I love to set goals.
I do not, lamentably, love to follow through with them.
I’m a dreamer, not an implementer.
One of the goals I have therefore set for myself this semester is to graft into my character at least a hint of follow-through ability, because otherwise when I am 50 years old, I shall still be dreaming wildly about all the change I am going to help enact in the world, and shall beam magnanimously on those who are actually implementing said changes, whom I will unfairly and untruthfully consider my partners in action.
With that fear looming, I’m developing semester goals that will stretch me, but which are attainable. I won’t bore you with all of them right now, but I spent this morning selecting the 5 non-academic books I am going to read this semester.
Authors: Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert
Purpose: I am all about community development, and have considered it as a career option. It still might be. This book (with a foreword by eminent community developer/champion of racial reconciliation John Perkins) will hopefully reignite that passion, which has begun to fade in my ultra-busy, middle-class, over-intellectualized, focused-on-emotional-rather-than-physical-needs environment.
Multi-tasking: I may be joining the missions committee at church within the next few months, and this is the book they are currently reading. First of all, I love that they are reading it. Secondly, I’m hoping that this will give me some of the pressure/structure I need to actually finish it.
Attempt Number: 1
Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Reason: I love literature, I love the classics, and when I started reading this book over the summer, I was all but giddy over the 300 pages I was able to devour. Then I allowed my poor perseverance to raise its ugly head, and there went task completion.
Attempt Number: 3. I started it last Christmas, but ran out of time before the break ended. Then I started it over the summer, but ran out of character before I finished it.
Author: Neil Postman
Reason: I. Love. This. Man. His works are thought-provoking, analytical, and humorous, and this one has been on my “To Read” list for far too long.
Attempt Number: 1.
Author: Lots of big name Christians; edited by Ralph Winter.
Reason: It’s interesting, it’s informative, and it contains information that I may well need someday.
Attempt Number: Pick a number, any number. I read part of this book for a class I took at Taylor. Then I bought it intending to read it my senior year of college. Then I trucked all 5 pounds of it along to South Carolina, intending to read it when I got there. Then I intended to read it when my roommate took the Perspectives course last Spring. Let’s see how this attempt goes. If I did half the things I intend to do, I would be ruling the world by now; or at least be the next Neil Postman.
Author: Mark McMinn.
Reason: I read a book by Dr. McMinn for one of my classes in the Spring, and absolutely loved it, so I have added several of his books to my “Read Someday” list. This one was chosen for the semester because I tend to struggle so much with guilt and grace in my own life that I know I need to develop a more Biblical perspective (and lifestyle) with regard to each of them before I start to guide clients.
Attempt Number: 1
So there’s a breakdown of one of my goals for the fall. . .what about you all? Do you want to read a book, become more organized, wean yourself of a bad habit, develop your patience, maybe strike up a conversation with that cute girl from Spanish class?
What are some of your goals for the semester, and how do you plan to attain them? I’d love to read your thoughts.