Target Practice

Back when the year began I set out upon journey that I soon departed from. I envisioned a better future for myself and drafted a series of goals–but somewhere between then and now I wandered astray and haven’t been able to make much progress on the goals I set out to achieve.

I’ve run into a number of challenges since then, both internal and external, but I’m back in a sound mind again and I’m waiting to play this symphony to completion. Today is target practice for me–a time to shoot some arrows and see where they land. More than half the year remains, and I can step back upon the path I want to follow.

All I have to do is see where I stand today and make sure I’m looking in the right direction to keep moving forward.

From Health to Wellness

At the LeaderShape Institute I met a fellow student whose vision is a world where we foster wellness instead of treating illness, and it’s made me reconsider how I look at my own health: When I think of “Health,” I think of something clinical, beyond myself. When I frame this goal as a manifestation of wellness, it’s immediately clear my focus is on bettering my life and becoming a happier, more alive being.

My new goal until the end of June is to be in bed by one o’clock every night; I will allow myself to read or write once there, under the condition I put everything away by two so I can sleep well. Furthermore, I need to make sure I’m up by ten every morning to make going to bed easier. I am also reincorporating journaling into my wellness goals: Daily reflection is how I process stress in my life and it allows me to approach new situations with a mental clarity I desperately need to have to live a fulfilling life.

An Expression of Strength

“Fitness” should naturally fall under wellness, since at its core it’s another way of fortifying myself physically to lead an energized and strong life, but since I have specific fitness goals, it makes more logical sense to let it stand separately. I also have a new reason to be fit: Service. If I can build my running strength, I can participate in charity walks and runs–like the Krispy Kreme Challenge. If I can be stronger and more balanced overall, I can also dive into Dance Marathon–and keep moving all night for a good cause.

There’s also a two-fold enrichment factor here, whether I like to admit it or not: First, when I’m in good shape, I have more self-confidence, and this enables me to push myself further in all areas of my life. Second, it’s well-known scientifically that a healthy look makes people more attractive to others, and additional studies show that attractive people are perceived as being more influential and likeable–traits that will further enable me to connect with others, to share my passions and recruit others to the causes I champion. I’ll admit it sounds shallow and underhanded, but if it can help create a better world for the people I care about, it’s certainly too important to ignore.

This month I want to push myself to exercise three times a week, incorporating running, weight training, and Pilates and yoga. Since I don’t have classes to work around, I want to establish these habits so I can maintain them more easily when my schedule is less flexible.

All About the Blogging

Three and half years ago I had a vision of starting a blog to share my thoughts and stories with others, and when this year began, I drafted a goal to make my words reach further than before. However, this superficial understanding of the place of blogging in my life isn’t helping me inspire others–it’s helping me produce content. I don’t want to be just another producer in an ocean of digital information. I want to provide a service to others that makes a difference in the lives of others–but right now, I don’t know how my blog accomplishes this.

Therefore, I’ve put on hold my goals to expand my readership. Ironically, some time ago I reached one of my goals for the year when I gained my one hundredth follower–so even though I’m taking a slight detour, I’ve also decided to expand my goal to now reach 200 followers by the end of the year.

My next step is a total rebranding of the Writingwolf: Words and Wonders. By the summer’s end, this site will have a new and unrecognizable look–but before I can create that, I need to do some inner work pinpointing my vision for this project and where it stands in the schema of my lifelong passions and goals. I can’t say much now, but trust me, the Writingwolf is about to be entirely rewritten.

Academic Integrity

I set two goals for myself when the year began: Obtain my Visionary Leadership Certificate and maintain my good grades. On April 23, I achieved the first, and on May 10, I failed the latter when I lost my cumulative 4.0. It’s fascinating, though, I’m alright with that–and even more fascinating: the class that should’ve broken my GPA with a B+ wasn’t at fault; instead it was the A- I received in creative writing.

I recently realized that learning is one of my core values, and as a way of measuring my commitment to this I cherish my high GPA; however, my grades themselves don’t ultimately indicate the level of understanding and knowledge I’ve gained from a class. I earned an A- in economics, and although I’ve since forgotten most of what I learned, I’ve retained enough knowledge to approach other topics with the necessary understanding. And that B+ in abstract algebra? It doesn’t really capture the love I held for the class or the vastness of what I learned throughout the semester. I still strive for a 4.0, but I’ve learned that it’s only a figurehead–it really isn’t the force that compels me always to open myself to learning in any way I can.

No matter, this summer I’m making an independent inquiry into analysis. It’s the most-feared undergraduate math course in State’s curriculum, and I want to ensure that I perform at my very best this fall. So far, it’s been quite fun working through the text I’ve been given–a lot like solving puzzles, really–and so my goal is to do one problem every day until the summer ends.

The Return of Wellness

Another way to bolster my wellness is through indulging myself in activities that relax my soul, inspire my mind, and expand my awareness: Namely, I mean reading and writing. I’ve made progress just in the past month toward reading six books this year, and my work on my mythology will inevitably be reprised in the future–but perhaps not as immediately and extensively as I’d hoped when the year began, but certainly it won’t remain unfinished forever.

I’ve decided to put my myths on hold to instead work on the reflection book about my trip to Belize. It was so much more amazing than I could have imagined, and I want to create a true experience to share with each of my donors who enabled me to go. I’ve given myself the next three months to perfect it, so I’ll need to focus my creative potential on this project for a while to truly express my intense gratitude for all that they’ve done.

It’s About More Than Me

The truth is all of these goals are only a fraction of the goals I hold close to my heart–these are simply those goals which relate directly to me. If I were to name here all the goals related to the GLBT community, issues of hunger and sustainability, and service to society, this post would easily be two or three times as long as it is. My passions for building a better world overflow from within me to touch everyone in my life and everyone beyond it–but to achieve any of these goals, I must first take a stand to take care of myself.

And these goals? They’re my plan to do that.

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