January 1, 2006

Some Goals For 2006

[i rewrote this post after being utterly disapointed with the original version which, i might add, was written at five in the morning. as i rewrote, may you reread. insert smile]

After 26 years of life and experiencing consistent failure, I have serious reservations about making any sort of "goals list" as we enter 2006. I even sometimes wonder if the goals I'm writing down are actually a prophetic recording of what I won't do in a year. Often, the annual improvements in my life come unexpectedly. But despite recent goal floundering, I have lots of areas in my life where I look to be more disciplined, more refined, and more in tune with reality.

The good news is after 26 years of life, I'm finally learning that failure and shortcomings are a serious part of life. This experience only teaches me to dream more simply with an acquired sense of realism. So as long as the dreams, disciplines and areas of refinement are shouting from the inside, I'll keep writing them out in pencil, even if some goals are sooner or later erased or forgotten about.

So, in kind regards to Mr. Maxwell (John, I always think of you this time of year when I'm writing out my goals), here are some thoughts I'm having about 2006.

**I hope to see my longing for community be more fully realized this year.We made plenty of choices last year that have put us in position to finally realize our dream of doing life with our friends. We also don't plan on moving in 2006, something that has only happened in one year out of my last ten. And it seems that wherever you find deep community taking place, you find people who have been residing in one spot for some time. So I think we're in the right place, now it's time to learn the art of community. I'm finding that community at it's purest doesn't come easily. Instead it means making deliberate choices about the street you live on, the job you take and your ability to defy laziness. I sometimes wonder if television is communities greatest enemy. This year I commit again to living out true community and inviting others to share in it. There is nothing that is more deep in my guts than living this out more fully in 2006.

**I want to keep learning what it means to live in the city.I'm finding that urban dwelling is more than living near tall buildings and lots of people. It means making calculated choices involving transportation, neighbors, money, local businesses and politics. It requres a certain level of involvement and participation. I'm learning that my desire to live in the now means urban dwelling at the purest levels.

**I want to decrease in consumerism and increase in simplicity.Quite remarkably, amid all the change that has taken place over the last 24 months, the one thing that hasn't changed is my deep desire to be counter-cultural when it comes to money and my spending/saving/giving habits. More and more, I want my resources to be aligned with bringing heaven to earth. I'd like my levels of generosity to increase, even as our income increases. And with deep conviction, I don't want my life to revolve around what I have or what I want to have. I don't want to be the kind of person whose worth and confidence is tied up in having the right car, the hippest clothing or the latest gadget. So in 2006, I choose to be a voice of dissent in matters of consumerism...and I choose to rebel against my own tendencies toward upgrading.

**I want to read a broader spectrum of materials.Over the last ten years, I've read as many Christian books as anyone. And while my reading will involve Christian pieces this year, I want to broaden my reading to include issues of culture, social justice and travel. Books have always had a profound influence on my life and writing and I don't intend this year to be any different. I received four books under the tree and I'm eager to open them up:

  • Bait and Switch - Barbara Ehrenreich

  • The Working Poor - David K. Shipler

  • Culture Jam - Kalle Lasn

  • The Overworked American - Juliet B. Schor

    **I want to finish a major writing project this year.I'm currently working on a manuscript that centers around ideas of faith, evangelicalism and what it's like to feel "left behind." I'd like to think it's style is Douglas Coupland-ish. Chunks of time will be set aside each week to research, think and write. This project, along with this Blog, will be like a spiritual discipline for me in 2006.

    So as we embark on a new year, these statements and goals are what I will be dwelling on. Thanks for a great 2005 blogging year, your 700 hits a week make this worth the time. Good night...and good luck in 2006. For now, Josh


    pk said...

    Hey Josh, your goals appear to be pretty clear. I'll look forward to getting a mid-year update around the beginning of July, eh?

    I have certainly been a substantial percentage of your hits for the year; and I'll be back ;-)

    Dave said...

    you inspire me

    Tony Myles said...

    Looks like you're off to a great start this year!

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