.

This past weekend I drove across town to find someone to sell my final cards to, after holding on to them for about 18 years. I had no idea what the worth would be. I was hoping for a fair amount, seeing as how I probably spent hundreds of dollars and hours on the collection. Last I remember they were so rare and expensive.

These were some of the top experts in the local baseball card world, and I ended up haggling with a man over $7 for the whole collection. I still felt good about the transaction.

Why did I sell these cards?

Griffey cards

In truth, they were worth more to me gone and into someone’s hands that cared about them than keeping them around for sentimental reasons and holding on to the culmination of a false passion.

I used to spend all of my time and money collecting baseball cards. I liked the idea of the collection, not the collection itself. I wanted to like baseball and collecting cards, but the passion just wasn’t there.

The only real regret I have today is that I spent so much time and effort on something I did not love. To get closure on a part of my life that I didn’t really enjoy was worth haggling over a couple dollars.

Remember that real passions in life are priceless and would never be traded.

Follow your own dreams, not someone else’s. If you do, you may find the path to be worthless.

 

Where has your false passion misled you? Have you found your true calling? We’d love to hear about it!



75% Complete

75% Complete

It’s a little bit overdue, but I wanted to share with you the progress made as we near the end of 2014.

2014 has been a powerful year for Kristin and I. I feel like we’ve taken charge with so many things in life and are now moving the needle in ways we never tried in the past.

A lot of this has to do with you, the community of readers and supporters!

Twitter Peeps!

Developing this community has been both humbling and rewarding for us. When we started the blog, I would have never thought we’d be reaching the people & the places we are.

From our hearts to yours, we thank you! We want our successes to inspire greatness in your own life.



Here are just a few areas where life got better this year:

Exercise

I’m rounding out the year of a marathon and an ultra with a half marathon coming up in a matter of weeks. I’ve been lucky to train with online training group Educated Running. It has helped bring focus to my training in areas where I’m lacking, specifically in speed work and dynamic exercise.

I also look forward to the possibility of going to Japan again this year for Ekiden, I hope to know more about that as we get closer to November.

Reading

I set a goal at the beginning of the year to read 30 books, up from 25 last year, and one recommendation from Kristin. After checking out my Goodreads page, it looks like I’m on track to do so with 20 books so far.

This goal was a little bit lofty for me. Adding an extra 5 books doesn’t seem like much, but it is over the span of time. I feel as though I’m flying through some books without understanding all of the content.

“Much reading is like much eating – wholly useless without digestion” – Robert South

In the future, I will be more selective with my books and focus on quality rather than quantity.

I also was able to start reading some fiction, with the help of Kristin.

I’ve been reading Hunger Games at the end of most days, and I find that it does give me that chance to settle down from the day’s stresses. It reminds me that reading can be worry-free & not so focused on learning.

Friends

So often we get caught up in our own lives that we don’t make enough time for friends. Life sort of gets in the way as the years pass, and it gets harder to be together with those you care about.

This year I decided to make a conscious effort to call a friend a month on the phone. While I didn’t succeed at this every month, this was the most fun goal of the year so far.

It was great to talk to some friends I hadn’t heard from in a while, and just hearing their voices made my day as well as theirs!

I feel like men are worse at doing this than women. Men don’t always have the gift of gab. Guys, that doesn’t mean you can’t “check-in” every now and then. It’ll do wonders for your friendships, especially across long distances.

Finance

We’ve made some great strides in our finances this year, and most recently, we paid off the first of three student loans! Those of you who have struggled to pay big debts know that it can be really tough, and we must admit that we lost some steam early on in the year.

Now we are back to focusing on getting debt out of our lives.

It’s a tough road plowing through debt, but it’s such a rewarding feeling being free from obligations that are a decade old like this one.

Now we have an extra $175 a month, and a great feeling that we are one step closer to debt freedom.

Personal Growth

I had intended to join a mastermind group or an investor club of some kind this year to further my development and be around like-minded individuals.

Though I struggled a little bit in the beginning with this one, I was able to find an awesome mastermind group through the Dreamers & Builders community.

This is what has jump-started my productivity and success. I have others willing to hold me accountable and provide feedback when I’m stuck on something.

It’s such a great resource to be able to tap into, I’m really thankful to be a part of such a great group.

(To the Hustler Mastermind-ers reading this, thank you so much for keeping me honest and providing accountability all the times when it was so easy to just give up!)

