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?


  1. i made some new year's goals for the first time in a few years. that's how long it's taken me to "focus my sights" ha! i have a scholarly one, spiritual one, physical one, and musical one. it's a ton, but they're big goals that will be achieved by doing small things throughout the week, so it's totally doable. the biggest thing i realized is that it doesn't really matter how far along i get, as long as i try to improve myself. because that's what new year's resolutions are for, to remind you to improve yourself.

    good luck with the pregnant brain. when baby gets here it becomes mommy brain :)

  2. Love your analogy! Thanks for sharing. :-) My goals are in the form of my 101 list (101 things in 1001 days). I like it because some of the goals are silly, some are serious, and there's always something to work on. If I get bored of one thing, I can move on to another. If I complete one, I already have other goals I can work on. And it's just fun.