Monday, January 12, 2015

Our Life: 2015 Revolutions

I know there are a ton of anti-New-Years-Resolution folks out there, and I mean I get it. In a way it's arbitrary, right? Why wait until January 1 to set a goal because let's be real resolution is just a fancy word for goal. Around our house we set goals all the time, and say what you will, but we actually like setting resolutions each year. Sometimes we miss the mark, like my physical resolution last year was to run a half marathon. Then I got pregnant again pretty much straight away and run a half went out the window.

I think the calendar changing is just a great time to find your motivation and set yourself up for success. We like to set goals in multiple areas of our life (in fact we call these our Five Pillars). Breaking it down makes it seem more manageable. The Five Pillars that create The Foundation of a person according to the Riley family are as follows (names of these categories are still evolving as we work on our goal setting system): Family, Moral/Faith, Financial/Career, Physical, and Philanthropy

We posit that you cannot set huge goals for change in every pillar of your life all at once. These categories are the sum of who you are as a person; it's beyond measure to believe you can fundamentally change who you are at the core in one fail swoop. Instead, set goals that are achievable and reach for major changes in one sector of your life at a time. 

Which brings me to my next point: Measurable Goals
One of my good friends and I were running, and she told me, "this year I want to be a better Christian." Super. That's awesome! But a measurable goal it is not. I quickly asked her, "what do you mean by that?" Because the meaning of good Christian can mean something different to each of us. Instead I challenged her to maybe try out a bible study. Did I suggest that she try going every week? No. I suggested that she try out three this year. Why? Why would I not push her to do more? Because small failures inhibit most of our big success. 

I believe that if my friend is capable of trying out a bible study group, but she's also busy and in school.  It seems a lot more realistic to suggest a number that isn't daunting because if she goes to three chances are she will keep hunting for the right spot.

Really we could make the goal even better and say on Sunday I am going to attend x church. That's measurable, 

Let's take my physical goal from last year that also happens to be this years goal: run a half marathon. Well bully for me; sounds great. The questions that follow your big idea goal are when? And how? A much better goal is I will run the Cowtown Half in February. I'm doing this by running 3-5 miles 3-4 days a week with a long run on the weekend. That is much more than a goal: it's a plan. 

We have several big idea goals in the hopper that we aren't quite sure how to break down, yet. One of them is actually to write a book, this book. I know you're probably shocked - or really probably not. Sam and I are passionate about helping others to become stronger in this area. We are by no means perfect, but we think our system work (especially for high school students who might otherwise never think about these things this way), and we are hopeful that someday maybe it could grow into a professional development opportunity for us. Who knows? It could just be writing practice for me and that works, too. 

Without further ado here are our 2015 Resolutions... 

Family: Monthly Date Night 
Moral/Faith: Tithe, read the bible
Financial/Career: Budget, pay off medical debt, create a system that works for paying off bills
Physical: run a half marathon (Cowtown), create a weekly workout schedule 
Philanthropy: volunteer at church (this is the foggiest one for us so far because that's so vague. Once our new church campus opens closer to the house we are thinking this will be a little easier for us.)

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