Which in non-thug speak usually translates to: “I have a lot of checklists of things to do.”

Because somewhere in life my goals just turned into checklist items. Just between “buy more spinach” and “pay your bills today” is “read book #10 of 52 for the year.” Lame.

I found a list I started in November 2006 of things I wanted to accomplish. No deadline.

Keep in mind I was 16 at the time, but here’s a few:

  • #18 – Dye my hair
  • #24 – Go ice skating
  • #28 – Build a ship in a bottle (apparently even at 16 I was the biggest geek ever)
  • #68 – Speak in a world summit
  • #76 – Tell someone all my secrets
  • #99 – Finish the NYT crossword puzzle (another nerd alert!)
  • #125 – Go to the Olympics

I’m not sure when I quit adding to the list but I used to date things when they were accomplished…and apparently quit adding/crossing things off somewhere in 2009. Between ’09 and today I’ve crossed off maybe a dozen more things but it makes me wonder when the tipping point was that I stopped dreaming of one day speaking in a world summit and started considering “read the back log of magazines on your coffee table” an accomplishment.

Furthermore, is there a difference between goals and dreams? One day I dream of traveling the world. I dream of having enough money that I don’t have to have a budget. I dream of being a well known photographer. I dream¬†of getting married and starting a family.

Apart from that last dream (you can’t really plan that, can you?) why can’t dreams turn into feasible goals? (Or are they already and I’m just an idiot?) Why can’t “dream chaser” be on my CV?

When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life I made this childish but effective “dreams” brainstorming web where I listed everything I was even remotely interested in. And then I asked myself…what career combines as many as these as possible? And if there isn’t one, do you have the time/resources/energy to create your own job? (Like Sherlock Holmes being the only consulting detective in the world…”I invented the job.”)

circleoflifeAnd like the Heaven’s opening and the sun shining on baby Simba I had a general idea of what I where I wanted to take my life for now.

Good. Glad I have that sorted. Now…why aren’t I doing anything about it?

I’m not going to answer that tonight, even though I mostly know why. The point is that, just like all things this March, I’m feeling good. I once had goals and BIG things I wanted to accomplish. I now have crazy dreams and average to-do list items. And I’m going to work to combine the two.

I have a heap ton of work projects going on that often overflow and fill my time even when I’m not at work. And then I have a massive amount of personal projects and, you know, life to be getting on with. But I’m going to take some time re-evaluating. I obviously can’t ditch work projects (and thank the Lord I have a job I enjoy so I like working on projects in my free time) so I’m going to figure out which personal projects (read: checklist items) don’t fall into helping my overall life dreams and assign them a chunk of my time. For example, I usually get up at 8am to get in workout #1 of the day, make a liquid breakfast, and reply to emails/check the news. Checklist item #432582 is alphabetize the surplus of cleaning/bathroom products I have (read: stockpile). I’m deeply disturbed by disorganization but this has nothing to do with my life and it’s goals. So, if I want it to get done, I’ll wake up even earlier to do it. But I’m not giving away prime awake and alert time for something, dare I say, trivial. And yes, all these weird little things DO improve my quality of life (seriously…disorganization really disturbs me) but I’ve found that I can fill an entire weekend with goals that are really chores and Monday comes along and I realize I haven’t taken a single photo. Haven’t read a single page of a book. Double lame.

WOW this got long. (I feel like I’m emailing my old college roommate discussing life!)

In the end, it all comes down to the fact that I’m making a considerable effort this March/Lent to get my act together. To identify all the things that bring me stress and unhappiness and change them. To turn my dreams into goals into reality.

So whoever you are, wherever you’re at, if you’ve read this….I hope you’re further along in this realization than me. It seems daunting, identifying all your dreams and trying to break them down into manageable action items. But I have faith. And I’m no stranger to sleepless nights praying about these things.

Have a fabulous Thursday night, internet.