on Goals

Rustic Bread

To my knowledge, I’ve kept one New Year’s Resolution in my life.  It was to make a loaf of bread a week until I had sufficiently mastered the skill.  It was about mid-April when I felt I had achieved my goal.

The accolades for goal setting are everywhere, though you won’t hear them stem from my mouth.  Every year, I set goals.  General ones like “spend more time with the kids” in addition to specific ones like “publish one blog post per week”.  Of the hundreds of goals I’ve set, kneading the dough week after week is the only one I can remember completing.

And hopefully this one: to write daily.  Except for Sundays.  Sunday is, truly, my day to sabbath, to rest.  And if I write it will be restful, soul-rejuvenating, selfish writing.  Not goal-satisfying writing.  Now that I’ve decided I’m a writer, just because I said so, it seems only proper that I should probably take up writing.  Often.  And maybe change my Facebook profession to “Writer”.  Hang on, I’m going to do that now.  Done.  That felt surprisingly good.  And a little bit silly.  But mostly good.

And though my track record doesn’t boast much success, I’m also striving to finish 15 books that I’ve previously started, which according to my calculations is less than half on my currently-reading list.  I’ve already finished 2:

Permanent Midnight by Jerry Stahl which I started in high school and loved so much that I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it.  Even after I did a few days ago, I felt deeply sad and a bit regretful.  I told myself I could start it over, but it’s just not the same.  It’s good – graphic and raw and insane – but good.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp which I started a year or two ago and have struggled to get through.  My mom wasn’t one to tout “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything all”.  Her chant was more along the lines of “You can say anything so long as you do it with a smile on your face”.  So picture me smiling as I say this to you: While I thoroughly enjoyed & agreed with her theological challenge & the implications of a renewed lifestyle based on thanksgiving, I found her writing style to be a distraction. It seemed to muddle her meanings rather than clarify or embody them. She breaks almost every grammar rule, stretches vocabulary, & paints a world thick with useless imagery. I would have much preferred that she used a more standard style to portray her message, instead of wrapping a profound Biblical truth in gaudy verbosity.  I still gave it 4 stars, if that makes you hate me less.  It might make you hate me more, though.  Either way, it’s my opinion and I’ve already told you, I’m a tough critic.

I’m also aiming to finally finish my chronological Bible reading plan of the ESV.  It’s only taken me 2+ years so far to get through most of the 1-year plan, but I wasn’t really trying to finish it in a year anyway.  No, really.  That one isn’t a failed resolution – it’s just slow and sad progression.  I highly recommend reading the scripture through chronologically, though.  It’s been so fascinating for me and helped pull lots of things together that I didn’t previously see connected.  Like most great books, I’ll actually be quite sad to finish this one.

This year I’m going for realistic.  Maybe this will be the year that I add one more #NailedIt goal to my list of one.

What are you hoping to achieve in 2016?

10 comments… add one
  • Joanne Jan 8, 2016

    I enjoyed read your great writer.

  • Corrie Jan 7, 2016

    1. I love that you’re writing!
    2. I felt the same way about 1000 Gifts. I couldn’t even finish it.

    • alecia stanley Jan 7, 2016

      It feels sick to be so excited that you felt the same way, but screw it … YAY!! I just couldn’t get over it. I loved, loved her theological content – just hated her writing. Sad, really.

      • Corrie Jan 7, 2016

        I’m just glad I’m not the only one! I felt I had to keep that inside for so long. HA!

  • Carol Jan 8, 2016

    In 2016 my goal is to move into my own house and give the master suite that I am now living in back to my daughter and her hubby.

    • alecia stanley Jan 8, 2016

      Haha!! We’re excited for you to have your own space again, too, though we’re not eager to kick you out of the main house! ☺️

  • Del Dee Hindman Jan 8, 2016

    I agree with your musings on the Chronological Bible. It is very eye opening to read Scripture in this fashion. I adopted this measure of Bible reading about four years ago and have read through the scripture two times now in this format. I’m always amazed at how the Holy Spirit illumines new things each time. Keep up the good work!

    • alecia stanley Jan 8, 2016

      Thank you, Del Dee!! Not surprising to know we agree in our approaches to Scripture 🙂

Leave a Comment

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)