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7 years later......nothing turned out the way I thought.
Shelley Olsen
October 22nd 2010
Life Goals Paper

“Live life to the fullest….Follow your heart.”- Matt Pinto.

According to my grandfather, the doctors told my parents that I probably wouldn’t make it past the first day of my life. Spina Bifida is the most common birth defect that affects six per 100,000 births, and I was “lucky” enough to be one of them. Twenty-five years later I have a new lease on life that I have never had before. A hopeful future that is filled with thoughts of goals that I want to achieve, goals that I will achieve. I wasn’t defeated twenty-five years ago. I won’t be defeated now.

From the time I was twelve years old, a former pastor would tell me often, “Shelley, you belong in the ministry.” I am not exactly sure if he is right, but one of my goals for the next year is to research certain jobs and majors that I might be interested in pursuing. Researching job and majors would also require me to research what school would be best for my career of choice. And what classes I need to take once I transfer to the right school. One other way of seeing which major/career path I want to take is to find a mentor in at least two fields that I am interested in (social work and chaplaincy) and spend lots of time asking questions and getting involved in each field as often as I can.

One of my goals that I want to accomplish in three years is actually a goal that I have had for a very long time, I just haven’t found a whole lot of time or patience to devote to it. I would love to write a book, preferably an autobiography. One of the first things I would probably need to do before I actually start writing is to determine what kind of supplies I would need to start writing. I would also need to brainstorm ideas for my book if I decide not to write an autobiography. The last thing, and probably the hardest thing I would need to do, after I finish my book completely, is to find a company or a person who would publish it and then figure out how and where to sell it. It feels like a daunting task, but I’m excited to get started.

One of my biggest goals is one that I am hoping to accomplish in at least five years time. I would like to train to compete and finish in either the New York or Boston Marathon. The first thing I would need to do to start accomplishing that goal is to visit with my doctor and make sure that I am a 100 percent healthy enough to start a work out program, and one that will allow me to train to run a marathon. The next step to accomplishing my goal is simple. I would need to find a local gym to start working out. I think that’s important because watching other people work out will make me want to work harder and push myself to the limit. I also will want to find a work out buddy that can meet me at the gym on a regular basis to help me work out. The main reason for this is to hold myself accountable to work hard and to do whatever it takes to accomplish this goal of running a marathon. Once I have all of those steps completed and I am fit enough to run a marathon, and I feel confident enough in myself to do it. I will need to find out how to register for the marathon and make sure that I make travel arrangements in enough time to run the race and take home the gold.

Looking at all these goals that I have set for myself, I have a lot of emotions. I am first anxious, since I am a perfectionist. I need to learn that the simple act of trying to accomplish these goals is a victory and falling short on one or more of these does not make me a failure, it makes me human. I am encouraged, I haven’t given these goals a lot of time and attention in recent weeks, and so now that I am reminded of what is in front of me, I can be unstoppable. I have to be careful about making sure that I do not allow myself to be influenced in a negative way. I have to keep my head up, my eyes on the prize, and make sure that I am constantly surrounding myself with encouraging people, who want to see me succeed in these and other goals. I must also remain motivated, and take it one day at a time.

Most importantly, I am reminded that one of the most important things that I hold dear to me is my relationship with Jesus Christ. There are several verses that come to mind that encourage me now and that will continue to encourage me in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead as I accomplish these goals. “For the LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love and he will rejoice over you in song-Zephaniah 3:17” (The Bible, King James Version).
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