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deeper or wider
Life in General,  Retirement

Goals – Deeper or Wider?

Much like when I was working, I am setting goals for the new year. I’ve noticed how many other bloggers are doing the same thing. I guess it’s natural to think of a new year as a blank slate and a chance to forget what we didn’t do last year and look forward to what we can do this year.

Unlike when I was working, my goals won’t be judged, or in some cases even known by anyone but me. If I don’t get to everything, I will be the only disappointed one. But I must have goals, even if they don’t all get done. Otherwise, how would I keep myself motivated and organized?

Setting goals

Some of my goals are more formally planned than others. As you saw in my last post – #stitch9challenge – I have very specific goals for my cross stitching projects.

But you know what? It took that challenge for me to actually make my cross stitch goals that specific. Otherwise, I would have finished one project with no idea as to what I would do next. Because of this challenge, I have all my supplies ready to go and I can pick up one of those projects and immediately be productive.

My reading challenge is less specific, which could be why I had trouble meeting it last year. Aside from our book club books, should I already know the other 18 books I want to read this year? It sure wouldn’t hurt because there are times when I lose days of reading simply because I’m not sure what book to pick up.

Tim and I started a list of the things we want to do around the house this year. For now, it’s just a list but at some point, we’ll have to make decisions about timing. A list is no good if we don’t have a plan in place for completing what’s on it.

Deeper or wider?

Ok, what’s this about deeper vs. wider? I was recently reading a post by a blogger I follow. She talked about this “going deeper” thing, after she read about it in another blog. (Interesting how we all get inspiration from each other, isn’t it?)

It reminded me of one of my past posts – I Wanna Be GREAT at Something – where I lamented the fact that while I do a lot of “creative” things, I’m not great at any of them. In my case, I tend to go wider and not deeper.

I follow Pinterest and even as I search for ideas regarding the things I already do, I am exposed to other activities that catch my eye. They all sound perfect for me, so I let the idea of them distract me for a while.

For instance, last year I thought how nice it would be if I could do my own calligraphy when I make cards. I got all excited about it, bought a book, bought the right pens and then did absolutely nothing with it.

It wasn’t because I didn’t want to. It just never made it to the top of my priority list. I still want to do it, but will it even get done this year, or will it continue to stay at the bottom of the list?

I like to think I was thinking ahead because I have everything I’ll need when I’m ready to pick it up. But if I’m honest with myself, that could just be rationalizing the purchases I made.

2019 Goals

As I’ve mentioned, I have goals for cross stitch and reading. My goals are less developed when it comes to sewing, but I have jotted down a few ideas. (I keep a potential projects list.) I asked for some new supplies at Christmas (which I got!!) so I’m ready to try a few new types of things.

But what about all those other things spinning around in my head? Should I still try to do them? Or should I truly focus on working on everything I already have?

I’ve had my sewing machine since 2004. It does all kinds of fancy stitches. But I’ve only used it for regular sewing. That was another “save it for retirement” plan.

Well, retirement is now. I need to dig deeper into the functionality of my sewing machine and discover a whole new world of opportunities. Who knows what I could be doing that I’m not even aware of?

Technically, to go deeper I shouldn’t purchase anything new this year. No new fabric, no new patterns, no new books, no new yarn. You get the idea. There’s no doubt in my mind I’d still have plenty to keep me occupied.

Is there a happy medium?

Much like anything, is moderation the key? Can I go deeper with some things and still add new things to go wider? Am I disciplined enough to do that? Is there anything I’ll stop doing to make room for the new?

As you probably know, I’m a collector – fabric, patterns, books, yarn, and even ideas.

It’s the ideas that get me into trouble; I can’t get them out of my head until I either write them down and/or research them further. How do I keep myself from going crazy with ideas so they don’t sabotage the specific goals I do have?

Maybe there isn’t a happy medium and I don’t need to change what I’m doing at all. But this has definitely made me think about it. At least now I can say I’ve made a conscious decision to continue as a dabbler, and I won’t beat myself up over a purchase or a packed away project.

How about you? Are your goals this year deeper or wider? What kinds of goals do you have for yourself?

4 Comments

  • Marty

    Somehow this post reminds me of the yearly charade I’d have to go thorough during my career during performance appraisals, and the last thing we’d do before ending was to set goals to follow for the ensuing 12 months. With each new boss, I’d half-jokingly just ask if we could add 5% to whatever we decided upon the year before. They never saw the humor in it. Fortunately our goals in retirement are much more satisfying and reachable. 🙂

    • retired introvert

      Oh, don’t get me started on that!! The worst for me was setting arbitrary goals simply because they were easy to measure. But we never talked about whether they were the right things to do. No one is approving my goals now and you’re right, they are much more satisfying. You might also relate to my post from last April – What I Don’t Miss about Working. Thanks for following!!

      • Christie Hawkes

        I am both an employee and a supervisor, so I get the “pleasure” of being on both sides of the mandatory performance evaluation and goal setting. We have a format we must follow, but as a supervisor I always start with a broader discussion of how the employee feels about the past year, what could make the next year better, and what I can do to make his or her job more satisfying. As an employee, I ask myself those same questions. I may or may not get to work them into my own formal review, but it helps me personally. Still, I look forward to the day when I no longer have to participate in performance reviews.

        • retired introvert

          It truly is great to no longer participate in the performance review process. Like you, I was on both sides of the process. And we had a common merit date which meant all review writing and next year goal setting happened at the same time for all employees. I could never enjoy December. It’s wonderful to be free of that!! Thanks for reading!

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