I'm a goal-setting fanatic! My husband laughs. But it's finally starting to rub off not only on him, but my children as well!
Monday night we had a fabulous (and very simple) family night centered around making goals for the New Year (I'm sure we weren't the only family doing this!). In a talk given by Elder Ballard entitled, "Do Things that Make a Difference," I found the perfect message I was looking for to teach the kids about goal setting. He said,
Maybe some of you get weary of listening to the principle of setting goals. But let me tell you something about goal setting. I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the technique of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principle of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.
Reaching our full potential. It's haunting sometimes to think that I may not be doing the things that lead me to reaching my full potential. It's comforting, on the other hand, to know that I'm doing one thing right (setting goals), or at least headed in the right direction. The next step is making sure the goals I set coincide with what the Lord needs me to focus on and that the goals are pertinent to my current life situation. That is the biggest thing I've learned in the last year about fulfilling your mission in life: tuning in your desires to the circumstances of your life.
After reading this talk by Sister Beck and this talk by President Eyring, I've started to pay more attention to the daily promptings that lead me further on my mission. It's important to have some general goals, and some concrete goals for the future, I sitll believe that. But it's also just as, if not more, important to go day by day with the the things the Lord, your family and others need you to do. Sometimes that means taking time for yourself as well. :-)
For instance, this year we will be having another baby! Yay! I put that on my list of goals for 2011 knowing that that may be the only goal that gets completed 100%. But it's an important one, and I need to keep in mind the fact that that is my priority, my mission for this year (along with keeping tabs on the other five I already need to nurture!). Putting this on my goal list has given me to courage to say no to some things that I really wanted to do, and yet saying no to those things has freed me physically and mentally. I love it!
Now back to our family night. Elder Ballard also mentions that one sure way of keeping up on your goals is writing them down and putting them in a place where you can see them regularly. I was quite impressed with myself this year in the goals I did accomplish (I usually make 10 each year), mostly because I had posted them right on the wall in front of my bathroom toilet. My kids even remarked that they would read my goals every time they used my bathroom! :-) And so the kids were eager Monday night to make their own lists. Some of my kids made more goals than others. One daughter spent the next afternoon making her list all fancy! I'm hoping that I can keep tabs on them throughout the year (without the nagging tone in my voice!) so we can all accomplish our goals together.