Second Half of Yule 2013

Now, half of this year's Yule celebration is over. It is typical to spend the first half thinking of the things that you have done in the previous year and how those things have gotten you to where you are now. For the second half, it is time to plan for the future.

In the previous year, things may or may not have gone as well as you like. Either way, there should have been some lessons in there. Whether total failure or complete success, there are things to learn and it would be foolish to ignore that resource.

Now is the time to apply those lessons to what you want to accomplish in the next year. Where do you want to be? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? Those are big questions and you need to figure it out as best you can.

One of the possibilities is that you don't have a clear answer to any of those questions. If that's the case, it might be that your year should be spent figuring out more about yourself. That is a perfectly viable goal. Even if you have a good understanding of who you are and what you want, we could all understand ourselves a little better.

There are plenty of online resources for goal setting. They usually remind you to set realistic goals. This includes making sure the goals are small enough to manage and that they only apply to things over which you have control. It should not be your goal to turn the galaxy ninety degrees.

It should be your goal to make yourself a better person in some fashion. Learn a new skill. Become a stronger resource for your community. Get along with others better. Try to make yourself healthier than you are now. Those are reasonable goals over which you probable have some control.

Once you have made your goals, write them down. This will help cement them in your mind. You may also want to create some token or other reminder to help keep you focused. If your goal is to run a marathon, there's nothing wrong with putting up posters for marathons. If you plan to travel, go ahead and display the brochures.

The next step is to make a plan. Some goals lend themselves to very detailed steps. Others can only be outlined in the broadest strokes. Either way, you should try to draw a map of how you will get from here to there. In many cases, the next steps are more concrete and can be easily seen whereas later steps are more difficult to pin down. That's OK, as long as you note that you will fill in those details when more information is available.

It may help to have a buddy or two help keep you on task. You may even ask your whole kindred. Just keep in mind that you asked them and don't get mad when they follow up on their agreed upon task. It can really help when your friends have a similar goal and you can work together for mutual benefit.

One quick note: don't ask the Gods for assistance with your goal unless you are willing to put up with unforeseen side effects. If you tell Odin that you want to run a marathon and would like his help to make sure you do, He may provide you with a situation where you will need to run twenty-six miles. It will be meeting your request and probably helping in His war effort against the forces of order and chaos.

The twelve nights are almost over for this year. It's a good time to plan.