First a private message to my faithful gentle readers: We’re going to talk about making goals in crisis time here, but I have a question for all of you who have young-men-in-training living with you. I call on the help of my nearly-14-year-old son Malachi (formerly little Mack!) often, when I need a suitable base for photographing plants, for instance, that’s a little more interesting than a table. (See, Mack, that’s a compliment: you are more interesting than a table. You’re welcome.) For unknown-to-me reasons, Mack doesn’t mind doing the modeling, but he does not under any circumstance want me to publish a picture of his face. So he contorts his face, or shoves his finger up his nose, or does something so ornery and repelling that I would never think of posting it. Except for today. Today he was on the way to doing something disgusting and I caught him before he decided what it was going to be. I clicked and got a picture of his face. He is not aware. So. . . if you get to the end of this post, you’ll see a picture of what Little Mack looks like today. Please don’t tell him I posted this. He would probably do something very vindictive indeed, like fill my oatmeal with salt. Maybe next time, I’ll include myself (generally I’m also photo-averse) so you can see how tall he is becoming, relative to how short I’m getting. (It’s a cruel world). So this is my question: does anybody else have problems like this??
I don’t know about you, gentle reader, but I realized a week or two ago that I really needed to make some ambitious goals for the future. Not years into the future, mind you, but just a few months. 100 days, in fact, sounded about right for the time we’re living through.
While it may be tempting–during times of worldwide crisis–to place your dear worried head under your pillow and wait for it to pass (and in fact I did that at first–didn’t we all?) it’s not healthy in the long term. Crises do pass, after all, in one form or another. Even worldwide crises.
And we believers . . . well, we know that someday we will see the face of Jesus, and that’s a lovely thought, no matter what a colossal mess the world ends up in (Rev. 21:1-7). That gives me comfort every single day, and I hope that it does the same for you.
While a respite of that sort (the head under the pillow bit) may be a comfort at first, it gets boring really quick. The air underneath a feather pillow gets stuffy, one gets hungry and bored, and, as you know, I am not a very good sitter.
Like Jemima Puddle Duck. Bless her.
She laid some more in June, and she was permitted to keep them herself: but only four of them hatched. Jemima Puddle-duck said that it was because of her nerves; but she had always been a bad sitter. –Beatrix Potter
So, I turned. I avoided the confusing, conflicting and constant stories coming out in the news (because who can tell any longer what is fact and what is fiction?) and I thought about goals for a few days, and decided to embark upon an ambitious, worldwide-crisis-ignoring scheme, inwhich I worked from a few end goals backwards. How would I make my world a better place in 100 days? I’m not talking about the whole world, of course, since that would be an especially tough order. But my little world, filled with the things and people and pursuits that I love and deem valuable, how could I make it better?
Furthermore, what are some simple actions that I could take every day, with the few minutes of wiggle-room that I have available to me, to make my little world better? Working from that end result seems to be key for me: so I asked myself this question: what do I want my life to look like in 100 days? When I had a nice picture in my mind, I sat down and wrote out a list of what actions I might take, every day, to get there. For 100 days.
Are you curious? First, for myself: I’ve had some minor health challenges crop up that I will do something about, so they don’t become major health challenges. Hopefully. If I FOCUS and pay attention, in 100 days I could make a big difference in this area. Secondly my home is neglected and has too many piles of clutter. Focusing on getting rid of them, a little each day–for 100 days–ought to make my home a much more welcoming place. I think it’ll make me happy, too. 🙂 Third: I have some banjo-related goals that I’m determined to accomplish. In 100 days. 🙂 It’s doable!
I’m super excited about this little 100-day challenge of mine. It’s just what I need right now. I plan to do my best to stay healthy and optimistic through this particular worldwide crisis, but I also hope to make things better, in my world and in my home.
Because I do better with constant reminding, I made myself a little chart and thumb-tacked it to the wall in my bathroom. It helps to look at it every morning and every night. A visual record of data drives me, gentle reader, it really does. Oh yes. Bethie and I were talking about this, and she offered to make me a printable of my simple little chart, so I could share it with you, and with our podcast listeners.
Did you know (by the way!) that Bethie and I started a podcast? Called Sweet as Love, it’s everywhere that podcasts can be found. We are having a blast with it. In our latest episode, Bethie and talked about goals, decluttering, the current state of things, and my 100-day challenge.
Maybe you would like to join us in a 100-day challenge? Possibly it will help you to be brave and focused during a troubled time?
If so, here’s the link to Bethie’s printable.
If this idea lights you up a little, and it sounds like something that you need to FOCUS on right now too, start by thinking about something in your life that you’d like to change. Maybe it’s a sad ache of something you’ve been neglecting–maybe a relationship that you want to nuture, or an instrument that you want to spend time learning how to play. Maybe it’s something that you want to make or polish or get rid of. Think about where you want to be with that relationship or instrument in 100 days. Make a few goals. Three or four seems about right; more than that seems (to me) a bit overwhelming.
Download the 100 Day Challenge Sheet, print it off, fill it in (keep it simple!) and put it up on the wall where you’ll be reminded every day to FOCUS. Log in your progress every single day. In 100 days, well. Think of how much better things might be.
Oh. I nearly forgot. Here’s the end of the post little treat I promised you, below. 😉
(Please don’t tell Malachi on me. I hate salty oatmeal.)
Come back next week to read the “What’s Going On At Our Place” post that I’m working on right now. It’s been awhile, and I have so much to report!
And God bless you, gentle reader. I love you. I’m pulling for you. It’s a tough time, but you are a tough cookie and you’re going to make it through, better than ever.
- Guess what . . . ? Our Sweet as Love Podcast is live!
- What’s Going on at our Place: Spring is goin’ on, is what