March 13, 2016

Shifting Gears

I've never been much of a planner. A portion of that is most likely contributed to my free spirited nature and another to my upbringing. My parents worked hard when I was a child (and still do), but they also gave of their time unapologetically to their family and anyone in need. They also had four kids. My home was a place of constant laughter, console, and the breaking of bread.

My siblings and I heard stories, played outside with different guests, and traveled whenever we had the chance. Because of the fun but erratic nature of our schedule, I learned to embrace spontaneity with open arms.

I'm also a big picture kind of person...that's why I love new years. I often use it to contemplate where I want my life to head and reset my yearly intentions. It wasn't until college though that I started planning in shorter increments to meet deadlines, and even then, I frequently found myself working into later hours of the day because I was horrible at it.

I like that I'm introspective and laid back, but I'm also a little jealous of people with type A personalities because setting short goals does not come naturally to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm really dedicated and driven once a plan is in front of me...I just have a hard time designing them. A couple of weeks ago one of my close friends asked me how often I planned on posting on my blog and I replied that I hadn't thought about it yet while commending her for being so plan-oriented. We both joked about it yet her question actually motivated me to set a recurring reminder in my calendar that day to write. Hopefully I won't need it, but by setting the alert, I inadvertently set a short term goal for my larger goal: blogging. Cue the applause!

All jokes aside, I've thought a lot about the "in-between" goals since then because a lot of the objectives I've set recently are rich but predictably abstract. I hope to live a more rooted life by cultivating deeper relationships, living a more spiritual life, embarking on projects other than work that interest me, and expanding my reads. You don't achieve that kind of lifestyle overnight. You build it slowly a brick at a time so I began to challenge myself with at hand tasks like inviting a friend to dinner or writing monthly. I also started downloading podcasts to listen to during my commute to work; I've been encouraged and entertained tons as a result of this. I'm currently listening to Relevant's podcast and sermons from my local church. I'm going to set a deadline for how often I want to finish reading a book soon too so I'm not simultaneously reading 5 books forever, which has been the case up till now. This is all still new territory for me though, so I am trying to show myself grace by making my goals as attainable as possible.

What kinds of things help you plan and bring your ideas into fruition? Please also feel free to share any good books or podcasts you're currently into.

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