As I am getting ready to head to bed for the night, I am thinking about my planner (again). It holds my homework information, exam dates, events, birthdays and anniversaries, and even what I plan on cooking for each meal throughout the week. I noticed today that I fill out every single section the same exact way for every single day. Not to mention the fact that I have an established model that I stay pretty close to when planning my meals or other events and meetings.
From prepping for the day, going to class, going to work, eating meals, doing homework, going to organization meetings, exercising, and many other tasks- you could say that I have devleoped a routine by which I carry out my life. Many things stay the same on a daily or weekly basis with a few surpirises every once in a while. I have so many things written down in my planner that I have to do every day that it can be really easy to be distracted by my “To Do” list for one particular day and forget about my list of things that I have set long term goals for. As an example, the habit of setting aside time every morning and evening to spend at least a few minutes in the presence of Jesus, reflecting, reading, journaling, or in prayer is something I have always tried to keep in my life for the long run. I also like to periodically send notes in the mail to my younger siblings at home or do random acts of kindness. Another long-term goal of mine is to attend PA school, so I like to spend time researching and looking into what life may look like when I get to that time.
While all of these long-term goals sound great, it can be really easy to forget about them when focusing on the short term goals of just getting through the day or making it until the weekend. A recent long-term goal that I have come up with is to make my long-term goals a part of my short-term goals. I carve out time to spend with Jesus every single day (please remember that I am a college student and I am a human, no I do not actually succeed in reading and journaling every single day), I make it a habit to sit down and jot a note to someone close to me or do something nice, and I think about the future and how my current daily routine is shaping my ability to succeed as the idea of grad school becomes a lot less far away.
I am a strong believer in routines and short-term goals, but it is important to think about the long-term as well, because wearing scrubs and treating patients is only a blink away.