Four Lessons Learned from Revisiting My New Years Goals in October

Chris —  October 22, 2013

In Austin, Fall is as subtle as flipping a switch. One day you hate you’re life and wonder why you live in an oven. The next, you want to put on a scarf and walk around Town Lake.

Fall also brings a twinge of guilt. With the end of the year approaching, I can’t help but think about how my New Years Goals have panned out.

Back in January, I publically stated four goals:

  • Become a Morning Person
  • Create a Regular Devotional Pattern
  • Write 200 Words a Day
  • Read 40 Books.

Fast forward ten months. I’m still not a morning person, although I’ve had some great mornings. I have done a lot of writing. I’ve had some great devotional times. I’m around 30 books right now, so it is still possible.


Why have I not succeeded at my New Years Goals?

1. I didn’t have the structures needed to pull them off.

File this one under “you should have taken your own advice.” Goals seldom happen out of pure willpower. I wish I had created systems to help me wake up in the morning or pre-purchased books on my reading list. The likelihood of accomplishing a goal is directly correlated to the structures you create to support them. I am contemplating how to do this in the last two months on 2013.

2. Life gets in the way.

I found myself unemployed this past Spring. For a little while, I was able to remain focused. But quickly I was awash in worry, and my focus drifted. Goals, like everything else in life, are reliant on our ability to manage our emotions.

3. Relationships change your goals.

Until the age of 31, I’ve more or less managed to remain single. Then, about six months ago, a wonderful woman came around. Because my life is better with her around, I make spending time with her a priority. If you are going to make a time-oriented goal, factor in the need to share your time others.

4. A year is a long time.

When I originally chose The Mountain Goat This Year as my 2013 theme song, I was thinking it would be a year of gritting my teeth to take on significant goals. I had no idea that it would be much more complicated than that. Besides going freelance and dating, I’ve also helped launch a new church. None of this was on my radar in January. Yearly goals are good, but they should be regularly reevaluated in light of reality.

How have you done on your goals for 2013?

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