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I want might be the two most powerful and wonderful words in the English language. I imagine that every great endeavor or expedition, every invention — every war even — begins with those two simple words.

The things that I want are legion. They range from things I want to accomplish to places I’d like to visit to things I want to happen.

Each year around my birthday, I sit down and prayerfully consider where I am in my life, the State of Me as it were. I then think about these wants and desires of my heart and see if they can be converted to goals. And then I make a list.

This list encapsulates the things that I most want to happen this year and is appropriately titled, “This Time Next Year…” It’s a fun exercise (play it at dinner with friends) and also a good starting place for goal-setting.

There is something powerful in writing down one’s dreams and goals. It’s also very scary to put your deepest desires and wants on paper where they become tangible and material and not the nebulous desires that exist only in your head and your heart. There seems to be no point of return once it’s written down in 12 pt Courier New font for everyone to see! Writing dowm my dreams turns them into reality and adding a due date (this time next year) turns it into a goal.

I am still in the process of making my list, but I’ll share the three that are foremost in my thoughts and keeping me up at night:

1. This Time Next Year, I will be the girl that God has called me to be. This one is vague because I am learning to walk by faith day-by-day so I don’t know how I will end up next year, but I know that He who began a good work in me is still at work.

2. This Time Next Year, I will be selected as an Olmsted Scholar and preparing to move overseas (ITALY) for my studies.

3. This Time Next Year, I will have a Sweet Something in my life. Something Real and Tangible that consists of much more than what this past year wrought. Something Substantial and Lovely. I am oh-so-tired of the Sweet, Sweet Nothings.

Where do you see yourself This Time Next Year?

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