Being a Grown-Up

Life Goals

A few months ago, my mom sent me an email about HUGE goals. She was listening to a seminar that suggested coming up with your life goals – what you really want to do with your life, even if it seems almost impossible – and setting three-year goals based on that. Otherwise, you set year-long goals which aren’t as meaningful because they are too short and don’t have a long enough view.

My mom said as she worked through what her HUGE life goals were, she came up with a few guideposts to help her decide what she really wanted to do with her life:

  1. What you want to become
  2. What you want to do
  3. What you want to achieve
  4. Places you want to visit/live
  5. Things you want to have
  6. People you want to meet

I’ve thought about this a lot in the last few months, since then, wondering what I really want from my life. Here are a few things that I’ve come up with:

I have no aspirations to write a novel, but I’d really like to write professional book reviews or articles for publications like The Horn Book Magazine or School Library Journal.

I want to serve on a Printz or Newbery or Caldecott award committee.

I want to live abroad for at least a year.

It’s been really interesting to think about what I want to do with my life in the long-term. I’m excited to keep working on my list and working toward achieving those things.

What about you? If the sky was the limit, what would your HUGE life-long goals be?

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  • Reply TheMoncurs June 19, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Travel!! Aaron and I have a a "Top Ten" places we really want to go. Most of them will require saving up for a few years before we can even start thinking about it, so we're talking serious trips. That's my big goal.

  • Reply Jodi June 19, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    I just starred this in my reader. I need to do some thinking about this for myself. I'm in a kind of "place" (I hate when people say that but I don't know what other word to use right now) where I need to start making some more concrete decisions about where I'm headed. Thanks for making me think. Also, for what it's worth, I think you would be a great person to professionally review books and to be on the award committees. Where would you want to live abroad?

  • Reply heidikins June 19, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I really want to write a novel, live abroad for the better part of my life, and changes someone's life for the better.

    Lofty, no?


  • Reply Karina June 19, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    I never wanted to be a mother and especially not labeled a homemaker. Blah! But I'm to the point now that I FINALLY can see what a huge, unbelieveably amazing "goal" it is, and the impact I'm having on the world by raising these little people, and how these little people are shaping me is simply too amazing.

    "Goal" is in quotes because people don't usually think to put it a term like that, but holy crap, kids change your life forever and ever, and it's a definite decision to really be a dedicated mom for them and a homemaker for theirs and my husband's sake.

    So bottom line is, my massive goal right now is to enjoy and exemplify my "homemaker" status. Wow, it's hard to use that word 🙂

    I, too, want to live abroad for a few years.

  • Reply Liz June 19, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I plan to become a published novelist in the YA field. I've been going to some conferences to improve my skills, but right now it's a matter of time.

  • Reply Elizabeth June 19, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I would really like to write a book. You can vote for me when you're on the Newbery committee! And someday I think I'd like to own my own little store.
    I don't really want to live abroad, but I am determined to see Egypt and Israel some day. And I would really like to take a paddle boat cruise down the Mississippi some day.
    Oh, and to eat at the French Laundry. Those are my goals.
    So fun! Thank you!

  • Reply Packrat June 19, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    I'm impressed with what you have chosen, and from the (very) little I know about you and your husband, these are attainable.

  • Reply Bart June 19, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    I agree with Packrat – these are attainable, Janssen.

    I'm totally with you on living abroad, too! You continually confirm the awesome union that is our marriage.

    TGM's goals are inspiring, too. I definitely want to teach at a college or university level at some point in our future.

  • Reply Alison Stewart June 19, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    I could totally see you doing all of that…Bart's comments are so sweet! I have so many things…so little time BUT, here are just a couple…
    1. Get my degree (I better get started).
    2. I too…would love to write a book (waiting for that a-ha idea).
    3. I would love to go on a mission w/David to another country preferably so I could learn a second language (don't have too much say in that one…I don't think), but if that happened I would get two goals w/one!

  • Reply Rachel June 20, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Those are such great things to think about. I'm usually too focused on what I need to get done this week to think about my 3-year goals 🙂 I need to work on that.
    On a side note, my little sis got home from her London Study Abroad today and it has been so fun reminiscing with her and thinking about the good old times there!

  • Reply blakspring June 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    i am definitely too lazy to be a writer and i've let that dream slowly die. but serving on the printz committee would rock.

    also, i would love to travel to every country, though i don't know if that is physically and financially possible.

  • Reply Lenore June 20, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I do think it is a great thing to think about your goals and then actually do something to work towards them. If we keep saying "someday" it's not going to happen!

    I totally support your goal of living abroad for a year 🙂

  • Reply megan June 21, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I would love to travel with Roger, to places I have been alone, and places I haven't been. I am shying away from setting any other goals 🙂

  • Reply Melissa June 22, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    I have a bucket list of places I want to travel and things I want to do, such as walk a glacier, hike a volcano, whitewater raft the Colorado River…well, my list is long.

    My main goal for myself is to become a published writer. I already publish mini-articles pertaining to my job, but I want to complete a book. I don't dream of writing the great American novel, more something I enjoy writing and others enjoy reading.

  • Reply Lisa June 22, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    I should really put more thought into this, but the one thing I am more and more sure of is that I'd like to get my sewing to a point where I can make a modest income off of it. I don't need it to replace my salary (though wouldn't that be nice!) but I'd like to make enough that I could quit my job in a few years when my husband is making more. My job is stressful to me for specific reasons- money really stresses me out and my current job as loan officer puts it in my face ALL THE TIME. So I'd like to do something more creative.

  • Reply karmacoy June 22, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Are you familiar with It is a cool website where people state their goals in a public life list and support and encourage each other. Neat idea. I bought the book. I just love list and reading other people's lists.

    As for me, my list includes recording my own songs and performing them regularly.

    I'd also like to publish some children's songs and stories I've been working on over the years.

    I have smaller short term goals as well like, picking as many blueberries as I possibly can this summer. Making my own wine and finally, one day, dying my hair purple (I've wanted to for years!)

    Goal setting and list making is so much fun!! Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Carly Jane June 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I have so many long and short term gosls I sometimes don't know what to do with them all!

    Long term:
    –have a whole gaggle of little ones and create the kind of home where their gifts and talents are brought to flower and fruitage
    –become a much more accomplished seamstress
    –get a masters of English
    –own a children's bookstore
    –serve a second mission
    –write a ________ (something: I don't know that a novel us in my cards… but perhaps a collection of vignettes… at the very least I want to write my personal history)
    –live in Virginia

    there's more, but that will do.

  • Reply Jaclyn October 17, 2010 at 4:40 am

    I know you posted this more than a year ago, but I've had the link saved ever since. I decided tonight that I finally need to set my goals – what's the purpose of life if we're not working towards something. Thanks for setting the example.

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