In honor of the New Year, James and Megan are starting a new series called Challenge Accepted. But this isn’t about New Years Resolutions, or even explicitly about Goals or Goal Setting. It’s about living an intentional, purposeful life.
While a bit unorthodox, to frame this concept James had to talk about himself! Keep listening over the next few shows, as James and Megan go deeper into the concept and help you take on your own challenge.
Today’s Kryptonite: The Accidental Life
Why did you set 40 goals to accomplish before you turned 40 years old?:
- The big 4-0. It’s a big birthday and honestly, it shook me up a bit. I don’t know if I’d call it a midlife crisis, but it definitely made me reflect on my life so far and where my life was going.
- In some ways forty seems young and in some ways it seems old. But what made it interesting for me was that my dad was 39 when he retired from the Air Force. I was at his retirement ceremony and spoke at his retirement dinner. I was 19, and he seemed to know it all and had these great accomplishments. Now I was the same age, and I couldn’t help but make some comparisons.
- This wasn’t a logical thing…it was emotional. But I wanted it to be a good feeling, and I wanted to set an example for my kids, so I started to assess where I was in life.
- There was good and bad going on, and I wanted more of the good and less of the bad.
- I had some big goals for 2013 already, and some unique opportunities lined up. I figured I’d add some more to the list and with 40 looming, I decided to shoot for 40 things to accomplish by my 40th birthday.
What did you do?:
- I opened up a spreadsheet! That’s just where I work and think clearly.
- I looked at the calendar, and I started listing all of the big events I had going on. I just made a long list and added some dreams to it. Some were big, some were small. Some were free, some weren’t. And some were one-time events, while others would take all year to make happen.
- Once I had a basic list, I categorized it and figured I might as well go for it!
- I added a layer of accountability by blogging about it each month and updating my progress.
How did it work out?:
- Better than I expected! I didn’t accomplish all of the goals, but I had an amazingly productive and intentional year. I felt alive and I said yes to more often when presented with an opportunity.
- But there was a downside as well. That kind of focus and attention got tiresome at times, and by the end of the year I was glad it was ending. Now, a year after doing the challenge, I’m surprised at how much I miss it. This was a good year, but it wasn’t as focused or intentional. Even though I did a lot, I feel like I was coasting. It’s time to do it again, though with some modifications.
- And that is what’s going to drive our next few shows. I want to share the process in detail and invite others to join me. Let’s do some amazing things in 2015!
- Start documenting a list of things you want to do. Big or small, lifelong dreams or newly discovered ideas. This will give you a head start for the next episode.
- Tune in next week for your challenge!