Set a new goal

Is it time to set a new goal?

C. S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

I can’t face January without considering my goals for the coming year. Am I the only one who spends the first or last days of a new year thinking about what I have or haven’t done? I know some of you. Your goal list is longer than mine!

A warning – A few weeks ago, the young guy behind the pulpit at my church reminded us that our goals shouldn’t be self-focused. We need more goals that focus on others. So my first goal is to turn my goals outward. Looking at the list below, I think I have my work cut out for me.

Before moving on to the next set of self-promises, I pulled out a few from previous years.

I found a little packet of planning sheets from an old Day-Timer kit. (Why did I stop using those, anyway?) My 2001 goals were rather extensive, a long list including spiritual goals, financial goals, physical, professional, and the old bucket list – lifetime goals. This list was written near the beginning of my teaching career. The 2020 list (before the COVID-will-change-everything days) was considerably shorter. I even gathered a few goals from my high school years.

So what did I accomplish over the last decades, and how can I set a new goal for the decades to come?

The financial goals…

…have mostly been met except the one about how much I should put back toward my retirement:

-Sell the old house and buy a new one. (The new house is quickly becoming the old house, but at least the walls are straight.)

-Buy on a credit card only what I can repay within the month.

-Sponsor a fifth child (2001). (I think we’re at child #17 now, but most of our sponsored kids have outgrown or moved out of the sponsorship programs.)

-One goal that still concerns me is to retire with enough money to give when I want to, travel a little, and buy new underwear and socks when needed. By next January, I’ll know if I’ve accomplished that goal.

The health goals (nearly finished)

-Lose weight.

-Exercise 3 times a week.

-Build upper body strength.

-Have a complete physical exam.

-Learn to do boys’ push-ups.

There are two goals that did not get checked off:

-Learn to do a chin-up. Couldn’t do one in grade school. Still can’t do one today.

-Eat chocolate no more than twice a week. Hah! I can’t get by with less than twice a day. Besides, Healthline ( says dark chocolate improves blood flow, raises LDL, is a source of antioxidants, is nutritious, reduces heart risks, protects skin, and improves brain function. I’m going to three bites a day. Why take chances?

Professional goals

-Earn my master’s degree. (Done)

-Incorporate more bodily-kinesthetic activities into my classroom. (Mostly done)

-Learn to accept a noisy classroom. (After 26 years of teaching, I’ve not yet mastered this. I still have five months to conquer that one, though.)

-Retire (I’m almost there! I’m almost there!)

Lifetime goals that I’ve achieved

-Learn how to swim properly using rhythm breathing. (I used to be terrified of having my head underwater.)

-Serve in a church ministry position.

-Declutter my sunroom coffee table.

-Run three miles without stopping.

-Read 30-50 books a year.

-Build a website and write articles for it.

Goals that I failed to achieve

-Gather stories from my grandparents.

-Take my mom to see the house where she grew up. The old farmhouse was beautifully remodeled a number of years ago. We had a date scheduled for the visit, but her failing health interrupted those plans. I guess she now has a better vantage point than me on the old house anyway.

Lifetime goals that may be on my list for a long time

-Learn to speak and understand a foreign language.

-Learn to play guitar.

-Own a house big enough for the whole family to gather for holiday dinners.

-Take an art appreciation class.

-Visit all 50 states while I’m able to see the sights, hear the sounds, and taste the food.

-Dive into a pool. (I’m still terrified of having my head underwater.)

-Declutter my desk.

-Rewrite our 1950s school anthem. Hail to our hallowed halls, indeed!

-Get a job as an architect.

-Dabble in archaeology.

Lifetime goals that a gremlin added to my list

…because I have no idea why I put them there.

-Swim across the river and climb the mountain on the other side.

-Own a pet tarantula.

-Be a school administrator.

Goals that I have yet to reach but have high hopes for

-Write and publish books.

-Help write the history of my church. (Gary, I’d like to add stories to go along with your information.)

-Attend college graduation for my grandkids.

-Complain less. (Keep tally marks so I can verify my progress.)

-Invest in Amazon. (Why not? They get most of my money, anyway.)

-Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. (Maybe I’ll start with the PA Grand Canyon…)

-Visit Europe with my husband. Hopefully, on a Viking Cruise ship, and set foot inside some of those castles and cathedrals.

Now it’s your turn

If you haven’t already set some goals, whether in writing or simply telling an important person in your life, it may be time to set a new goal.

I’d love to hear your goals in the comment section…if I can figure out how to add a comment section!

P.S. I can’t add a comment section to the newsletter. You can reply to the newsletter email, though, or you can post a comment on the webpage post   Either way, I’d love to hear from you.

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