Yesterday I talked about goals vs. dreams, and how we relate to them differently.
The funny thing is that sometimes we do set ourselves goals, and we forget them. Yesterday, I found a list, meticulously written out in a friend’s handwriting, from a goal-setting exercise we once did. It’s a 2-column grid, with five boxes on each side. The boxes range from “Now” to “50 years” and most of them have 3 or 4 items listed. It’s dated January 7, 2002, and it was neatly tucked away in a drawer, long forgotten.
I looked over this list and I was fascinated by what’s on it. The “1 year” box, for instance, includes, “New car.” Now, I know I wasn’t desperately in need of a new car in January of that year. I am pretty sure that I put it down as much for something to fill the space as because hey, why not? But I also know that in August of 2002, I sold my Saturn and picked up the Honda I’ve been driving ever since.
Then there’s the “10 year” box, which includes “travel abroad or living in a foreign country.” Well, I never managed the latter, but I did get to London three years in a row between 2002 and now. And “write a full length play or novel” is in that box, too. I finished my MFA thesis novel in 2009 (and revised it in 2010)—neatly within the ten year timespan.
It’s not a perfect science
Not everything on the list has happened, of course. I have to laugh when I see that I thought I was going to resolve all my “childhood crap” in a year. (Was it going to be tied up in a pretty red bow, too?) And just over ten years later, I’m still living in a condo, not a house.
Still, I have to wonder if the fact that I wrote these things down 11 years ago somehow primed the gears to make them happen on some subconscious level. Or maybe they were dreams I had that I hadn’t fully articulated, even when I made the list? I don’t know. I do know that the list makes me think of a book I have (but have not yet read) called Write It Down, Make It Happen. Coincidence? I don’t know about that, either, but I am thinking perhaps I should live it up and read the book!
What are your goals and dreams? Have you written any of them down, even if you don’t take some of them all that seriously? I’d love to hear your experiences, especially if you’ve ever found a list like mine.