Brain Dump: Goals

This might look like I've gone off the rails, but I've reached a point in time where I need to do a brain dump and gather my thoughts in one place. Skip if it you're so inclined. I'll never know.

Every month I look at thes dream map that I made in a Live & Learn way back in October 07. Here are the bridges (goals) I had made then:
  • Relearn Spanish
    • Um, I bought Spanish for Dummies or something like's on the coffee table...I don't remember even cracking it open.
  • Get my CMA
    • Done, 2009
  • Visit a new destination every year
    • This is happening on an every-other-year basis, roughly, I think, maybe. Haven't kept track.
  • Buy a house in the country
    • Still saving for it.
  • Adopt a dog
    • Yeah, we tried this with sweet little Buddy. Didn't work out with our tiny house and tiny non-fenced yard. And giant lack of patience.
  • Run a marathon
    • Done, of course!
  • Volunteer regularly
    • I've spent several years on the United Way & Relay for Life committees at TS, and recently the LAPW Philanthropic committee.

I've been thinking lately about updating the dream map, or really just getting some new goals down on paper, especially after reading all this Stephen Covey & assorted motivational stuff.

You know, I want to figure out what I should be when I grow up.

What might I remove?
  • Get my CMA - it's done!
  • Run a marathon - it's done!
  • Re-learn Spanish. I've been asking myself: WHY do I want to re-learn Spanish? Because it made me feel smart, and I feel a little dumber having lost it all. Really no other reason, though maybe it would be an advantageous job skill some day. But how much time am I inclined to invest in it? Clearly 4+ years later I'm still not jonesing to get to that book. But perhaps I could use this fancy-schmancy iPod to get an audio version. Or maybe I just shelve it and let it go. Can't decide.

What might I add?
  • Fitness stuff
    • I love to lift & love to run, and I have so many running/lifting goals that Dustin has to pull on the reins quite often - something like "Achieve fitness goals" would encompass the 8 dozen sub-goals
    • I love reading about nutrition, hormones, etc, but I am not sure whether there is a goal in here. "Keep learning" could be a sub-goal. "Create a healthy relationship with food" might be big enough to be a stand-alone goal.
  • Develop some leadership skills. I've been told at TS that "they" consider me potential leadership material. The very idea scares the crap out of me: I think I'd be terrible at it. But maybe not. Maybe they see something in me that is not terrible. So maybe I should work on the skills I feel like I'm totally lacking and then decide whether it's terrifying.
  • Side jobs. I could seek out more QuickBooks, Excel, etc, work to start moving toward the "someday" plan of doing that full-time.
    • But I really do love working at TS and honestly can't picture leaving in the foreseeable future.
    • On the other hand, even if "someday" is 15 years away, would it hurt to start gathering more experience now?
    • On the other hand (three hands!), the economy sucks and DSAs as a whole are tanking and who knows, TS could tank, and then wouldn't it be great to have this side business half-started?

What might I change?
  • New destination every year. How about just "Vacation every year"? I went almost nowhere in 2011 (other than a few long weekends: Fargo for the marathon, Cedar Lake, Duluth Train & Stay in October, Fargo over Thanksgiving) and I daresay it was reflected in my state of mind. An exciting new locale isn't that important compared to just getting away, off-schedule, and relaxing.
  • Buy a house in the country AND adopt a dog. Make it two in one!
  • Volunteer regularly...what if I got specific here and really concentrated on something like Girls on the Run?
    • Running has impacted my own self-esteem & confidence so much that my sole regret is that I didn't start earlier. I can only imagine what kind of impact it would've had on me if I had taken up running as a kiddo. To my knowledge nothing like this exists locally. I don't really know how I'd pursue the idea; I do know that an official local GOTR chapter isn't worth doing, as it's an unbelivable $7500 fee to start it up, and no, I am not missing a decimal in there. Maybe through the Y or school or community ed or something?
    • would be a lot of work, and I'm no expert in non-profits or working with kids or even teaching others to run.
    • But...I would love love love to be involved in something like this.

Most importantly: Do any of the goals conflict with each other?

Uh, yes.

How many hours are there in a day? Not enough to do all of this. I know that I have more enthusiasm than energy, and I can't go down all of these roads at the same time.

I am pretty darn sure it's not possible to work a FT job, a side job, a tax-season side job, seek out new job skills, train for marathons, train like a powerlifter (wait, have I earned the right to say train "as" a powerlifter?), learn another language, volunteer a bunch, and get enough sleep and relaxing downtime (oh HAI, friends, family, husband! we've got 3.72 minutes to catch up. GO!) and still stay sane. If I try to do it all, something will give...and, knowing me, that's going to be my sanity.

It's difficult to admit, but I cannot actually be Wonder Woman.

So, I need to figure out a focus area for the immediate future...and put the rest of the ideas on the back burner. I don't have to throw them out entirely; I can keep them in mind be open to opportunities that develop, but there's simply no way to have all of them on full boil at once.

But I honestly don't know what to focus on.

And I probably shouldn't worry about any of it until tax/Boston season ends. (81 days!!!)

However, I have a historical tendency to think I'll get going on something once tax season ends...but once it does I have zero drive/motivation and I just want to be and relax and then pretty soon it's December and I've done nothing I wanted to do. Rinse and repeat, year after year.

If you've got feedback, advice, any opinion whatsoever, do share - I'd love to have a knowledge bomb or two dropped on my curly head. Maybe one of my beloved friends reading this has insight into me that I'm simply too close to see.

Also, did I just write up a super long post with no swearing?

Holy shit, I did!




  1. I've just realized I've lost a document that I'm going to have to re-create so, I'm procrastinating and posting a comment for you because, understand.

    Ok, you're already going in this direction, but let's discuss. How long do you think you will live? So, maybe you have a little bit of time left to finish your plethora of goals, barring any unforeseen and unfortunate happenings? MmmmK. So, 0-5 year goals, 5-10 year goals and so on and so forth. Is leadership a 0-5 year goal or 5-10 year goal? Would leadership help you whether you are employed at your current employer only? Don't think so. Go for it. Because, I too see your leadership ability. There are some things that are not enjoyable about leadership, but there are some things pretty much in every job that are not enjoyable.

    Fitness goals. I'm pretty sure you've got this. You are lucky to have someone to reign you in so, keep dreaming and keep trusting the Chief to do his job and reign you in.

    Spanish? Yeah, I don't know. I would donate your book during the next Simply Sharing event.

    Volunteering. You excel at this and you can aspire to start that chapter here with the help of running friends and other friends who have knowledge of running non-profits. This might be more of a 5-10 year goal. I did my accounting internship at Make-A-Wish Foundation so, I can offer the knowledge I have. It's not much, but it's something. Plus, you have access to others that know more.

    I think a vacation every year, like a real frickin vacation is reasonable. Like a week. Off. Away. Not just home. Doesn't need to be far. There's some really cool places within a few hours from here. And, when you can better afford a vacay away, take a damn plane somewhere. I am getting the info for a vacay with the kids to Hawaii. I can't afford it right now, but I want the info so I can start planning or it will never happen.

    I don't know if I covered everything, but you get the general idea. Hope there was at least one valuable nugget in here for you :)

  2. Thank you for replying to this! Helpful specifics. I like.