Thinking About Goals for 2011

I’ve been thinking about what my goals are for this coming year. I don’t know if these would constitute “resolutions,” I’ve never been big on those, but here is what I have so far. I want to:

  1. Accomplish less. This past year was crammed jammed full of more things for me to do and keep busy with than was necessary. I am working hard to discern what I say yes to, what I commit myself to, and what I let go of. I want to be less busy, and I know that the only way to do this is by doing less and accomplishing less and I am okay with this. I don’t want to be the person who is too busy for those around me, and I don’t want the first thing out of my mouth to always be “I’ve been so busy.”
  2. Mono-task more. Fernando Gros was the one who tipped me off on the word, and it’s an idea I’ve been wrestling with for a few months now. Mono-tasking is simply “to perform one task at a time.” This is what I’m working on. I’ve gotten rid of my “smartphone” and am now sharing a cell-phone with my wife. I have scaled back my use of social-media. I have cleared off my desk so there is no computer staring at me all the time, helping me to focus on reading, writing and making phone calls, rather than using email/fb/twitter as the main way to communicate.
  3. Work on spiritual disciplines such as solitude, silence, journaling and prayer.
  4. Focus more on my immediate context and community. I have been someone who is deeply committed to a very extended community and while I have so many wonderful friends who live far away from me, I have realized that my friendships with people in walking and driving distance to me can actually suffer because of my attention else. Part of how I will do this is by worrying less about what is happening on the internet, part of this is trying to be more deliberate about who I connect with and where. I guess the big word for me on this is local. Other ways I will work on investing locally is by focusing, among other things, on a few commitments I have with the Northwest Yearly Meeting, limiting my flights to 1-2 trips this year, and walking and biking to more places.
  5. Lead less workshops and participate in less extracurricular activities. I hope to do well at Quaker Heritage Day and am really looking forward to that experience but it will be the only thing like this for 2011. These seems to be endless opportunities to travel away from home to do Quaker duties and while I have indulged in past years this year I really need to cut back. The only other speaking engagement I’ve committment myself to is for the Westhills Friends Church’s retreat. Otherwise, the things I’ll be doing will be things I can do close to home.
  6. Be a part of a mutual care and support committee and make myself more accountable to others.
  7. Read more, play with my kids more, spend more time with my wife, and sing and play my guitar more.
  8. Be silent more, listen more carefully, and “steward my power” better.
  9. I basically want to be more healthy, less rushed, and better focused on the people and things right in front of me. And I know that for me to do that, I have to actually scale back on other things I’m doing.
  10. Complete my comprehensive exams and get a majority of my dissertation completed.

Goals for me must start from the place of helping me be more healthy, and help me to do well as a father/husband, pastor, and doctoral student. And I think that these above focus on these three areas of my life.

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Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

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