Missing the Mark in the Prior Year and Looking Toward the Next

Twelve months ago, I developed a list of 30 things to accomplish while I was age 30.  I divided the list into “Life Goals”, “Personal Projects”, and “Learning” and listed 10 things in each category. These were not outlandish things; they ranged from the small “Give 30 toys to charity” or “Learn how to make my sister-in-law’s oatmeal cookies” to the large things like “Follow the Lord’s leading to move back east” and “have 15K in savings”. At the time, I assumed these goals would be attainable. Looking back on them now, I realize that they were. They were totally attainable, but I blew it.

At first, I was not sure why, either. I am relatively disciplined person. I can keep myself on task throughout the day, and I can both develop and maintain a schedule, especially when I have a self-imposed deadline or goal. How in the world did I drop the ball on my 30×30 list?

After some reflection, I think I have my answer, and I am actually okay with it–which is either a personal step toward giving myself more grace or becoming slothful (I haven’t yet decided which one). Here’s the bottom line: Making a 30×30 list was a novelty, not a need; and in the face of all that I was doing this year, I simply made no time for it. Sure, I had certain bullet points in the back of my mind, to “read 30 books”, for example; but other items, like “learn to build a backyard pull-up apparatus”, were forgotten as they had no bearing on my major goals like completing Stronghold, getting a job, or working toward membership in a church (but as many of you know I have not completed all of those goals, either).

I also took a step back from the list and asked myself, “Okay, you did not do X,Y, or Z, but what did you do? What were your A, B, and C, achievements?” This, too, changed the game. Case in point,  I wanted to memorize 30 portions of Scripture, but I only hit 18. Fail. But the passages I memorized were, for the most part, contextualized, not singular verses, which is something to consider. Yeah, I failed to “learn how to grill fruit”, but I learned how to publish a book. Maybe that can be a wash.

So, I now have a choice, I could look toward the upcoming year and make a 31×31 or I could just sit for an hour or two and really focus on a few things that I feel I must complete based on my immediate needs, life goals, and overarching desire to grow in Christ and develop as a human being–in ways beyond bullet points like “get a passport”. I may develop that list and post it, similarly to how I did around New Years, but I have not decided. Ultimately, I want to live intentionally and mindfully in order to be a better human being and example of Christ to the world. That extends far beyond completing a gimmicky list of bullet points, and it takes far more diligence as well. Here’s hoping I have it in my 31st year.

As always, thanks for reading,