One of the good things about goals is that they have the potential to become habits.
My list of goals this past year was probably the most specific and complete set of goals I've ever compiled. Reflecting on where I've been and where I'm headed, I'm happy with how they've steered me. And some of these have indeed become habits.
One of which was to "Send at least one hand written note a week."
My handwritten/snail mail correspondence had diminished in recent years, to a sad state. I wanted to turn that around.
At first, taking time to sit down and write a note was a deliberate, conscious task. A friend even suggested taking a weekly photo for accountability - I loved that! It helped me get on track.
Then after a few months, I stopped paying attention to what day it was. I didn't always take a picture. I was writing snail mail regularly again, at random and often, because I enjoy it. Because the goal had become a habit!
I wrote to my grandma, like I used to in the days before social media, and to
tell her that the smell of Fruit Loops takes me back to mornings in her kitchen as
a kid. I wrote to say thank you. For kindness. To individuals who
inspire me. To my mom for "just about everything." I wrote to a young
Marine in training at boot camp, a friend of our sons, who wrote back
in the dark from his cot. I wrote to my aunt in Iowa, to
thank her for smiling, for her laugh (it's a dandy) and that birthday cake she made
me when I was about 9. I wrote to my niece and nephew on a typewriter I
got for $3. I wrote to our kids' first grade teacher (our kids teachers have been some of our favorite humans and lasting friends.. I'm grateful. ) I encouraged the kids to write, too. I wrote notes to friends I think of
much more more than I see. I wrote to someone special who's not technically a mom on Mother's Day. I carried postcard stamps with me on vacation and visited post offices in far away places.
I got into the habit of writing down gratitude or a memory on a whim, sealing it up in an envelope for someone else to open.
In fulfilling my intention to write more to others, I was practicing the
simple act of gratitude as well. A win/win in the habit department.
A small helping of the photos I snapped before heading to the mailbox..
"Beginning today, make it a habit to count your blessings everyday."
I haven't set new goals this January. I'm happy with the path I'm on with my current ones. My long term, big picture goals are more along the lines of my ideas to live by.
But I suppose I might replace the smaller quota based goals that have now become habits with new ones. I really, really, want to get back to writing here regularly as I used to.
Maybe stating that goal and going after it will get me back in the habit of making time.
You know what hinders me the most in that department? I have so much I want to share. So much going on around me, I'm learning and thinking. I went into writing this wanting to cover all of the goals I'd made last year and where I'm at with them. Part of my goal should be rationing. Dividing my thoughts, writing, and ideas up into doable amounts, little by little. I think that subconsciously I've been working on that. Being consciously aware can only help.
So I'll leave my thoughts on a dozen other things for later.. :)
Peace, Love, and the Making of New Habits,