Category Archives: Self-Awareness

The Good In Setting and Sharing Goals, My Goals for Aspire to Grace

I feel like the time has come for me to set some concrete goals for Aspire to Grace for the rest of 2009.  But for now, I will start with goals for the month and build from there. I started this website two months ago not really knowing how far I could go or in which direction. I feel like I’ve done a lot in this short period of time, although I know there is a lot more that I could be doing. It is a challenge to provide updated content every day during the work week while also having a full-time career where overtime is an expectation. Among the few reasons that it has gone as smoothly for me as it has is my love for writing number one and the fact that I am in an empty house every evening while my husband is away.

Now is the time for me to lay the foundation for the path that I would like to follow with Aspire to Grace. In a few months, I will need to transition into moving, maintaining a full-time home office, spending quality time with my husband when he returns, and maintaining this blog. At least, this is what I am planning. But, I will need to determine whether and how this transition will work.

Setting Goals

We should already know that setting goals is a great way to sort out in our minds where we would like to go in the future. Some goals are very small like establishing that you would like to wash the dishes, clean the house, or get the car washed. On the other hand, some goals are quite grand such as a goal to become wealthy, become the President of the United States, or build a personal flying machine to replace the automobile.

Many times, it is appropriate for us to set medium goals. Goals that may require some good and productive work but are definitely achievable in the short term. These are the types of goals that keep us moving forward. They are at the same time a carrot on a stick and a bit of wind at our backs. They also keep us motivated and a little intimidated at the same time.

Sharing Goals

Not only does the setting of goals keep us organized, but the sharing of goals can keep us committed. Once you have articulated one of your goals to someone you know such as a friend or spouse, how do you feel? If you are a person that likes to keep your word, who values your own credibility, then something as small as verbally expressing your goal will commit you to the task.

I remember when I was younger, I was afraid to tell people what I was planning to do because I feared that I would not follow through and would look silly. Usually, I was right and did not follow through. But did I fail to follow through because of poor planning, or because, since no one else knew about it, it didn’t feel like such a failure?

Now, while I am still reluctant to share every detail of the goals that I set for myself, I am a lot more likely to state my goals out loud, if only to keep myself accountable. This brings me to the reason for this post.

Goals for Aspire to Grace

First, let me start with the goals that I have set and have already achieved. To illustrate my previous point, take note that these goals that I have already achieved were set rather quietly and because I have some achievements under my belt, I am just now getting to the point where I am more confident about articulating further goals.

1. At the end of last year, I set a goal of starting a blog at the first of this year.  I started Aspire to Grace on January 31, 2009.

2. I planned to choose a niche topic on which to write.  I ended up choosing five different topics that interest me for every weekday.  This enables me to stay motivated and inspired to write a post everyday.

3. During the first week of March, I set a goal to reach 35 unique visitors in one day by the following week.  Until that point, about a month into my blog, my highest traffic day was 19 visitors. Although, I did not reach 35 visitors the following week, I did reach 31 visitors as a result of my own link back to Aspire to Grace on Reddit. Three weeks later (last week) I reached 109 visitors in a day because someone submitted a link to my story on Road Etiquette to StumbleUpon.

Here are some goals that I have set for the coming weeks. I’m still a bit of a punk, so I want to start out with small goals over short periods that should increase in greatness over time. But, at least I am articulating them here, so I am definitely committed.

1. By May 1, I’d like to have 10 unaffiliated subscribers. Right now, I only have 1 subscriber that is not affiliated with me through friendship, family or marriage. A big shout out to my peeps that know, love and support me!! Big shout out also to my lone subscriber that I don’t know, thank you for being my first. I hope to have 9 more like you soon enough!

2. This month, I’d like to submit three more articles to directories such as E-Zine. I have already submitted two articles, but each were replicas of posts that I have done on Aspire to Grace. My understanding now is that it is best to submit unique articles to such directories since search engines frown upon duplicate works appearing in the search engine.

3. I’d like to write a guest post on another web blog or have an article appear in a carnival. Guest posts and carnivals are great ways to gain exposure for your work, while building credibility for your blog.

I am going to keep it simple with these three goals. At the end of this month, I will review these goals to see which ones I have achieved and which ones still need some work. At any rate, I will continue moving forward as I work on completing these and other goals that I have set in other areas of my life. I will keep you updated as to my progress.

Do you set and share your goals? What are some goals that you are working onnow?

TOUGH LIFE THURSDAYS is a self-development forum. This is likely to be biased toward my own experiences and desired self-improvement, but I hope it will evolve through input by you and others. If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.


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Filed under business, Self-Awareness, Self-Development, Tough Life Thursdays

Speaking Your Spouse’s Language – Pt. 2

Last week I began a series of posts to discuss reasons for learning the native tongue of one’s spouse in the case of bilingual marriages.  I discussed some of the reasons that undertaking the task of learning may be very important.  I talked about how children, family and friends may all be reasons for wanting to learn the native language of one’s spouse.  But other people may not always be the catalyst for learning the new language.  One may just have the desire to obtain an education and be enlightened.   I even developed a certain empathy for my husband once I started to learn his native Spanish.

Education and Enlightenment 

For someone who enjoys the challenges of learning, acquiring a new language can be a very stimulating task.  I enjoyed that challenge. There are so many tools available to anyone wanting to learn a new language.  When I decided to learn the language of my husband’s native Puerto Rico, I started with a CD series for the basic grammar.  The CDs taught simple conversation Spanish, including greetings and basic sentence structure.  I then moved to the Rosetta Stone computer application.  Rosetta Stone teaches Spanish through associations between words and pictures. After these basics, I subscribed to Think Spanish a monthly magazine containing Spanish-written articles on Spanish-related culture and is accompanied by audio CDs containing verbal renditions of the magazine articles.  It was very helpful to read the magazines along with the CD and eventually, I’d listen to just the CD version in my car on the drive into the office. 

The best education that I could ever have received, however, was during my trips with my husband to visit family in Puerto Rico.  Immersion into a Spanish-speaking environment is an invaluable learning tool.  There, I was constantly exposed to conversation in Spanish and although I couldn’t pick up everything being said my brain was forced to sort through the chatter and make associations with words.  Consistently, I’ve found that I always come away with more understanding of the language than I had when I first arrived.

In addition to education, learning a new language and a new culture almost necessarily brings enlightenment. 

 Empathy and Enlightenment

Part of my own enlightenment during the process of learning Spanish was the empathy that I developed for my husband.  Suddenly I understood the formula behind all of the little grammatical errors that my husband would make in speaking English sometimes.  They made sense to me now.  For example:

  • I understand now why he calls the ‘remote control’ the ‘control remote.’  It is because that is how it is translated literally from Spanish; and
  • I understand now why he calls his nieces and nephews, collectively his ‘nephews.’  It is because, in Spanish, when grouping feminine and masculine subjects together, collectively they are referred to by the masculine designation.

Are there other reasons why learning your spouse’s native language is important?


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Filed under marriage, Marriage and Relationships, Self-Awareness

Light Fare Friday: Two Wolves

As you are facing difficult situations in your life, remember that you may choose which path to follow.  I read this quote recently that illustrates this point nicely.  I am not sure who the original author is:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a debate that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:  “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Which wolf will you feed today?

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Filed under Light Fare, Self-Awareness