Racing for the next milestone

I just levelled up to level 12 in German on Duolingo! I actually kind of set levelling up as a goal for this afternoon, as it was related to the “goals and milestones” topic I was pulling together in my head for this post, and it seemed like something feasible. I’d needed to do almost two hundred points this morning; doing twenty-thirty in a day is what I usually do.

So, goals. I’m hoping to go to Europe next year (my first time!), so getting my German nice and polished is a reasonable goal; I study French too on there, and I intend to pull down some old German books from college and revive my “Translation in Review” website (I translate Angela Merkel’s podcasts on there) once I’ve completed Duolingo’s lessons.

The idea was really to talk about goals versus milestones. Goals are a big finish line, while milestones are those people passing out water along the way. If goals aren’t done right, they can be deflating; either they’re too big, too impossible, or they’re achieved, but then, once the goal is over, you stop pressing forward, there’s no reason to continue. Most goals should be viewed as milestones instead, I think. The goal was to finish a book? Good, pick up a new one and keep reading. The goal was to floss your teeth every day for a month? Good, start again for a new month. The goal was to run a marathon? Good, find a new race to train for. Don’t view them as goals to check off; view them as parts of your life that you’re working on. I’m a reader; I’ve notched another book read. I’m a flosser; I’ve notched another month flossed. I’m a runner; I’ve notched another race completed. Time to get out there and keep reading, keep flossing, keep running.

I made a loaf of lemon bread last Sunday! It turned out so well, I’ve decided that I’m going to make a new sweet bread every week for the next several weeks. It’s a perfect little habit to pick up, a delightful way to get myself back into baking. I brought most of that lemon loaf to work last Monday, and even though I got to the office earlier than many of my coworkers that bread was still gone in less than two hours. That made me feel so good. I can still bake delicious things. And hopefully now getting back into practice I can make more and more tasty things. And gain some confidence while I’m at it.

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Mmmm, lemon loaf.

Yes, I know that’s a meat knife, it was the biggest knife in the office kitchen.

Featured Recipe: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/lemon-bread

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