Now that a new year is underway, many of us have been reflecting on the past year and considering what we want to accomplish in the coming year. I was forced into this reflection back in the summer, when my now-ex husband asked for a divorce.
However, even though I’m not making any New Year resolutions per se, I have been thinking about what I want my life to look like going forward. The answer, right now, is that I’m still not entirely sure. But I do have some thoughts on personal growth goals, and what I want to accomplish.
Looking for Meaning and Purpose in Life
One of the things I’ve been reflecting on during the last six months is what I want my life to look like – as well as what kind of purpose I want to have. Among the people I admire most is Kylie Travers, who has found meaning and purpose in her efforts to combat homelessness and domestic violence in her home country of Australia. She turned a tragedy in her own life into meaning and purpose.
My life hasn’t been nearly so difficult. While I’ve struggled with the divorce, and the move, and navigating the tricky waters related to raising a teenager, I don’t have a huge defining setback to change my course. The divorce – and moving across the country – has changed the trajectory of my life, though, and now I can make that life anything I want.
So I’ve been thinking about what I want that life to look like. Here are some things I know about what I want to accomplish in my life:
- Make my community a better place.
- Help my son grow into a thoughtful, caring member of society.
- Involve myself with causes that matter to me (hunger, equality, financial education).
- Learn more about myself and develop personally by pursuing interests and talents I have (particularly music).
These aren’t exactly New Year resolutions or goals that come with a set plan. Instead, the are reflections on what I hope will be my legacy. I don’t need to be famous or rich, but I would like to leave at least one small corner of the world better for my having been in it.
Taking Action to Fulfill My Purpose
My personal growth efforts will, I hope, translate into an ability to take action to fulfill the purpose I’ve created. In order to become more involved, I’ve started taking steps to make a difference. I joined the Chamber of Commerce and I’m networking with others in an attempt to find a way to put my knowledge, skills, and expertise to use by those in the community who could use some help. I’ve also joined a local political organization and am starting to contribute to community efforts.
Through all this, of course, I try to involve my son. He recently volunteered with me at two different community events, and he had a great time. We also talk about practical things we can do to help others. And, naturally, I’m trying to nurture my son’s own personal growth interests, including his interest in fencing, reading, and music.
I think the hardest personal growth aspiration I have will be making time for me. However, I’m working to prioritize music practice, exercise (I never get tired of swimming laps), and crochet. I want to live a life that balances contentment regarding who I am with striving to improve my community. I’m not entirely sure how to go about that, but I’ve made some small steps, and I hope that a little more exploration this year will help me solidify more plans going forward.