I first made the shift from New Year’s resolutions to goals in 2020! I was on the right track and then, well…2020 happened. The goals I set morphed into three subsets of one big goal: SURVIVE! The subsets looked something like this:
1. Don’t get COVID-19.
2. Don’t fail any of the classes I was taking when the pandemic shutdown changed the course delivery from in-person learning to Zoom.
3. Don’t allow my personal sanity to be lost for more than a day at a time.
With those new goals in place, 2020 was a success! I survived! However, going into 2021, I had no time, energy, or headspace for coming up with and articulating any goals. In fact, I didn’t write anything in 2021 that was not going to be turned in for a grade or preached on a Sunday morning. My student testimony for graduation was the one exception. It’s safe to say, I did nearly everything I set out to do in 2021: survive and graduate. I did fall woefully short of my goal of reading 60 books in the year. In 2020, I read 51 books. In 2021, only 26. But the situation in 2022 is different.
While 2022 is a new, different year from the past two, these early days of this current trip around the sun still have some of the residual stains of the past two years. The only thing that seems certain is uncertainty is still the rule of the day. So, I haven’t tried to put together any list of goals for the year. I have instead decided to take the BHAG route!
BHAG stands for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. The idea is to set one enormous goal for the year that will take up as much of my focus and time as I can give to it. Don’t worry. I’m not quitting my day job. God still has me pastoring the church full-time, and that has its own set of BHAGs associated with it. This is just about me and what I want to accomplish with my new, post-graduation free time. My personal BHAG for 2022 is:
WRITE 260,000 WORDS!
That’s right! After finishing school, I’m going to use my free time writing even more! Most of the people closest to me know I have had a desire to write for a long time, and they won’t be surprised by this goal. I’m sure others have questions. I’ll attempt to answer some of them upfront.
Why 260,000 words? That’s the total of 1,000 words a day, 5 days a week, for 52 weeks. I want to give myself the cushion of not having to write on weekends or writing more or less on any particular day.
What will I write? Whatever I want! I have some ideas I’ve been tossing around for years, and now is the time to start nailing some of them down.
Are you going to try to get published? I don’t know. My heart is not to write for income or fame. I have a desire to create, and this is an outlet God has given me to do that. For now, my focus is on becoming more consistent and prolific in writing while learning and honing the skills of the craft. IF there are opportunities for publication down the road, I’ll consider it then.
Will you write about theology? I’m sure some of my 260,000 words will have theology as their subject. However, I have many more subjects I’d like to explore. Fiction, poetry, commentary, and an autobiography are all on the table. I love Jesus and want to honor God in all that I do. So, it is very likely my theology and biblical worldview will be reflected in what I write.
Will we be able to read any of your writing? If you’re reading this, yes. Some of what I write will appear on this blog and “The Stuff I Think About” blog. Some of my writing will be for a very specific audience while other stuff will likely rot in a file for all eternity.
One other important aspect of this goal is reading. To write well, one must read and write, a lot! So, I am going to keep my goal of reading 60 books (not a lot, but substantial) this year. That’s the BHAG in a nutshell! Write more! A ton more! And keep reading for creative fuel. It’s that simple. The trick is to put the systems and processes necessary to accomplish the goal in place.
I also have an SSHAG. (Think Harry Potter describing Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon’s carpet in Parseltongue. #iykyk) SSHAG is a Somewhat Smaller, Hairy, Audacious Goal. It’s not the main thing, but something I will be pursuing during the year as well. I am going to start learning to play the drums. I played my freshman year, and later, picked it up some in the era of the Rock Band video game. I really enjoy it, but I’m way out of practice. I’d like to start again from square one and learn the skill again. And like writing, this isn’t for anyone else but me. I don’t plan on joining a band or recording an album. I simply desire to have a creative outlet for my own enjoyment.
Perhaps that is my ultimate goal for the year: to create some personal moments of joy and peace in the midst of what can be a very chaotic, demanding existence.
Here’s to 2022 and choosing joy!