Saturday, January 1, 2011

Spiritual Goals for 2011

I have always had good luck with goals. Even when I don't meet them (which is often), I think the process of creating goals and checking in periodically is worthwhile. It's so easy to get off track, and having goals in mind helps me stay on the trajectory I want to traverse.

With the exception of weight loss, when I don't meet goals, I don't spend too much time in self-recrimination. I try to assess whether or not the problem lies within the goal: too ambitious, not really what I want to accomplish, simply impossible with my current life situation? Or is the problem with me: not focused, off kilter, lazy, bone tired?

I've been feeling somewhat sad because I feel off track so much lately. It was easier to meet my spiritual goals (more prayer, more reading) before my job turned into a 40+ hours a week in an office kind of job.

But still, there are things I can do. Let me make a list of my spiritual goals for 2011:

--Pray more. I'd like to consistently pray some variation of the Liturgy of the Hours. Readers of this blog will know that I particularly like Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours. I'd also like to do a better job of praying for people and a better job of offering prayers of gratitude.

--Acts of Social Justice. Could I do one thing a week? I won't count donating money as one of those events. But surely I could do something, even if it's simply buying some fabric for Lutheran World Relief. Other possibilities: buying food for a food pantry, serving dinner at First Lutheran, putting together relief kits, sorting through my stuff and donating to charities, creating baby quilts.

--Continue to strive to tithe. Why is giving away 10% of my income hard for me? It's harder some months than others, and I always come close (6-8%). I'd like to meet this goal.

--Carefully and prayerfully consider before making commitments. I have said yes too quickly, and found myself overcommitted. I find myself thinking, wait, I thought I would like this, but I'm finding it exhausting. One example is Christian Education. I want to believe that whatever we do is vital, even if only one or two people show up. But I've begun to wonder if it's really a valid use of my time and energy (both in shorter and shorter supplies these days) to work in an area which clearly seems to meet the needs of very few people.

Four goals. Let me not fall into the trap of those of us who make lists, the trap of having too long a list with too many goals. Let me set myself up for success, not failure.


Pamela Czarnota said...

Kristin, your goals serve as invitations to others to wonder about their own priorities, which I think is a good thing.

I think speaking of our goals help others understand what makes us tick...the cut of our cloth, so to speak. I could be wrong, but I think our goals articulate our personal mission statement, which then clarifies to others what we are about.

Thank you for your public disclosure of your goals...may your trajectory be blessed!

Kristin said...

Thank you for your kind words and for the blessing!