Amidst an intensive napping schedule this past weekend, I managed to perform a personal annual ritual, that of setting my yearly goals. The urge usually overtakes me in the fall. By this point last year's goals and plans have been through the ringer and have come out pretty scathed. (Sorry, guitar skills. Maybe another year.) Generally my priorities and routines have shifted and settled, some snuck out in the middle of the night while others are skittering around in the attic like uninvited guests.
I use this book as my guide and this is, I believe, my 4th year. My successes have certainly not been unequivocal, but the book encourages you to appreciate your accomplishments each year and, indeed, I find each year when I write them out I end up with a list I'm proud of. (The list of accomplishments is not always long. I think for '09 it was like, Item 1: survived. End of list.)
In any case, so far I can tangibly feel my new yearly goals working - because my muscles are sore from yoga class, the re-commitment to which has been reaffirmed. Good for the mind and the body! Strengthens the muscles, quiets the voices.
I won't bore you with the ins and outs of my goal setting but suffice to say, it was good to remember to make my daily actions match my values. The more of your day that can be spent doing things that correspond with who you really are deep down, the less of a time-waste those activities feel like. Pour example: I'm listening to an "inspirational" audio book during my hour-long commute. I only have turn it off every once in a while to give myself a fake NPR interview about an astounding yet appreciably vague success I've had. ("Well Terry, you know, it's a funny story..")
I tend to get this urge to self-assess and goal-set in the fall because it feels like either a beginning or an end. Back to school, or else batten the hatches. Shape up. Winter's coming.
What about you? What do you get the urge for this time of year?