Learning Goals for 2014

My 2013 goals either went wildly well til the end, or crashed spectacularly at some point in the year of health surprises. I’m pleased with all I got done. I’ll keep what stuck. I’m revamping what didn’t, and I’m adding another idea or two.

I should add that I don’t intend this as an unchangeable plan for 2014. I don’t think of changes that arise as failures to keep “resolutions”. In fact, I have a book I’ll be reading soon on developing our own rule of life, and the experience of reading that may well significantly change my plans. But for now, I’m pursuing these specific activities, with particular time goals (to give a sense of accomplishment and a concrete measure of success on rough days/weeks).

Reading Life – continuation of old goal
I loved how this goal last year opened me up to new stories and new ideas. It felt nourishing and felt like it kept my attention on knowledge and stories that I intentionally chose (rather than whatever visual media happened to be close by).

I finished the year right at 60 books read (with an intentional push to move to 60 from 56 near the end). But I DON’T want to focus on number of books, as alluring as that is. When it’s a number, it becomes a chore; books become things to complete rather than time to enjoy. It also narrows my book selection process and discourages me from trying more intimidating titles. No, an amount of time spent reading each week is best.

3 hours a week, any combination

Life of Movement – new structure to goal
Last year I had workout goals, specifically because working out made me feel good.
Movement is a lot more complicated now, with a mobility issue. But in the confusion of finding exercise that works for me, I don’t want to forget how good it feels to simply move… not moving to get my heart rate up, or moving to increase muscle mass, or moving to turn somebody on. Those can be enjoyable, but they all restrict movement beyond what simply feels good.


Intentional movement. Whatever feels good. No one watching. (Stillness counts, if it feels good and is done intentionally.). 10 minutes a day.

Prayer Life – new goal
It’s been ages since I pursued prayer time. Really, ages.

The key is finding my current ideal balance of structure and chaos.

For now, I want devotional time each week that is part reading, part silence/contemplation (in a lectio divina style, if you’re familiar with it). The reading can be psalms, but no other scripture (the rest too easily leads me to textual study, not spiritual reflection). The reading can be other books of a devotional nature too (Gabe just got me two wonderful ones).

Slowness of reading is encouraged, so there’s no required length of text (like a daily Bible reading plan might have). It’s about savoring and letting the reading sink in.

1 hour a week for now (60 minutes at once, or in 20 or 30 minute intervals throughout the week)

Creative Life – new goal
I get in my own way of making things, pretty relentlessly.

I hope this year I can push myself a bit to make stuff – and *complete* making stuff! – regularly.one g
But again, there’s a balance to strike, between encouraging completion of projects, and making room to work on said projects nonlinearly. I don’t want to get fixated on results/volume, but I do want to push myself to try arts and crafts that I delay and postpone. I want to unblock my own relationship to my own imagination, and find a disciplined approach to imagining.

I think 90 minutes a week sounds like a reasonable chunk. This is the goal where parameters don’t feel adequate yet. I’m hoping in practicing the goal, I will refine it.

Published in: on January 1, 2014 at 11:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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