Conclusion

As we round home on this year, there’s still plenty to do, and I’m excited to see what the next 3 months have in store.

I’m also going to be shifting my goal mindset in 2015.

In 2015, I will be planning quarterly goals instead of yearly goals. Yearly goals are hard to remember, let alone accomplish. This will give me a chance to adjust goals more frequently and adjust goals based on the seasons of life we all go through.

I am excited to finish 2014 strong and I look forward to an amazing 2015.

Let’s hear from you! What are some wins you’ve had in 2014 so far? What do you plan to accomplish in the rest of 2014?

50% Complete

50 Complete
I can’t believe the year is already halfway over.

It seems like just a few short months ago that I was making plans on what to do this year. Some goals I thought of were easy goals, and some were lofty stretch goals.

In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” A lot has happened in these last 6 months. This is my snapshot of where we are in our halfway mark with a few of 2014’s Goals.

Exercise

I had planned to run something longer than a marathon this year. “2013 Ethan” would have thought I would need to give myself plenty of time to train for an even longer run, so it had to be in September or October.

As I got closer to my annual Flying Pig marathon in May, though, it dawned on me that it would be much better to pick something sooner, so I signed up for Another Dam 50K in June, only 4 weeks after the Pig.

It turned out to be a great run and very helpful to set those runs close together so I didn’t lose training momentum. I feel like I can now tackle new, even scarier challenges with confidence. I’d even like to set a goal to hit Marathon Maniac status in the future!

Ethan's 1st Ultra

For the 2nd half of 2014, I’d like to keep my good running base by doing another marathon or half-marathon. I’d also like to work more on speed. Kristin and I are even looking at getting a GPS/ heart rate watch!

We’ve already been really successful this year with exercise, and we’d like to build upon that success base in the second half of the year.

Financial

We made great strides in our finances in 2014 as a couple. Kristin got a new job that has much better pay, and we have regained focus on our target to pay down the remaining student loan debt we owe, which is about $30,000.

We had given ourselves a short break from intense saving, and we now have new purpose with which to attack that goal. Paying off the student loans will help us to set up some amazing things in the near future as well. It’s our only debt besides the house!

It feels really great to have the freedom and security that financial success allows. The only money problems we seem to have are the good kind these days, and that is a real blessing.

Productivity

One of our biggest goals this year was to start this blog.

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For a new blogger like myself, It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I get excited, scared, frustrated & satisfied all at once.

Kristin has really helped me along in navigating these new paths, and it’s been really rewarding and surprising to see some of the things that have come out of this project.

In the future we hope to grow this hobby and allow it room to expand. It is not the center of our lives, but I feel like it is helping us to build a solid foundation on which to create our voice, for whatever we do going forward.

Personal Growth

If you had told me that I’d be journaling every day consistently 1 year ago, I would have told you “that’s a nice idea, but it will never happen”.

About 12 months ago, I started journaling as part of the Start Experiment, and it wasn’t until January this year that it became almost daily. I now have 2 journals, actually – a personal journal and a productivity journal.

I should have been doing this years ago. I had this notion in my mind that writing in a journal was embarrassing. That only 12 year old girls write in journals. I admit was wrong.

Journaling has brought some great clarity and focus into my days. It helps me to deal with the issues of the day, it helps me reflect on what I’m doing right and wrong, and it gives me perspective on what is really important in life.

I highly recommend you just start doing it if you’re on the fence. I limit myself to 15 minutes a day using DayOne, and that works out great for me.

House

It may seem easy for most, but another one of our goals was to set up a home office. Kristin and I had gone back and forth about converting a lovely baby’s room from the previous homeowners into an office. They had decorated the third bedroom in Winnie the Pooh with a hand-painted mural, you guys.

We couldn’t bear (pun intended) to cover over that work of art for almost eight months, and finally we realized that it was doing no good for us in its current state. We painted it over with the help of family and bought a desk and lamps to create an office space. I also hung a cork board, and we plan to get a white board as well.

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Conclusion

As I look back at the year that’s already halfway over, I’m proud of all of our accomplishments thus far. This is one of the first years that I’ve written down and then checked back on my goals in a timely fashion. It has helped so much in keeping myself on track and accountable to finish by the end of the year.

92% of New Year’s Resolutions get side-tracked. Don’t become another statistic.

I hope to set and achieve bigger and loftier goals in the future. I want to be the best me that I can be. In order to do so, I realize that, though it will take hard work and dedication, the rewards are worth the effort.

 



   
   

   


 

 

 

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