Here are my goals for 2016. I’ve been giving them a good deal of thought, and these are the things I think will enrich my life: personally, professionally, spiritually.
It’s worth noting that I’ve tried to focus on quality over quantity. Rather than resolving to bake four different kinds of bread, for instance, I’m looking to improve my baking skills; the point is not to do a whole bunch of things but to do things which will help me to do other things better, and with more pleasure.
To that end, I don’t have as many goals this year as I did last year. I’ve focused on things I really want to do, not things I feel I should do.
- Read up on teaching developmental courses. This is something I’ve struggled with, especially since I was never enrolled in a developmental course myself. I would like to improve.
- Read The Seven Laws of Teaching, by John Milton Gregory. This book has been recommended to me by several sources. Time to read it!
There are other things I’d like to do to, such as teach an online course and take a professional development or training seminar to boost my skills, but those are far enough outside my control that I’m not adding them to my official to-do list. I’ll still work towards those goals, though.
- Improve my knitting skills. 1) Learn to pick up dropped stitches on my own. Every time I drop a stitch, I take the whole project to a knitting expert. That has to stop. 2) Learn to increase & decrease (add and remove stitches from a project). I’ve been religiously avoiding projects which require me to increase & decrease. But when I learn to do so, I’ll be able to make something besides scarves and fingerless gloves.
- Get comfortable baking with yeast. Every Christmas, making the traditional Christmas-morning cinnamon rolls is really an adventure, because it’s the only time all year that I use yeast.
- Start a retirement fund. While I feel awfully young to be thinking about retirement, the truth is that I’m thirty and unmarried; it’s me that will be taking care of me when I’m retired, and that means putting money aside for me now, years before I’ll actually need it.
- Buy a car. My current car has nearly 170K miles on it. By year’s end, I’ll need a new one, but spending tens of thousands of dollars on a single purchase makes me nervous. I’m hoping that if “buy new car” is on my to do list, I’ll be more likely to overcome my nerves and actually do it.
Again, there are other things I dream of doing (visiting a friend in Seattle, climbing a 14er with my father and my outdoorsy aunt and uncle, owning a pet) but I’m just dreaming about them, not listing them as official resolutions.
Also, I want to have people over more regularly; this is a real goal of mine, but so very unmeasurable that I’ve left it off the official list. Still, the fact remains that I love cooking and baking and eating with people, yet I very rarely make these get-togethers happen, and it’s time for this to change. Anyone want to volunteer to be my first guest?
- Find a church home and get involved. I am leaving the church I’ve been attending for the past four years, for reasons I outlined in this post. Time to find a new church.
- Read several religious books, including Dante (missed him last year! It’s been too long since I’ve read the Commedia) and George MacDonald’s sermons, which have been sitting on my Kindle for months now.
- Celebrate Lent, and possibly other church calendar fasts/feasts. Last year I marked Lent with a fast from humor websites, and Advent with a fast from unnecessary purchases. Both of those times were rich ones in my spiritual life.
I have two other spiritual goals, but as with my goal of having people over regularly, they’re nearly impossible to measure in any way whatsoever, and so I’m describing them here rather than listing them with my other goals:
One, I want to spend much less time on the Internet, mindlessly scrolling through humor websites and skimming mildly interesting Atlantic and American Conservative posts; there are way more productive ways to spend my time. Which leads me to my next goal. Two, I want to read the Bible and pray more regularly. When the semester is very busy, it’s easy for me to fall out of the habit of reading the Bible, and then simply not pick it back up again. This should not be. Reading the Bible is, of course, something I can do more of when I’m not online!
By posting this list to my blog, I’m mostly guaranteeing that I have an easy way to remind myself of what I’m committed to doing this year; I’m not trying to get attention so much as I’m trying to hold myself accountable to using my time profitably. However, because I think it’s interesting to talk about what I’m learning and how I’m growing, I will post about my work towards these goals from time to time; look for the posts under the tag To Do: 2016.
Here’s to a great 2016!