It’s All About Integrity

Thanks to Krappweis for the photo.

Twice a year, I do an inventory of my life. I look at what’s been working, what isn’t working, and what steps I can take to fix things. Reading that sentence, I am impressed at how proactive I am. The reality is not quite as nice.

Until now, my inventories have been pretty informal. I’m a big-picture sort of gal, and coming up with all the specifics of how to track goals, and how to break down goals are not my strong points. So often, I know the general things that are better, or that need work, but the steps toward improvement are harder to make stick.

I’ve let myself off the hook for years. “Play to my strengths,” I tell myself. “You’re doing your best,” I say encouragingly. I defined myself as organizationally challenged, so not meeting goals or having unrealistic timelines for accomplishments was just “me being me,” and therefore ok.

This permitted mediocrity has become a little tiresome. Life is about living what I believe. I can do anything I put my mind to–maybe with some creative skirting around obstacles, and maybe with some unexpected side trips on the way–but my attitude and willingness to hold myself to high expectations are the keys to my success. Right now, true, I am not an organizational genius. I have no need to become someone who has every second pinned down, and a house so perfectly ordered I can do a magazine shoot with no warning. But I can streamline my life so that it works for me. And then I can better work for others.

Living a life of integrity means you do what you believe. No compromise. If I’ve been given life as a blessing, I’m supposed to do something with it. I have to be striving for something. I have to move in the direction of my beliefs. Right now, issues in my life make it hard to be of service to my friends, family, and the world.  I’ve had enough.

So starting now, I’m making new baselines. New levels that I have to meet to be ok with myself. I may change the standards as I tweak the system, but I won’t let the standards go. I won’t break appointments with myself for goal setting and evaluating without a true emergency. I will keep an up-to-date chart showing progress toward different goals. I will tackle laundry, bills, and other obnoxious parts of life at regular intervals because I hate falling behind. I will rest when I need to, and not feel guilty. There will be set exercise in my life, and there will be things I will not eat–starting now.

I don’t like these new resolutions. But I hate seeing the person I want to be languishing. Years have passed. I’m not as young as I used to be. Time will run out someday. I’ve got things to do.

How about you? Do you have goals you’ve let slide? Are they really important to you? If they aren’t important, throw them out. If they are, do whatever it takes to get to them. Life is too short to ignore your dreams.

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