Personal Goals and Personal Failures

I have been a little MIA lately– everywhere.  Seriously, I can’t think of one area of my life where I’ve been completely present and dedicated to in some time.  My friendships are waning, my spiritual life is stalled, work tends to be where my greatest energies are spent but I spend most of that time wishing I was working on other things.

I have been in survival mode a lot lately.  Truth is, that is where I like to be most of the time: running on fumes, doing as much as I can, as fast as I can and as well as I can.  Being in survival mode can lead to great creativity and work under pressure.  It can also ruin your ability to be present in anything because you’re always ready for the next fight and challenge.

This being the case, I haven’t had any goals for myself in a while.  It isn’t that I have been floating along without the care for self improvement, but rather I have been sprinting along trying to avoid burn-out.  And thus, as I said earlier, I have done nothing well in some time: relationships, work, Micah 6, spiritual growth, health, etc.  All of these things have been suffering.  


To address that I am setting real goals with real time-tables to combat this.  Some of my goals are fun bench marks (#1).  Others are to address real areas of shame in my life that I think will help me feel better about myself (#2, #3).  Other still are in areas where I feel like I am doing well, but want to get even better (#4).

1. Run A Marathon – So, here’s the thing.  I am not what you’d call an athletic guy.  I don’t like exercize a whole lot or long distance running at all.  I am, unfortunately, pretty good at it.  This summer I basically showed up to a half marathon without really training and finished decently.  I think if I really put my mind and energy toward it that I could do a full marathon.  Sadly, marathon season is coming to a close soon, so this might be a one-year goal.

2. Finish that Class – I don’t deal with failure well.  I have a college class that I gave up trying to pass at one point (that point being after I failed it three times) that I would like to take and pass.  This class is embarassing for me because I can’t pass it.  Letting it hang out there is only letting it taunt me.  I thought I could blow it off and get over it, but I just can’t.  When I look at long-term failures for me finishing that class and my degree are two things that hang over me and others hang over me as well.  It is likely that to accomplish this goal I will have to take a prerequisite class as well.  I would like this goal accomplished a year from now.

3. Get my weight back to 180 – Weight problems come with living a low-income lifestyle:  working in food service, menial jobs that are largely sedintary, only being able to afford inexpensive foods on the go. I saw my weight top out at 205 recently.  But at this point in my life and career there is no excuse for it.  I have enough money to eat well if I plan well.  I have a job that comes with a membership to an amazing gym.  I am already down to 190.  That extra 10 pounds will do wonders for my self esteem.  This also coincides with goal #1 quite nicely. I would like to see that last 10 pounds gone by the end of the year.

4. Put even more money toward my debt, emergency fund, and grown up expenses. Monthly I am putting $315 dollars toward my school debt, but I know I can do more, but I need to do it the right way.  Odds are that I will re-read Dave Ramsey and I am even to do Financial Peace University again at Kensington-Orion.  In the next four months I want a full emergency fund, a higher loan payment and an all-round better handle on my monthly expenses and income.

5. Finish reading the book Real Marriage by the Driscolls. I have read a lot of books on marriage and relationships.  None have been quite as blunt, straightforward and good as this book.  I started this book a few months ago and gleaned so much in just a few chapters.  I really want to continue to grow with it and finish the book by the end of January.   

6. Read the Bible.  Cover to cover.  It is something I have done twice now, but over time my relationship with scripture has waned some and I have really forsaken study for action.  These things exist to inform the other, so I cannot neglect one for the other.  Therefore it is time for me to get back into the word and spend some time plowing through its richness again.  I would like to finish this task by the end of the year.  

7. Pick a Master’s Program.  I need to be figuring out my future.  The survivalist lifestyle I have been living has been counter to really doing any long-term planning for my life.  On the one hand I could get my Master’s in Religious Education for free if I stay at Rochester College, but if I am looking to go the Public Administration route I will have to begin looking elsewhere. Of course, all of this is for naught if I don’t accomplish #2.  So, pick a Master’s program will also be a one-year goal.  

8. Be well-integrated into an open and honest faith community. It is humorous and sad that a person who is planting a church, can have gone for some time without this kind of community and openness with a group who can keep me accountable and honest, breathing both affirmation and correction into my life.  This is a life-style and vocation that can eat you alive with temptation, attacks, exhaustion, hurdles, brick walls and pressure points you didn’t know you had. Without a community like that you can’t stand and I am not talking about a church that I like, I am talking a small group of people who have each other’s backs in all situations and circumstances.  Deadline for this was yesterday, so I am already late.


Of course, this is not exhaustive.  Even talking to Jenny about them right now I have come up with a couple more.  But this seems like a good place to start… Wish me luck, encourage me, keep me accountable.


About coleyoakum

My name is Coleman Yoakum. I am formerly a student at Harding University. Today you can find me in Detroit Michigan doing what I can to expand the Kingdom of God and preparing to start an intentional community in Pontiac. I enjoy reading, writing, photography, music and politics. I am sure that all of these things will find their way to this blog from time to time. Twitter: coleyoakum Facebook: Coleman Yoakum Email: Flickr:

2 responses to “Personal Goals and Personal Failures”

  1. Courtnie says :

    I like number two the best. It’s been my desire for you as your friend.
    If you want a training program for #1 let me know.
    Number 8, if we could talk more, I’d like to be one of the persons who does that and doesn’t live in your community.

    Number ten. I am proud of you.

  2. kayladean says :

    Sounds like you’re being pulled in mulitiple directions. I feel the same way; somedays I wonder why I don’t snap, literally. LOL. I’ll say a prayer for ya.

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