Goal setting is something we read about and hear about on a regular basis. For some, goal setting is a stressor. For others, a goal is a stress reliever.   I fall into the second group. I make lists, set goals, and complete New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, my lists some time have their own lists.  I have a list for each season of things to do with the kids. I have a lifelong love of list making and goal setting.

Life is short and hectic and I use goal setting as a way to be organized, as a way to make sure I remember what needs to be done and a way not to lose my sense of self in the hectic world of family life. If it is on the list, it must be done.

I use goal setting mostly for self-improvement such as relationship improvement or being healthier. Other times, I use goal setting as a bucket list.   The making of the list or selecting goals is very therapeutic for me. I often go to a quiet, favorite place like a coffee shop, library or park. I ask myself a few questions: What do I want to improve? What do I hope to accomplish? What makes me unhappy?   Each of these questions open up a world of brainstorming for me.

With Sharpie in hand and a full legal pad, I just write. After several minutes, I am ready to devise the list and the plan to accomplish my goals. This process is so freeing for me. It allows my creative juices to flow and to travel back to childhood and remember dreams I have left behind. It is a wonderful process. I use the SMART goal setting plan to assist me with the process.

        S    Specific

        M   Measureable

        A   Action Oriented

        R   Realistic

        T   Time Bound

My action plan varies from goal to goal. Long-term goals tend to get lost with me, but I have been working to complete more of these types of goals. Journaling has been an effective tool and timelines have worked wonders.   It has been so much fun for me to work through my 50 at 50 List.

I have almost half complete. There are items that I have loved completing and will absolutely do again – such as giving blood and writing monthly letters to people who have impacted my life in a special way. There are ones that I am glad I tried but will probably not try again like Tai Chi and Zip Lining. There are list items that took very little effort like signing up for AARP and others that were very time consuming such as learning about other religions-still in progress goal.

The list kind of forces my hand. I would never have attended a rodeo if not for the list. Life is so busy and little thoughts about trying something may get lost. Last weekend, I trotted Ben out to Adel County and we attended the rodeo. To our chagrin, we liked it a lot. Ben tried something new that night also besides the rodeo. He tried and LOVED home-made ice cream. It certainly beat the heck out of sitting on the couch watching a movie.

The List

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.



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