This season of life’s goals

I’m eager to write part three of the mini-series on scheduling which will outline how I hope to spend my time in this upcoming Spring semester as a full time student. I’d especially like to finish while it is still 2016. Before I can though, I must share a document that describes the life goals I am in the middle of pursuing. There will be some parts that allude to even older documents. Ask about those if you’re interested; this is the relevant one:

“Things to do in an introduction to adulthood.”
-March 21, 2016

The document that motivates the title of this present one was a hand written work produced on April 12, 2015, as I was considering the potential gains of staying professionally (without going back to school) an additional year in Cleveland, TN. Ultimately, my wife and I decided to stay because the perceived potential gains far outweighed the perceived potential losses. “Things to do in a 2nd year off” can be found here[1] and revisited here[2] and concluded here[3].

In the same vein, I’d like to set goals for the upcoming season of life categorically. I consider the introduction to adulthood to be my twenties. I am not ignorant of the fact that many people die in their twenties and that many people beyond their twenties are still grasping basics of adulthood – I expect to be among this group after my twenties. But I’d like to succeed in several aims and goals are the vehicle for productivity in my life. Here are those goals:


  • Establish Bible Reading Plan and develop habit of following reading plan
  • Journal via computer through Bible reading plan for 1 year
  • Establish weekly prayer sessions and attend faithfully for 1 year
  • Read in Greek and Hebrew several times a week for 6 months
  • Visit all U.S. Cistercian Monasteries
  • Complete Bible “To Memorize” began in 2015
  • Memorize “To Memorize”
  • Create a recording of a Psalter with Hayley
  • Fast in the Summers
  • Honor the Sabbath
  • Tithe


  • Maintain a Relational Schematic
  • Develop Mentors
  • Develop Family Tree


  • Fast in the summers
  • Take walks with Hayley; 200 each calendar year
  • Hike a famous trail
  • Stretch daily for 6 months
  • Have personal trainer for 4 months
  • Bike across America
  • Complete a marathon
  • Run a 10K
  • Join an Ultimate League for a season
  • Join a Soccer League for a season


  • Receive an MDiv
  • Receive Math Certificate (Khan or other online school)
  • Learn Spanish, French, German, Biblical Greek and Biblical Hebrew
  • Attend Masseur Training
  • Consider an MBA or Accounting certification
  • Consider a Masters of Apologetics
  • Consider a DMin or PhD
  • Consider a Masters in Counseling or Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Consider Chiropractic School
  • Consider Law School


  • Work 3+ months employed exclusively as a missionary/in ministry
  • Work as a blogger


  • Develop “Financial Independence” and “Retire Early”
  • Give and receive Power of Attorney to/from Hayley


  • Visit and stay in an Igloo
  • Spend a month traveling
  • Spend a month submitted to Levitical law
  • Live a month on legumes


  • Visit all U.S. Cistercian Monasteries
  • Visit the Iona Community
  • Take a Reformers tour
  • Take Hayley to Harry-Potter World
  • Take Hayley to Disney (Land or World)
  • Explore possible places to “Settle Down”


  • Blog: Letters to Mitch
  • Blog: Book Reviews
  • Blog: Self-Improvement: Relational Path, Physical Path, Financial Path, Prayers


As my list is coming to an end, I want to conclude with tentative scheduling, yet I see that scheduling will change from season to season as different emphases are placed and obligations accepted. Therefore I’ll finish here. May all things be to the glory of God.

[1] Things to do in a 2nd year off
[2] _Things to do in a 2nd year off_ Revisited.
[3] Things done and un-done in a second year off


My Core Values


So, I’m eager to share my current life season’s goals (as part of the prep for my potential schedule), but before I can go there, I need to share with you my core values. This also serves as a response to Notecard 12.10.2016 – Thoughts on Happiness and Purpose. Here’s the content of the card:

  • Happiness is not a second order event premised on something else occurring first. It’s a first order event that happens when you live your truth.
  • The end of man is to glorify God and/by enjoy/enjoying Him forever.
    • God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied by Him.
  • I suspect a person is happiest when seeking the glory of God.
    • Therefore, to make much of God is to seek my enjoyment and is to fulfill my purpose

The first bullet is from an article discussing a common early retirement mistake.  Basically, Todd Tressider, the author, is suggesting that a lot of people pursue early retirement as a means to avoid a life they do not like, which they have, and acquire a life that they want, but do not have. And this is a mistake if you could make the transition prior to achieving early retirement. I think Todd is right.
We as humans desire happiness and often settle for too little happiness. As C.S. Lewis put it, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

The second bullet is taken from the answer to the first question of the Westminster shorter catechism. The subpoint comes from page 18 of John Piper’s Desiring God. I believe both of these are derived correctly from the Bible and are trustworthy truths.

The third bullet is my conclusion. And it’s based on my experience. I enjoy myself most when I am seeking the glory of God. The subpoint is the total conclusion. With those established, here are my core values/desires/pursuits:

  1. [Seek to] Know God as God
  2. Be proud of self
  3. Serve Hayley
  4. Be sought for wisdom/Earn the respect of people
  5. Father children
  6. Serve my family practically
  7. Give children a legacy
  8. Foster positive relationships with friends
  9. Sleep often
  10. Check things off a Bucket List

This short list of ten things is a description of a lifelong pursuit from which my goals flow. These Core Value should never change, even though my life goals will change. Also, I listed them in order of perceived importance. The order may change as I age/mature and my priorities shift.


Have you ever composed a list of your core values? If so, why did you? If not, why don’t you – I think you might really enjoy processing and articulating your priorities?

For my partners in accountability

Currently, the Google Form that I’ve been using for accountability comes in three pages: first it asks about morning travel habits, eating choices, disciplines and then my feelings on the morning, second it asks about my lunch and school work, third it asks about rotation time, things “I feel I have to do, but don’t directly relate to written goal sheets”, and how I feel about the overall use of my day.

I like the form for how the responses are preformed for most of the questions. That means that I don’t have to consider how to answer, I only need to answer. It cuts down on typing volume and decision fatigue and really enables me to “just log data”, which is a huge part of my methodology around goal-setting/goal-attaining. Also, it quantifies and graphs responses which is such a useful tool! Especially for those who keep me accountable to be able to easily see trends and probe into them.

However, there are two qualitative portions of the Form that do not benefit from the above mentioned characteristics of using a form. They are the questions, “How did you feel about your use of the morning?” and “How did you feel about your use of the day?”. So, I think I would like to start addressing those on my web-log … “in hopes of connecting with real people over the internet.“… Probably by asking the slightly more inclusive question: “How do you feel about how you spent your day?”

Probably that will start next week. If not, it will be the week after. For now, I’m out.
For comments, have you ever started a blog you’ve regretted?