While watching the morning news there has been a lot of reporting on Alzheimer’s disease. Even though I don’t know of any history in my family, Alzheimer disease still scares me. During those news stories there is a constant message to help fight the Alzheimer’s disease. That is to keep the mind busy. Do new things, like learning a new language. But learning a new language is a long term goal. I need something to do that within a relatively short period of time that can be accomplished.
For the last year or so, since moving to North Texas and starting the tree farm, I have been busy with short attainable goals. In one of my past blogs I spoke about cutting a limb off of a very large tree. It took a while to do so and some engineering. But within a couple of days I attained that goal and felt good about it. There is something to waking up in the morning and looking forward to working on a project. Because I do not get out among people very much, I look forward to going to the store and buying some items. My favorite store is the Home Depot. It seems like no matter what project I’m working on, I can find some of the material there. There is a great feeling when you accomplish the goal or finish the project. For example, my newest goal is the completion of another project. One of my dogs is a giant schnauzer, he weighs about 150 pounds. In the first year of living in our new home, as the weather got really bad I would open up the blog room for the dogs. It is a small room off of the garage where I write this blog. By opening up the room to the dogs, the room became full of dust and dirt which made it a problem to keep clean. So now that the weather is turning nice I can shut off the blog room to the dogs but this presents another problem. The dog, named Murphy, needs a place to stay when the weather gets bad. The two little dogs sleep in the house at night. The new project is to build a doghouse for my two big dogs, especially Murphy. A large dog means a large doghouse. This doghouse is 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall. So that the doghouse has some curb appeal I am adding cut cedar planks to the side of it. I imagine it will take me about a week to get this done. But I do get up in the morning and head out to the shop with a positive attitude. Whether it is building a chicken coop, a doghouse or getting the garden ready for planting; I enjoy having a goal and then achieving it.
Of course like many senior citizens I have some great long-term goals. I want to remain happy and live a long time. I want my family to be happy with me and with life. I work on those long-term goals every day but it’s almost impossible to see if I’m achieving them. So it is important for me to fill my life with short term goals. Such a goal occurred about a year ago. My wife and I had decided to sell our home and I wanted to move up to live on or near a lake in North Texas. I thought it would take a good amount of time to find a home and to sell our home. Well things went a little different. One half-hour after listing our home on the Internet we had someone look at the house. Within a day of our listing we sold the house. On one side that is great, on the other side we had to find a new place to live. So the new goal was to find a new place to live. We had about 30 days to do so. Luckily for us our son offered a place for us to stay at his house while the search went on. Finding a new home is an attainable short-term goal. Unlike many people who are born and raised in the same area, I have moved around the country a lot. Each time that I moved my goal was to find a place that I and my wife would be happy at. Each house had its own theme and location, but it was not the final home. To achieve this goal meant of lot of attention and information to be worked on a short amount of time. It was exciting and also frustrating while shopping for a new home. When you moved to a new area there are a lot of things that you don’t know about until you’ve lived there for a while. Much of that information does not show up in the Internet listing of the house. But we did achieve this goal and look forward to future goals (if necessary).
Even the process of buying a new car is exciting and it is an achievable short-term goal. Certainly if you asked my family I achieved a lot of short-term car buying goals. This may seem a little mundane to most people, but for me was exciting and intense.
My thought is that no matter what your age is you should try to fill it with short term achievable goals. Some people write those goals on a white board or chalk board so they can view it every day. I say let the goal present itself to you so that you are not locked into a prescribed action. I’m sure you have heard the term; ‘it’s not the destination but it is the journey getting there that makes life good”. So go out there and look around and find some short-term achievable goals. Do not make one of those goals about your weight. For some reason your weight will go up and down. Many times it has nothing to do with your actions or your desire to reach a certain weight goal. Things like DNA and environment are the deciding factors. If you have to go to the gym do so with the thought of some social interaction. It could be that the failure of a goal creates a new goal to correct the actions you took and obtaining the first goal. Just go out and do it. Don’t be afraid of not obtaining the goal; rather enjoy the journey in trying to reach the goal.