gotta walk in one direction or another

2 April 2009

Yesterday on the bus I’m reading a new magazine, the first of a subscription my sister Jane ordered for me before she went back to the UK.  It’s called “Clean Eating” and it really is a lovely read, full of luscious looking ideas for healthy, “clean” meals.  Anyway, I’m reading the editorial page and I’m caught up in my tracks.  The editor is writing about a recent visit to her doctor, in which the doctor hits her with an unexpected question:  “What’s your five year plan?”

The piece went on to discuss her thoughts of a five year plan, and included those of several of the magazine’s contributors, all of which were based on pursuing a healthier, more wholesome life.  And this is great, but I was struck by the idea on a broader level.

Setting goals is something I am always getting after my writing students with.  I believe you take faster, more defining steps toward achieving your dreams if you actually set those dreams out.  Write them down; itemize them, categorize them.  I believe in this theory because I know it to be true based on my own experiences.  I know that during the happiest periods of my life I had definitive goals to work towards – whether they be related to creative endeavours or major life changes.

And yesterday, sitting on the bus, I was hit over the head with the realisation that I haven’t thought about my own personal goals or any such five year plan in a long time.  I was caught up, thinking, “where do I want to be in five years’ time?”  Like the writer in the magazine, the answers that immediately came up were rather lame, vague ideas about health and career.

So this is something that’s going to take some serious writing and thought to work out.  I need a fresh list.  Big and small; long term and short term.  I think it merits a new ‘carry around’ journal.  I have some old holdover goals with which to start – but it’s time to reassess, and refocus.  Where DO I want to be in five years?

It’s a scary question, full of wonderful possibilities.

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