I took a test this past year which told me "achievement" was my second most significant strength (second to empathy). Is it any wonder then that yearly goal setting is such a fundamental part of my life? I put much thought and consideration into this year's goals, and have decided to focus on breaking a few bad habits as well as adding a few more life-long, sustainable, habits to my routine.

To do so I have identified 4 main pillars on which I would like to build my routine: Continuing Education, Physical Health, Social Wellbeing, and Spiritual Sensitivity. The following is definitely a watered down version of my actual goals as I don't think the world needs to know THAT much about my personal ambitions, but I do look forward to reporting back at the end of the year on my progress. 

Continuing Education - Love School

I LOVE to learn, but formal education has been a slow start for me. Despite the scenic path I've taken, I am now in the home stretch of that education. I go back to UVU where I have 3 (if I play my cards right) semesters until I graduate! I have had a tremendous time at LDSBC this past year, I got my educational feet wet again, and I am now ready to really push through and make it to the other side of this diploma. It will take some finessing, but I hope to graduate in this calendar year!

Physical Health - Find My Fitness

All of my sisters are obsessed with fitness in one form or another: running, yoga, personal training, etc. But I have not yet found a form of exercise that really gets me up in the morning. I'm not getting any younger, so I've decided to dedicate some time this year to not just exercising more regularly, but really finding a form of exercise that I love. 

Social Wellbeing - Be Good to People

As an introvert, I don't always feel the need to be around people. In fact, I often go long periods of time working on projects by myself only to later realize that I haven't spoken to any one in hours. Although this time is highly productive, and makes me a fantastic freelance employee, it's also doing nothing for my social life. For these reasons I have decided to really make a concerted effort this year to reach out to my friends, and support them in what they are doing, call them before they call me, and seek opportunities to meet new people. I am a fine networker in a business setting, so now is my time to apply what I know to my social game. 

Spiritual Sensitivity - Come to Know Jesus Christ

By far, the most important goal I am setting this year is to come to know Jesus Christ better. I have spent my life trying to understand the scriptures, and treating others kindly, but at the end of the day I don't feel as though I have the type of relationship with Christ that I'd like to have. I have a strong faith in God, and a very personal and tender relationship with my Heavenly Father, but I want that same abiding tenderness for Christ. This year will probably challenge me in many ways due to the setting of this goal, but I truly want to develop a greater love for Jesus Christ, and I believe I'm up for the challenge. 

End of Year Update

Continuing Education

It's official...I graduated! After 10 years I've completed my four year degree: Integrated Studies (emphases in business and communication). I couldn't be happier.

I certainly took the slow route with my undergrad, and although I wouldn't necessarily recommend that route to others I can say it was what I needed to do in order to maximize my experience. By choosing a slower route to graduation I've been able to take classes in conjunction with the projects I was undertaking at work, graduate with practically no debt, enjoy the topics being covered in class rather than simply trying to pass tests, and graduate with nearly five years work experience already under my belt. I had two job offers in my inbox on the day of my last final and am excited to announce that I start a new role on January 5. Let's just say, "Starving college student" is not an item I'd like to revisit on my life's resume, although I'm happy it was part of my life. 

Physical Health

I'm always amazed at the way my life seems to produce the events necessary for me to accomplish my goals.

For example, I had a freak accident with my neck somewhat early in the year and ended up needing a series of chiropractic adjustments - limiting my options for exertion. However, the neck pain I had experienced previous to the accident have been reduced significantly since the adjustments. A second example: my sister purchased one-on-one sessions with a Yogi without realizing the Yogi's studio was an hour from her home. So, in a surprise turn of events I now have free one-on-one sessions with a Yogi and am really starting to enjoy it. This is one are I foresee myself resolving to continue to improve in the coming year as I have not made as much progress as I had initially intended. 

Social Wellbeing 

A few highlights from the social calendar this year: 

  • Epic road trip to California: 5 grown adults in a Prius...yep...I was "back seat, feet on the hump" for the entire trip. We hit Tahoe, San Fran, Yosemite, and Disney. It was not the most efficient use of road, but that was never the point of a road trip, was it?
  • Baby Austi: A family from my mission named their child after me, so I trekked down to Fallon, NV on a whim (eight hours in a car by myself = bliss) in order to attend the baby's blessing in church. It also happened that their oldest daughter was getting baptized that same weekend, so I was able to watch someone I had taught pre-baptism baptize and bless his two children. This was most certainly a highlight of my year, probably my life. 
  • Road trip to Oregon: My roommate Jenny was starting dental school and I was settling in on my final semester of school so we decided to take a trip out to Oregon before our schedules hit "lock down mode". I have a few siblings still living out west so we crashed on air mattresses for a few days as I gave my roomie the grand tour of the north west. 

Spiritual Sensitivity

My goal was to develop a more personalized relationship with God, and I do feel I've improved this year. I started working for Mormon Channel which gave me the opportunity to speak to hundreds of people from around the world about God: who He is and what He can do. I spent hours each day writing and speaking about Him, and it all helped me to know Him better. But it wasn't until I came across a few of my own off-the-clock stumbling blocks that I realized what God has done and continues to do for me.