Happy New Year!
And I sincerely do hope that it is a year full of love and joy for all of us- individually and collectively. We have achieved great things at UUCL this year because we have expressed our values of love, connection, and transformation through our generosity of time, talent, and treasure. And, because we set goals and worked towards them together.
Indeed, it is that time of year again that we, in this American culture, make resolutions and set goals. I get excited when I think about setting goals with all of you, at board and committee meetings (is that strange? Maybe that’s why I do this…), but I tend to grumble and roll my eyes when it comes to setting my own personal goals. Yes, I know I need to exercise and eat healthier; yes, my house needs some serious organizing; yes, a financial spreadsheet would be a great thing to actually follow through on. Whatever. I don’t ever do so well on these vague goals that I set every year, so why bother again this year?
But the truth is, if I don’t do the things I need to care for and improve myself, I’m no good to anyone else. So, here we go again. Let’s give it another try!
I found this article that talks about SMART goals: https://www.developgoodhabits.com/goals/
I printed out the SMART goal worksheet and I’m going to use one for each of the categories that she suggests. But the category I want to emphasize here is that of “spirituality goals”. The author, Connie Stemmle, writes: “Your spirituality goals will help you work toward a better life on your journey toward self-actualization. Setting goals in this domain will help you live in line with your values, which means that these goals will be highly individualized in nature. To start setting these goals, explore your beliefs and consider the big questions that you want answered, such as what is your why?”
That really resonates with me on two levels. First, because she talks about living in line with our values. If we don’t discern what our own personal values are, if we don’t live in line with what we think we value, we live with internal conflict, indecisiveness, and unclear goals. That’s why we’ve spent a great deal of time at UUCL discerning our values. It makes for clear communication and goal setting. Being clear with ourselves on a personal level will help us get to know our own selves better and improve our relationships and quality of life. Second, she asked “what is your why?” Not long ago, I talked about the “Golden Circle” in a worship service. In the middle of the Golden Circle is the why- why do we exist? We ask this question as we write a mission statement that enfolds our values and informs all that we do as a religious organization. You can have your own personal mission statement, too. It’s not going to give you answers to those ultimate existential questions (because nobody has those answers) but it will certainly help you build meaning as you continue your search and bring much personal joy as you successfully make choices that help you live into your why.
I hope you find this information invigorating to your goal setting as we begin 2020. I encourage you to print out the SMART goal worksheet, too. Then, if you feel comfortable, share with me and with each other. Perhaps we can even create a gathering in which we plan a ritual and create sacred space around these personal goal setting, value discerning, mission creating activities, encouraging each other to be our best selves.
Take care this New Year. Hope to see you soon, on the first Sunday of 2020!