“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
– Mark Twain
To me, there is nothing like the thrill of growth, being stretched just a little further, reaching out toward the wind lashing my face as I race toward the goal, toward becoming my very best self. The feeling is a lot like the feeling of being aboard a sailboat, seaspray fanning out in rainbows with each slap of the bow against the waves, the boat tilting with the heave of the sails as the wind empowers the boat faster, further, out across the water. I love that feeling.
While we all have our everyday lives, the weighty routine of laundry and grocery shopping and waiting in lines, we also have potential to grow and learn and continue becoming, no matter what our daily routines, no matter what our age may be. And while I unquestionably aspire to goals and hopes and dreams with my family, as a wife and a mom and a friend, and to giving back to others as much as I can, I also aspire to becoming my best self. To become the best me that I can be, with the various gifts and passions and energy and time I’ve been given. It’s a step by step process … becoming. A process that happens one year, one week, one day, one moment, one breath at a time.
That is why, every year about this time, I take time to think back over the year behind me, and count up all the things for which I am thankful, proud to have done, and happy I invested the time in doing. Always, there are so many things to smile about in remembering the previous year. And looking ahead at personal goals, Mark Twain’s quote always comes to me as a thread running between the year behind and the year ahead. I always have to ask: What is it that I most want to do in this coming year? What are my goals? My hopes? My dreams?
There are many. And quite a few are an extension of things I personally really enjoyed and feel proud of having done from 2011.
- Exercise: 800 miles, ~12,500 crunches, ~4,000 boy-push-ups for 2011
- Reading: 32 books read
- Travel: 23 countries traveled in 2.5 years, in 2011 stood aside 7 Seas
- Writing: extensive work and rework on 2 novels in 2011, including intensive work with an editor
- Music: learned 2 new pieces (George Winston) on the piano in 2011
Looking Ahead to 2012, personal goals:
Explore: Travel … as this quote says so well: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
I hope to read many pages of the world (travel) with my family again this year, and to learn more language, specifically more Czech and Italian.
Dream: Writing … as Winston Churchill says so well: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Because my biggest long-long-long-held dream is to be a career novelist, to write stories and connect with people through stories and language, I will continue writing daily and would love to break-in to NYC traditional publishing this year.
Discover: Reading, as Jane Austen says so well: “It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language”
I hope to read 50 great books in 2012. You can keep up with me and my reading at my page on Goodreads.com. I love to find great books to read (recommendations) and to hear what friends are enjoying reading.
Wrapping up 2011, I am excited and hopeful at the fresh slate, the brand new year 2012 ahead. There is so much potential, and to seize the potential, we need goals …
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland
What are your goals for 2012?