May 22nd, 2011 by Alex  |  Published in Goals, Habits  |  Write Comment

Today at church we had a discussion about Dallin H. Oaks’ talk from last General Conference, Desire. What drives our actions?

He says “Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.”

So it looks a little something like this:

Desires -> Priorities -> Choices -> Actions

Is there a disconnect in our supposed desires (our goals) and the things we actually end up doing? If so, it’s time to fix that disconnect.


October 2nd, 2009 by Alex  |  Published in Habits  |  1 Comment

Last month, my sister wrote a blog post about becoming recommitted. Something about that post stuck with me, because I was in the process of recommitting myself as well. Life can get busy, but I need to make time for the things that are most important to me. Around the same time I saw Beth’s blog post I noticed that Julia was writing up a list of 100 goals she’d like to achieve in her life. She said that one of her classes at BYU Education Week brought that idea up- the teacher said to write down 100 goals of any kind- things you’d like to do or accomplish in life. Unlike most of the other goals I’ve heard, there didn’t have to be a timetable involved; these goals were more like items in a wish list. Crossing something off your list means that you’ve got a memory of doing that thing, and that’s just as good as getting a Christmas present that had been on your wish list.

A week or so later I started my own list. It’s not up to 100 items yet, but it’s getting there. Many of the items have to do with being recommitted, and it’s a perfect time to post these given that this weekend is General Conference. It seems that Latter-day Saints have lots of opportunities to recommit themselves: New Year’s, General Conference, and even each Sunday as we take the Sacrament we recommit ourselves to following Jesus Christ. Here are a few of the goals I’m thinking about right now, each of which probably deserves its own blog post:

  • Scripture reading
  • Keeping up with my Spanish skills
  • Fitness goals

There’s a lot more on my goals list, but these are the ones that are important to me right now. I don’t want to do too much while I’m just getting started, because it’s going to take a marathon effort to cross everything off my goals list!

Where do I find the time?

February 6th, 2009 by Alex  |  Published in Goals, Habits, Mormonism, Spirituality  |  1 Comment

Life is busy. The to-do list is growing. Where do I find the time to do the things that I know are important, but just don’t fit into a day? Often it’s about compromises, but I’m trying to learn to make routines that combine the things that are important to me. For example, if I want to go on a walk, I can take along my MP3 player loaded with a book on tape or the scriptures. Since I just finished listening to an audiobook in the car, I need something new. I think I’ve finally graduated from the radio, because I get annoyed by the fact that even the stations I listened to in high school play more music I don’t like than music I do like. These are just two situations where I can incorporate something spiritual to that list, such as listening to Jesus the Christ or the Book of Mormon, both of which are free at audio.lds.org. Take a look at that site, because it’s full of great things to listen to that you can download for free. Adding little spiritual activities into a routine is a great way to promote those important goals off the to-do list and into habits.

Pruning Our Goals

June 11th, 2008 by Alex  |  Published in Goals, Habits  |  Write Comment

We just got back from two weeks away from home, which means that a lot of the things we usually do haven’t been done. There is grass to mow, groceries to buy, clothes to wash, and plenty more items like that on our to-do list. Does this mean we’re stressed about all that we have to do? Not really. We’re excited to get back into the swing of things and we’re looking at today as sort of a fresh beginning. Looking at our back lawn (which is really more weeds than grass, but we’re working on that), I think of these few days of “back to normal” before a routine sets in as an opportunity to prune back the things that have crept up on us and kept us overly busy.

It’s been almost two months since my last blog post? No problem! This post as an opportunity to redefine my goals for this blog. I’m not going to commit myself to posting here every day- a few times a month sounds more like it. I’m planning on taking the same strategy to fix the other things that are left undone.

Some things that went undone over the last few weeks will definitely stay that way, getting pruned off and out of our lives in the process. For me, that list includes a few TV shows I recorded to our DVR but were really more of a time-waster than entertainment, RSS feeds that I didn’t really read anymore, and other similar goals. Now the only trick is to make sure that other time-wasters don’t creep in to fill the void- there are plenty of other worthy goals worth tackling.

Tips for Family Scripture Study

March 21st, 2008 by Alex  |  Published in Habits  |  3 Comments

Family scripture study with little kids is no picnic, but my sister recently finished reading the Book of Mormon with her family. Congratulations, Beth! She even shared several tips for developing a family scripture study habit that she learned along the way.