The Strangest Goal Story
In 2012 I set a goal for my family. I wrote it down. But here is the crazy thing, I forgot about it and nearly 4 years have gone by. Our life took some unexpected twists from the time I wrote the post I am about to share with you... And yet, the goal was reached!
We always knew we wanted a trailer but, the specifics of this goal left my mind as I adjusted to becoming a mother for the second time and welcoming 3 more children to our home shortly there after. I just ran across this post I wrote in 2012 and my heart jumped as I read it. We are already 8 months passed achieving the goal before even realizing how specifically we achieved it
My goal was to own a trailer by a specific month and year, and by the looks of it I wanted a pretty expensive trailer! Here is the crazy thing....We paid cash for a trailer in the exact month and year that I wrote down. Thankfully we didn't even spend 1/3 of the price I intended to spend!
Here is the exact post I wrote in June 2012: (or read it here in the archives.)
Baby, The Thing About Turtles, and 3 Steps to Reaching a Life Goal
I haven't been on here in awhile but it is great to be on the keypad again. I didn't realize how much I missed writing.
Life changing things have been happening in the last couple of months. I am a mom again!
I gave birth to another precious son on April 20th, 9 days early. Who knew my heart has the capacity to contain so much love?! My boys are my world and there is often very little time for quiet thoughts let alone writing.
My hubby generously offered to take both boys out this afternoon leaving me with the house to myself. I must admit that a nap would be a welcome use of my time and even the thought makes my eyelids heavy, but I want to write. So here I am!
Summer is just starting and that has got me thinking about none other than:
As a child I was fascinated with turtles. I used to imagine what the home inside their shell would have looked like, a comfy chair beside a cozy little fireplace. Being that I was painfully shy as a child, I often heard of my need to come out of my shell. I actually longed for that shell I was accused of hiding in. Unfortunately, I was born without a shell.
As it was, I often felt overly exposed and vulnerable. The more you poke at or, however well intentioned, badger a turtle the longer it stays in it's shell. You don't convince a turtle of the need to come out from it's shell; you just let it be and it comes out on it's own, when it feels safe enough to.
The shell is their camouflage, protection, and comfortable home. No matter where they go in the world, the security of home is only a moment away. That's not how shy feels. Shy feels like a turtle or snail missing it's shell. Very uncomfortable. I guess shy feels more like a slug, very exposed and thinking everyone notices it.
I would still consider myself a little shy, but much more comfortable. Perhaps as I have gotten older, I finally began to grow that shell that I was accused so often of being stuck in. I am more secure and less sensitive about how I think I am being perceived. I am convinced that those who are very outgoing are the ones with a shell. They have the ability to make themselves at home wherever they are.
The shell fascination continues into my adulthood only now I am interested in owning a trailer. I dream of my family and I on our way to wherever the road takes us, home in tow. In reality, this is not a new idea for me. I have talked about it for at least 10 years and have thought about it for many more.
I am able to say with certainty that I have been talking about this for at least 10 years because next month is my 10th wedding anniversary and it is something my hubby and I have talked about our entire married life and perhaps longer.
So, in 10 years what have I done to pursue this life goal?.......Nothing. Not one single thing. Ok, last year I did do one thing to try and achieve this goal. I entered a few drawings to win a trailer. What I won was an increase in spam e-mail. Other than that, it is just something I talk about.
This makes me kinda sad. I am a pretty goal oriented person and if I would have started taking strides toward this goal, even small ones, ten years ago; I would probably have that trailer by now. As it is, here we are starting another summer season sans trailer.
The other thing I like about turtles is they are slow but steady. Think about the fable, The Tortoise and The Hare. We all know that the tortoise wins not by speed but by intentionality and endurance. Even as pets, turtles are known to escape and be rediscovered far from their home. They may not seem fast but by consistent movement they cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
I would love to just snap my fingers and cause this dream to become a reality. The scary thing is I probably could. We live in a society that teaches the virtues of The Tortise but is far more enamored with The Hare. I could probably go out right now and 'buy' a trailer. This is very tempting.
That isn't how I want to reach this goal.
Step 1: Define the goal.
Give the goal a name. Part of the reason I don't own a trailer right now is that I have never actually said that it is one of my life goals. It was just something I talked about. Here is mine:
We will own a trailer.
Step 2: Set a time frame.
Sometimes setting a time frame is scary. We think that if we don't reach the goal by that date we are failures. For me, 10 years have gone by and I still don't have a trailer. That isn't exactly winning. Had I given myself a time frame 10 years ago I guarantee that I would be closer to reaching my goal today. Right now, I haven't moved towards this goal at all. I will give myself 3 years to reach this goal.
We will own a trailer in June 2015.
Step 3: Take action.
I wish I could just speak my goals into being. It's just not that easy. Now that I have a goal I have to start heading toward it. I am adding a measurable action step to my goal so I can see my progress.
We will own a trailer in June 2015 by contributing $5,000 towards it into a dedicated savings account every year for 3 years.
Now, obviously I am leaving out a lot of details. Those details can be seen as mini goals. How will I raise the $5,000 dollars every year? I will give monthly updates on this blog. I may end up failing at this, but I am positive that I will cover more ground toward owning a trailer in 3 years than I have in 10 simply because I have taken these 3 steps.
Do you have any dreams waiting in the wings? Is there something you have talked about forever but haven't done anything with? How can you apply these steps to help you on your way? Any tips or advice for me as I start this journey?
This really amazes me! I don't really know what to even say about it. Goals aren't usually something you achieve by 'set it and forget it,' but, hey whatever works. I will say that the simple act of writing the goal down probably set my mind toward a trailer more definitely. I surely didn't remember the date I set nor did I somehow come up with $5000 dollars per year to put toward it!
I will continue to write specific goals with dates attached...why not! I will also try not to forget about them. I hope you have fun goals for your family too.
Thanks for reading!
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