My Five Year Goals
Writers who keep journals can find some very interesting things about themselves if they ever feel nostalgic and decide to review their journal entries. That’s what I experienced yesterday morning while looking through some of my old journals to verify information for the final edits of my memoir In the End. One entry I re-discovered personally touched me was a list I created back in March 2002, several weeks shy of my 32nd birthday. At the time, I felt like I was at a crossroads with my life, feeling uncertain about its direction. In addition, I was still performing poetry and starting to make my transition to writing fiction. I identified the following goals I wanted to accomplish in the next five years:
- I will be living the prosperous and rewarding life that God had intended for me to attain before my conception.
- I will be a homeowner.
- I will be debt free and exercise better financial management skills to allow my money to work in my best interest.
- I will be a successful writer and author whose literary works will touch the lives of others.
- I will be happily married to a divinely spiritual, beautiful, and loving woman who will make me a wonderful husband and a father.
- I will be operating a successful publishing company, Universal Expressions, LLC.
- I will be in the best physical condition of my life through proper exercise and nutrition.
- I will travel the world to visit foreign countries and to meet interesting people.
- I will define success on my terms and conditions.
Fast forward 13 years later, three weeks after my 45th birthday, I examined each item whether it was or wasn’t accomplished within that time period. My personal inventory assessment consisted of the following results:
- I developed a stronger spiritual foundation and relationship with my Creator when I felt like I lost my faith while battling depression.
- I fell short of becoming a homeowner, not achieving that feat until 2008.
- I managed to eliminate all credit card debt and paid off my undergraduate student loans.
- I touched the lives of others through my literary endeavors like Straight from My Heart, The Air I Breathe, and One Love.
- I’m pleading the Fifth Amendment on this one.
- Universal Expressions, LLC, didn’t develop into the publishing company for my original vision, but I managed to self-published some of my poetic works in print and audio CD.
- I took excellent care of my physical health, but sometimes I neglected my overall well-being, which partially contributed to my depression.
- I didn’t get to travel the world as I desired, but I met some interesting people in my travels.
- I struggled at times thinking I could be successful at anything.
If someone were to ask me if I feel satisfied about my assessment, I would have to say yes. There is a part of me that does feel bittersweet that I went through some challenges to achieve certain goals, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those experiences. I’m grateful and appreciative of the lessons learned from every financial setback, relationship woe, and mental health struggle within that era. Most of these challenges I discuss in further detail inside the pages of In the End.
If someone were to ask me to create another list of goals I want to accomplish within the next five years, I don’t think I could do so. The 45-year-old man I am today is much different from the thirtysomething young adult I was when I originally created that list. Some of those goals appear narcissistic and selfish, created out of fear and insecurity about the future. It would definitely be a challenge now that my attitude, focus, and perspective about life has changed from setting and pursuing personal goals to inspiring personal growth and development in others with my creativity; however, I will confess the thought does intrigue my curiosity.
It’s impossible to predict what will occur in the future. If I’m blessed to witness another five years on this planet, I’ll probably encounter some trials and tribulations along that journey. My past trials and tribulations always brought out my best when I didn’t think it would be possible to achieve my goals. My mindset is more optimistic and my talents as a writer have significantly improved in the past 13 years. Yes, indeed.
Besides, it’s still not too late to work on that happily married goal.
To be continued….