Wednesday, December 22, 2010

13 Before 31

It is better to fail at your own life than to succeed at someone else's.

-André Gide

The past few years, I've made lists of very specific goals that I wanted to achieve before my next birthday. 30 before 30, 29 before 29, etc.

For the most part, the list-making has been pretty successful. I've tried things I wouldn't have otherwise attempted, and overall, I've had fun.

This past year, though, I got a little burned out on the whole process. It all started to remind me of the annual review process I've gone through every year at every job I've ever had since I was 16:
  1. Write a list of goals (don't make too many!)
  2. Make sure they are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Tangible!
  3. Answer the "W" questions - Who will help me achieve these goals? When will I achieve them? etc.
  4. Revisit these goals frequently to measure your progress!
  5. ...
  6. ???
  7. I am sure there's more, but I'm already bored out of my skull. (Business jargon. Blah!)
Aside from the "don't set too many goals!" thing, I followed this process obsessively. Why? Because it's what "experts" suggest works best.

This year, I say screw the experts. I'm not just crossing things off some Outlook Life Tasks Lists until I clock out of my time on earth. I am out for fun, evolution, and irreverence. I want to squeeze as much learning, creativity, inspiration and laughter out of life as I can, even if that means I sometimes end up doing things my own way.

So without further ado, I present to you my non-specific, difficult-to-measure, perhaps unattainable and unrealistic, completely intangible list of goals for my 31st year:
  1. Win a contest of some kind
  2. Do something, preferably regularly (weakly? hardy har...), that makes me feel stronger or healthier
  3. Solve some sort of mystery
  4. Do something, or several things, to help relocate my mojo
  5. Overcome some type of challenge, obstacle, or fear
  6. Don’t act my age every once in a while
  7. Question the truth behind truisms - think critically
  8. Have a brush with greatness
  9. Live out the lyrics of a song
  10. Go on an adventure
  11. Cut someone some slack
  12. Be honest about something when it would be easier to keep my mouth shut
  13. Replace something (or several things) on this list with other (open-ended) (or not!) goals as I see fit
What do you think, Internets? Do you think I'm dooming myself to failure, or do you think I'm on to something? Do you have any goals (specific or vague) that you want to achieve in the new year or before your next birthday?


miss petite america said...

LOVE this and your outlook! i too get so focused on "achieving" and crossing things off that i sometimes look back and think geez why didn't just have fun!

Laura said...

What song??? I think that is the best goal on this list :) Although my inner Nancy Drew loves the mystery one as well.

Kim said...

I think it's totally obtainable. Just pick out the right song to live by...that one could get messy. :)