Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Fireworks in Panama City

New Year's Day is every man's birthday. ~Charles Lamb

Every year, lists are made, goals are set, and people resolve to become a better incarnation of themselves. Often, a short time later, those lofty goals, set with such rabid determination, become like a winter coat, cast off in the heat of the new spring. So why set them at all? I believe it's in our nature. We strive for greater than we are...we long to catch a piece of Victory's laurel. Even if the competition is only set against ourselves. Still, sometimes, the goals are kept and it is for those that we keep striving...because it is in the sweetness of that success that we see what we are capable of...and in the casting off what we still desire to run towards.

A goal does not have to seem extraordinary to be of value. Sometimes it is in the smallest changes that the greatest differences are made. With that said, here is my list for the year...great are small...and my reasons for each. There is no particular order here, I just enjoy the list making.

my current selection

1. Be a more avid reader. My father is a book salesman, I grew up with a healthy love of reading and have spent many hours transfixed between the pages of a book. Over the last few years, after completing school, I've let the habit lapse a bit and I miss it. I've added the Shelfari application here to hold myself accountable. I have no set number of books that must be read, just the commitment to continual practice. (Steve, this goal was actually inspired by your own desire to read more.)

The world isn't the's the pearl. Bahamas

2. Continue to Travel. There is nothing that will grow you more than expanding your horizons. As far as places, Alaska is always on my list. I love the place more than any other and any return to it is always welcome. I'd like to break the borders again this year...while overseas seems a bit out of reach right now, Canada and Mexico have always treated me well and I'd love to trip over the lines to them again. (Not to say I won't still reach for further locations!) Still, even small trips here and there...anywhere I've never been before and those comfortable places I frequent will be more than welcome. The point is to just keep in motion.

It took me a very long time to be comfortable in my own skin.

3. Continued Fitness. I decided not to think of this as "lose some weight" or anything like that. I believe that weight loss is the number one resolution made every year...but for's become more than that. This is one of those goals that flows from year to year. I have never been that girl with the svelte figure, the hourglass that the boys clamor for. I do however apparently "have a great personality." ;) Over the past few years, I've dramatically changed the way I view my body...and through it, my own self worth. I've made the effort to stop seeing the flaws and start seeing the strength. Of course that doesn't mean I don't still look in the mirror and sigh from time to time. Eventually this will deserve it's own post since it's been pretty integral to who I am...but over a relatively short course of time, I've lost over 70lbs. Faith, dedication, and self denial have all been factors. It has been one of the most difficult roads I've ever walked but one of the most rewarding. My goal is to keep continuing down that road, reaching milestones along the way, but never stopping. This is one of those journeys without end...

I can skate enough to not fall down every time I go...I'd like a little more skill than that though.

4. Learn to ice skate. It's fun. Really, what more do you need?

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory in the face of Jesus the Messiah." 2 Corinthians 4:6

5. Grow closer to my God. I am a Christian and am unashamed of it. My desire is to grow closer to Jesus Christ and to tell others of the joy of a relationship with Him. Christ is my joy and my continued rock, my shield, and my salvation. He is not my crutch, He is my backbone.

"Bear ye one another's burdens. Help each other, sustain each other; if you see one about to stumble under his burden, hold him up." Galatians 6:2

6. Let people know that they matter. A letter, a card, a care package. The offer of help when someone's in need...a shoulder to cry on or a voice to laugh with...I just want to show love to those that need it.

Designed for the F/V Wizard of Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch based off of the concept by Capt. Keith Colburn's father. Available at

7. Expand my freelancing. One of the things I truly enjoy is freelance graphic design. T-shirts and logos especially. It's something I don't put myself out there enough, but I'd really like to get more involved in my own design. I work packaging design as a day job, but it doesn't offer me the enjoyment of freelance.

Ok, so I'm not skydiving here, but I imagine that's what the ground would look like from the skydiver's perspective.

8. Go skydiving. This has been a goal for a while and my best friend and I keep wanting to try it. It's one of those things you say "I'd sure like to do that" and then shelf it until you think "I'd sure like to do that" again. Well, this year I'd like to think "I can't believe I did that!"

A hodgepodge of dreams and ideas...

9. Risk security for a heart's desire. I can't get into specifics yet, but I'd like to think I have the courage of my conviction to give up on something safe and comfortable for something unsure yet deeply longed for. Hopefully, there will be an update of great significance.

Snorkeling in Sitka, AK.

10. Learn how to scuba dive. I love to snorkel, but I'm not certified to dive. I'd love to I should be.

I could keep posting for a while...but 10 seems like a reasonable number for now. I find it easier to keep life from slipping away in the day by day when I actually sit down and set out what I'd like to accomplish. I guess in a way, that's number 11. Live each day to the fullest extent. Some days, that may be a grand adventure in some exotic location. Others, it may be simply finishing the work day and curling up with a good book. The point is to just value the moments and what you choose to do with them.


Alaska Steve said...

Those are all great goals! I always like throwing goals out there, and I always surprise myself by what I accomplish; I'd like to think setting the goals helped. I really want to get scuba certified but the instructor is up at U of A Fairbanks getting his Masters until summer - maybe then . . . cheers, steve

Elizabeth Douglas said...

Thanks Steve! I think setting goals, is really important if you want to accomplish something. I think just having it structured and set out before you makes a sense, more "real," not just an idea. I think that getting your certification would be a great summer goal! Cheers Steve!