Goals for 2009
Well, 2008 certainly came and went in a hurry it seems like. Looking back, a whole lot happened – I spent time floundering in Sacramento (with good company, at least), briefly worked at a law firm, attended my nephew’s baptism, moved to DC (and promptly caught bronchitis), stressed a lot about school and career, decided not to pursue law, tried unsuccessfully to find paid internships, met a lot of cool people (many of them intelligent and lovely ladies), stressed more about school and career until finally settling on public policy and becoming more content with my current work situation, semi-bombed the GRE, stressed some more about dating, career, and financial stability (3 things which at times seemed pretty interrelated), and went home and had a fantastically relaxing and wonderful Christmas with my family back in Sacramento. Gratefully, things in my life are starting to coalesce, and I feel I am actually in a pretty good position to make goals for the upcoming year . What follows is my dangerously-still-growing list of goals for 2009, a number of which are macro-goals whose completion may be difficult to attain or determine, but are nonetheless priorities for me. Also, many of these are intertwined.
1) learn drums. It didn’t take too much of playing Rock Band to realize that playing the drums is really cool and fun. Neil Peart’s drum prowess was similarly convincing.
2) get into a good MPP program. Pretty self-explanatory. I’d be extra happy if I could do this without committing myself to colossal student debt.
3) be more relaxed and lighthearted. This one may strike some people as odd, as I am a characteristically lighthearted guy (too lighthearted, some might say). However, after some very trying months in DC, I feel that I need to make a conscious effort to develop a more relaxed, laughter-filled lifestyle.
4) consistent scripture study. Also pretty self-explanatory. I think and talk about the gospel all the time, but I feel that I’ve been shortchanging the Lord (and myself, obviously) in my inconsistency in studying His words.
5) up my style. This one is already under way, thanks in large part to my well-dressed roommates Dan and Matt and my fashion-conscious family members (thanks especially to Tiff for the generous infusion of China-made shirts. And thanks to Chairman Mao for laying the groundwork of China’s industrial might. It all starts with peasant-made steel! Mega-inside joke, which probably only Kyle will appreciate)
6) surround myself with people who help me improve and be happy. This one is similar to #3. Being without the safety net of nearby family members enjoyed while going to BYU (not to disregard Scott & Kristin in Delaware) has been a real test for me. It’s really helped me appreciate the necessity of being in close contact with good people. The pridefully independent side of me has had to take a backseat to this realization. Make no mistake, I still have plenty of prideful independence left over, but I am not chagrined to admit that I really need people – and if I really need people, why not make sure I choose some really good ones? 🙂
7) find 2 people for the missionaries to teach. Somewhat surprisingly, I’ve never set a goal like this as a non-missionary. I really hope I can exceed it!
8 ) be more practical and orderly. This one has been under way since graduating in 2007 and trying to make it on my own. I enjoyed a high degree of freedom and privilege as an undergrad, and thus could afford to be very metaphysical. It didn’t take long, however, to realize that deep thoughts truly don’t pay the bills in the real world, and that a clean, comfortable, and orderly lifestyle doesn’t create itself.
9) get my teeth fixed. I really need dental insurance and/or lots of extra cash.
10) create a home environment which invites the Spirit. This one has been weighing on me ever since moving into my current place back in August. Thankfully, my home environment has come a long way since then. Still, I recognize the need to better invite the Holy Spirit into my home through cleanliness, good music, plants that don’t wither and die on me, and non-ghetto furnishings. This is hard to do on a limited budget and while living with bachelors, but I know improvements can be made.
11) become a uniter of people. I mean this in the most non-cliche way possible: the world, starting with people like you and me, needs more unity. I find it especially bothersome that the LDS singles in the area aren’t more unified, although there are many factors which legitimize such a condition (i.e. geography, time constraints, the politics of dating, the transient DC culture, etc.). Anyway, I want to contribute to helping bring people together. This one could easily become overwhelming, so I’m gonna have to be smart about it.
12) write in my journal at least weekly. I still haven’t figured out which things to keep to my personal journal and which things are appropriate and useful to broadcast to the world on the internet, but blogging has definitely detracted from my journal writing. I’d appreciate anyone’s insights on balancing journal-writing with blogging.
13) chronicle my life with pictures. I finally joined the 21st century and got a digital camera. Now I have no excuse not to take pictures of lots of different things to spice this blog up!
14) get rid of junk. Related to #8. One thing that always depresses me about being home is the outrageous amount of junk we have stored away. According to Mom, a lot of it is mine, an assertion which I would like to dispute if we had better information (which is to say, if the actual boxes of stuff weren’t packed away like corpses in the catacombs – now there’s a pleasant thought!). But anyway, I’d like to sort out my old belongings, as well as curb my influx of new stuff.
15) simplify my life. Hard to measure, but definitely important! I’m unhappy when I have too much on my plate. Conversely, I’m unhappy when I have too little on my plate. In recent months, I have had no problem whatsoever with the latter, but definitely a problem with the former. Somehow, I need to figure out the ideal balance between being involved and being detached. Also, I have it on very good authority that I should be wise about my priorities, and place God and family first – it can be inferred that such prioritizing necessitates that I cut some fat, which might mean goodbye to #1 😦
16) make my fasting more meaningful. This can be accomplished quite readily by the simple act of knowing when it is the first Sunday of the month.
17) pursue and practice wisdom. Not to toot my own horn too much, but I think I’ve traditionally done pretty well about this one, perhaps with a slight imbalance on the “pursuit” side. Still, I love wisdom, and love to acquire more. Applying it is more difficult, but also something for which I strive.
18 ) promote increased spirituality in self and others. This one might be a little vague, as well as covered in some of the other goals, but I thought it sounded good 🙂
19) exercise twice a week. I admit, I don’t like to exercise. I think it’s a waste of time which could be spent doing something more fun or productive. However, since I’m not a pro basketball player nor a paid Wii Fit athlete (do those even exist yet?), I should probably just bite the bullet and do something active on a regular basis. Perhaps I’ll revive my old racquetball interest.
Phew, that was a long list!