I get so geeked out about them that I begin the process of setting my goals for the upcoming year as early as Thanksgiving break.
It’s a process.
First, I do a full audit of the year I am currently in. I look to see what goals I achieved, and where I fell short. I look at factors that stood in the way of achieving those goals. Was it something I could have controlled – like would I have met that goal if only I would have had better time management or focused more in a particular area? Or was it something I had absolutely no control over….like, oh I don’t know…..a global pandemic or something??
After that, I spend about a week looking far, far, far into the future. I consider things like where I would like my family to be in a few years – what kind of things will we do together? Will my kids remember a happy childhood when they look back?
Next, I consider what I would like to do through Maple Tree. Where will we be serving patients? How many people will we be serving? What will happen when we finally get insurance reimbursement? How will I spend my days? Will I write another book? How will my job at Wright State fit into all of that?
This exercise is so fun. It also helps me to narrow down my goals for the year.
You see, to me, this part of goal setting is like a using GPS. If you know where you would ultimately like to end up, setting yearly goals will tell you what twists and turns you will need to make in order to get you there!
I still remember the unapologetic optimism I felt at the start of 2020.
This was going to be the BEST YEAR EVER. After all, I spent New Years Day with my family at Disney World, for crying out loud! Good things were sure to come!!
But before we even reached the end of the first quarter, life as we knew it was completely different.
COVID was upon us.
Our centers were closed down.
Any and all conversations I was having with potential new hospital partners came to a complete stand still.
Foundations that we typically received funding from changed the focus of their awards.
Private donations dried up.
Our revenue from hospitals was cut by more than half.
Overnight, our patients had to learn to use technology – their only option to continue their training.
Our trainers had to find quiet places in their homes to train their patients.
I had to learn how to homeschool multiple children, run a non-profit, and continue to teach full time from home.
I know I’m not alone. In fact, I would be willing to bet that my COVID story is probably even better than many other’s. After all, my family stayed healthy and I was able to continue working. And for that, I am grateful.
But, to be honest, when I think back to New Year’s Day, I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. I had absolutely NO IDEA what was coming!
I had set my goals, made my schedule, and dreamed of all the wonderful days that I was confident would lie ahead.
So, here we are. Half way through a year that none of us saw coming. A year of swimming up stream and doing our best to keep things together.
Those goals and dreams almost seem like a distant memory, don’t they?
If you’re anything at all like me, you might be tempted to pack it all in. Ride out the rest of the year hoping and praying for the drama to end, and then pick things back up again next year.
I get it. I really do.
It’s tempting to press pause on your dreams.
In fact, I’ve been there. More times than I’d like to admit.
But now that July is upon us, I’m filled with a renewed sense of optimism again.
Here’s the deal – we still have 6 months of 2020 left! It’s not over!! We still have time to work towards our hopes and dreams!
So, here’s my challenge to all of us. Myself included
Sure – there are plenty of things happening right now that are beyond our control. But here’s the thing. Whether it’s COVID, or murder hornets, or dust storms, or riots, or even cancer….there is always something standing in the way of our dreams. There is always a reason to give up.
That’s why we keep marching.
I don’t believe we were meant to live our lives in hiding, waiting for the current storm to pass before going all in on our dreams.
In fact, dare I say that the storms we face in life are what makes the achievements so sweet.
It’s true – without hard times, how would we recognize the good? Without the storm, how would we know to dream of a better future?
And so we don’t give up.
We focus on all the things we are able to control. We acknowledge the things we can’t, but rather than running from those things – we run toward them. We open our eyes to look for the blessing and opportunities they bring.
We keep on marching.
My challenge to you – no matter what storm you are currently facing – is to give yourself permission to dream again. Take time TODAY to review your goals and dreams you set 6 months ago.
Consider what you can begin to work on again.
Make a plan and get started!
Achieving your dreams only takes one baby step at a time.