Every December, as the year winds down, I make a list of goals for the next year. These are not "resolutions," made with champagne-fueled hopes, fated to be abandoned before the empty bottles are hauled away.
They are, instead, a list of objectives that move my life along my chosen trajectory. And if I don't attain them, well, any progress in the right direction is still forward motion.
As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "Plans are useless, but planning is essential."
This year, the list is broken down into the following categories:
Health and Fitness
Culture and Education
This Old House
For example, here are my blog goals:
1) Continue to post Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
2) Add “My Little Town Tuesday” as a feature at least once per month.
3) Include a picture with every post.
4) Continue to visit your blog friends at least once a week.
5) Visit at least 2 new blogs per week.
As you can infer, my goals are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound, just like they teach you in Management school.
There used to be a category called "Professional," but that seems to be something I don't care much about anymore. I like my job, and I'm happy to be employed, but I have no particular goals in that direction. Which is kind of interesting, because for years that category topped the list.
In the midst of all this planning, I talked to my two older sisters, who told me about a conversation they had with one of my nephews, whom we'll call "C."
C is a big fan of Fox News, and a strong believer in free markets and self-reliance, which, given that he's a reasonably well-educated white guy in his thirties, works pretty well for him.
Apparently, during this conversation, my name came up as someone who could have been much wealthier, had I made better decisions in my life.
When my sisters relayed this to me, I was startled. "Who ever said that was a goal in my life?"
Oh, they said, C assumes that's the primary goal in everyone's life.
Well, he's wrong.
And I've got the documentation to prove it.