A friend of mine recently suggested that we need to have a concrete list of goals for our 30s “like we did for our 20s.” That made me laugh because of the implication that I had a concrete list of goals for my 20s, which I did not. But I think it’s a good idea, and it reminded me of how Edie from Life in Grace made a to do list for her birthday. I shamelessly borrowed Edie’s idea to make a colorful list picture. My goals for this decade are as follows:
- Become a woman of fervent prayer. I’ve been working on my understanding and practice of prayer recently and have come to realize that becoming a woman of prayer is more of a long-term goal than something you knock out in a weekend. I want to be more deliberate and consistent in praying boldly and specifically for my family, my community, my nation and the world.
- Appreciate my husband daily. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and forget to take time to affirm my husband. I would like to be more of an encouragement to Josh and to remember to verbalize the many things I love and admire about him. I also want to cultivate an attitude of appreciation for him so I won’t be tempted to magnify small grievances or focus on negative things.
- Teach my children to have tender hearts and love to read. It’s tough to make goals about children when so many outcomes depend on their actions. I can’t make their salvation one of my goals – except to make it a matter of frequent prayer, but I can teach them about God, endeavor to set a good example of tenderness and kindness, and teach them about unselfishness and loving others. I think many character issues are, at root, about being tender-hearted. Secondly, after much thought I decided that the most important educational goal I have for my children is that they would love to read. I think that’s something they can pick up from seeing my love of reading, having pleasant associations with reading aloud together, and having me teach them to read with a great deal of patience and affirmation. So really, for both parts of this goal, my focus is on my attitudes and actions, not on the children’s action, which is outside my control.
- Create heirloom memories. There is a fine line (for me anyway) between making things special and getting so worked up about the photo ops that I make the actual event a little chaotic. I want the smocked outfits and pretty decorations and fancy birthday cakes to be happy memories and affirmations of my love, not unpleasant associations with Mama being harried and frantic. I want to make things beautiful so we can have warm and pleasant memories no matter what our circumstances, NOT so we can be more stressed out. Achieving this goal is going to require lots of thought, being deliberate, and managing my time better.
- Be less critical and more thankful. This goal is fairly self-explanatory!
- Bien dans sa peau. How I wish I spoke French so I could know if I wrote that sentiment correctly. What I mean by it is that I want to be comfortable in my own skin. I want to focus less on what other people think of me and more on how God wants me to be. I want to be comfortable being myself even if that doesn’t exactly match how other people are. I want to be the kind of person who can be at peace independent of my circumstances.
- Be at a healthy level of fitness. It’s tough to make fitness goals 10 years out because who knows what hormones and aging will do to me (I’m a little scared to find out, but I suppose I must), so instead of a weight goal or something I decided on a goal to be at a healthy level of fitness. For me this means eating a healthy diet and being moderate about it (not veering into overeating or undereating) and having a moderate and regular exercise routine. I will probably not win any gold medals or beauty contests on this regimen, but I feel better when I’m eating right and exercising. Beyond that I’ll just hope “bien dans sa peau” covers it!
- Blog deeply. I think it would be awesome if my blog was really popular and paid for itself and helped me build a writing platform, but really a lot of that falls outside my control. I’m always on the lookout for ways to be a better manager of my blog, but I want to be primarily focused on writing good content that helps me become a stronger writer, a deeper thinker, a more mindful reader, and a better wife and mother. I don’t think a profitable blog and a worthwhile blog are mutually exclusive, but I thought it best to focus my efforts on things that are directly in my control and just be pleasantly surprised if the rest follows.
- Write a book. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but over the past few months I’ve actually allowed myself to give it a try. In the process I’ve learned a lot and enjoyed myself tremendously. Since I’m more interested in writing well than in writing fast, I expect it will take me the better part of the decade to bring a manuscript to completion, but I hope by the time I turn 40 I’ll have written a book I can be proud of.
So there you have it, my 30s list. What about you? Do you have a to do list for your decade? For this year? For this month? If you did, what would be on it?