Sunday, January 8, 2012
A New Year
The New Year brings about thoughts of new beginnings. As I watched fireworks over the harbor bring in 2012, I thought about what things in my life I would like to change. The one thing that immediately came to mind is that I would like to have more time to write.
But in order to have time to write, something else has to be either put on the back burner or eliminated from my life. I am full up on obligations that I won’t bother to list here. The point is that I am at my limit and looking for a way to change my situation.
A couple of days later I noticed something in my inbox. I am on financial guru Dave Ramsey’s bulk email list. In a recent installment, he describes a method to get what you want out of life.
First, he advises you to look at your values and passions. Forgetting about money, what would you do if you could do anything in the world? For me, it would be to live on the water, with a desk in front of a water-view window, while I write during the day.
Next, Dave says look at your skills and abilities. What do you enjoy? What kind of activities and jobs get you excited? Likely, these things fall within your skills and abilities set. Concentrating on what you do well will help you plan your next step. When you love what you do, the odds are that others will love the outcome. I love to write. I can feel my pulse slow and the tension drain away as I write. Work-wise, it is the one thing that I do that while I am doing it, I don’t feel like I should be doing something else.
Now, use these things to create your goals. Well-written goals should have a time limit, be measurable and be specific. The example Dave uses is “By December 31, 2010, I will lose 40 lbs. by working out three days a week and limiting myself to 2000 calories a day.” This one I’m still working on for myself.
Lastly, your goals should be used to compose a mission statement. Dave says, “This says in concrete terms who you are, what’s important to you and what you want to accomplish in life in 100 words or less.” Dave Ramsey’s description of composing a mission statement sounds remarkably like advice I’ve heard about writing a story pitch. I figure if I can write a pitch for my story, I can write a mission statement about another story I know—my own life.
My own life. That’s the part I sometimes forget—this is my life and not everyone else’s. Though I often feel trapped by too many obligations, how I compose the story of my life is largely my decision.
How successful are you at prioritizing your goals? Do you have any hints regarding what worked and what didn't?
Dave Ramsey has published several books and conducts a radio show on financial advice.
Posted by Lisa McQuay
I have a husband, child, and a full-time job. As an adult it's nice to write down the stories in my head rather than let Barbie act them out. She doesn't have much range as an actress. Though she does have some great clothes.