Monday, January 20, 2014

Missing the Mark: New Year's Resolutions Drama

I've kind of lost my brain. I like to think of my normal brain as something like the London Tube Map:

Complicated, but somehow organized. My thoughts always have a process and always lead to real destinations.

Well, they used to.

Now my brain is like this:

Click on it to zoom in!

It doesn't matter where I begin.
It doesn't matter which "line" of thought I'm on (grading papers, talking to Hiram, walking anywhere, driving my car, planning a lesson, etc.).
My destinations have nothing to do with where I started or the connections that should be made.
And if I'm not thinking about BABY, my mind is blank.

I know that January is almost over, but I have yet to make solid New Year's resolutions. And I feel guilty. Goals are good things. Part of the reason I've struggled is because as soon as I sit down to think, my mind wanders (see above map for details). Another part can be explained through a past experience of mine.

The summer that Hiram and I got married I was a level leader at a girl's camp in California. For one of our activities, we shot rifles at a shooting range. This was my second time shooting a gun, and I had no idea how I'd do. Here are my results:

The man who was running the rifle range brought my target to me and told me I was a "______ good shot." He complimented me on only making four holes with the eight shots I took, because that meant I hit the same spots a few times in a row.

I felt pretty good about myself.

He blamed the inaccuracy of my hits on the sights on the rifle. Because let's be honest, I was nowhere near the center of the target. He said that if the sights were aligned properly, I should have been able to hit "within the 10" the whole time.

I keep this target paper in my journal to remind me of a really important principle:
Consistency only matters if your focus is centered.

I've struggled with my New Year's resolutions not because I can't keep them. I'm pretty sure I can. But I am insecure with setting goals because I feel like I don't quite understand where I want to end up. What's the point of making a goal if you don't know what you really want to accomplish? What if I put forth large amounts of effort just to find out that I'm off-target at the end?

So before I can make specific goals, I need to make sure my sights are aligned.

Here are some of my thoughts:


  • I'd like to be someone who puts my family over myself
  • I want to focus on my husband's needs before my own and provide him support
  • I want to be an educated, patient, and compassionate mother
  • I want to view people and experiences from a positive perspective
  • I want to be diligent and focused in my efforts (whatever they may be)


  • I would like to have my actions reflect my level of dedication/desire
  • I want to be able to see the hand of God in my daily life
  • I want to be malleable and able to be used as an instrument in God's hands


  • I would like to focus more on the individual needs of students rather than the collective needs of my class or curriculum
  • I would like to be considered reliable and responsible by my colleagues

I understand that to become who I want to become, I need to act. I will probably spend more time refining this list and aligning my sights, and then set specific goals. (Well, as long as I can refrain from browsing baby items on Amazon.)

Who do you want to become? What are your goals?
Do you have any advice for achieving them?