Two Facts About Setting Goals
Our family endeavor as Trail Family has been one of the most stretching experiences for me. I used to be a float and fly free spirit. I was either floating through the calm times, or I was flying by the seat of my pants in chaotic times. However, a few years ago I was struck very poignantly that I need to set goals for myself and my family.
My fellow free spirits will understand that setting goals feels like buckling on your own straight jacket. Having a target is confining. If you don’t aim, you will miss it. Who wants to deal with failing all the time? You can follow #150hoursoutside to see what nudged me in the direction of being a goal setter.
The first major revelation for me was the process of breaking an objective down into manageable parts. Back to the straight jacket and archery analogies; goal-setting always felt like expecting the impossible from myself. I want to hit the bullseye, but I’m tied up! Our first-ever outdoor objective was to spend 150 hours outside during a calendar year. The founder of this project, Leah McDermott, set 150 hours as the goal because it averages about fifteen minutes per day.
Wow, only fifteen minutes! I can do that even on days when we are busy. Plus, I know there will be days when we are out for hours at a time. This goal was definitely within reach. We celebrated when we made it by the end of the year. We have far surpassed it in subsequent years.
My second major revelation about goal setting was to keep “why” in mind. Why are we making sure we get outside? Why am I putting this publishing deadline on myself? To stick with your goals, you need a big enough “why” to inspire you.
What inspires me to prioritize our time outside? Our health is one of our most precious possessions. Breathing fresh air, working our bodies; help us protect our health. Taking time away from screens refreshes our minds. I believe that making sure we spend time in nature is a healthy, nurturing activity for my family. In the same way that I assure a healthy meal on their plates, I plan a beneficial activity diet. Our health is a great big “why.”
There are so many beautiful sites to see that one could travel for ninety years and not see them all. God is a master artist who has crafted this bountiful world for us to enjoy! I want to see and experience the gorgeous places near and far. Building those memories with my family is another huge “why.”
We free spirits tend to be creative and occasionally flighty. One thing we especially don’t like is a constraint. But I’ve learned that if inspiration will have any feet, it needs a map to follow. All my great ideas about what our family life would be like were just daydreams until I learned to set goals.
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