A New Year Life Audit

Goals. Goals. Goals. 

That word, especially in its plural form, makes me shiver! 

So you can imagine how I feel about a new year rolling around, and every five seconds you hear something about "resolutions", which are basically goals in disguise. Goals, to me, mean change. They mean effort. They mean potential mistakes, failure, and anxiety. Most of the time, I feel like I can't afford that risk: to have a goal, but not meet it. Because really, when is the last time I fully met a goal? 

....It's been a while. 

My cutie cat, Gus....forever and always my spirit animal. He was a good change in 2017 :) 

My cutie cat, Gus....forever and always my spirit animal. He was a good change in 2017 :) 

2017 left me with a long list of reasons for starting this year out on a terrible foot. Although I learned a lot about myself last year and strengthened in many areas, things were not roses and rainbows. And even though the calendar changes over, the negatives don't just magically dissolve. I, myself only, have to decide to change. I have to gather the motivation to make things better, and not become bitter. I have to seek the good blessings and not dwell on the bad. I have to remember my mission and set goals. 

Ugh. Therapist was right again, dang it. 

So right after January 1, I came across this wonderful article. Although I was not in the "let's work on my life" mood at that particular point, it must have struck a chord, because I bookmarked it. And I decided to go back to it this past weekend, and followed the advice. It is a MUST read, especially if you're just another confused young adult like me! 

It comes down to this: take a stack of empty post-it notes [you're aiming for 100!] and fill them up one by one with your goals and dreams - large, small, short-term, long-term, all of it, like a huge brain dump. There are no right or wrong answers. Then, take all the post-its and organize them by category (like health, family, career, etc). Lastly, you take each post-it within each category and arrange them by how much time it would realistically take to reach each one. 

And there you have it - your very own life audit. 

The second I got home on Friday, I started working on this project. It only took me about 40 minutes. Like the article says, it was not revolutionary itself, but it did force me to think very deliberately about my life and what I actually, truly wanted. I started writing things I had never even knew I wanted - such as making my own candles [yes, seriously, that's on there]. I had to constantly fight the "right and wrong", perfectionist demon that wanted to control what I was writing, to make it all so-so, just in case someone ever saw it. But despite all those feelings, I made it through. At the end, there were 97 post-it notes, all laid on the wall in front of me. 

I proceeded to group them up and began to reflect. 

My life audit. "Hobbies" category was my most populated! 

My life audit. "Hobbies" category was my most populated! 

So what did I learn during my life audit? 

Looking at all these things on the wall, I just saw randomness and a million things that I am not. I had to fight through the negativity and the inadequacy. I had to remind myself in a loop that just because these things were not currently happening for me, that didn't mean they wouldn't ever happen. It's amazing the lengths that mind goes through to keep me from being content.

But when I jumped past that hurdle, I started seeing all these prospective goals as more of a road map. There were so many things to try, and somethings I would really have to work towards. But I have the ability to try every single one of these things, if I choose it. The good Lord has given me the opportunity and capacity to attempt all of this, even the candles.

It was encouraging, to see things from a different perspective, a more positive one. It brought me closer to being in tune with what I wanted out of life. Highlights I saw were: my health, traveling, performing service, and more experience. I saw I wanted to never stop learning new things. I wanted to help more people. I wanted to see more sights. And I wanted to be healthy while doing all of these things. 

I am really happy I took the time to do this! Maybe you need a life audit for 2018? What are your thoughts on goals and the new year? 

I pray that 2018 brings you all the happiness and joy that can be found, and blessings beyond measure!