The Year of 12 Virtues

Blogging for Progress: The Experiment Begins
March 4, 2009, 1:45 am
Filed under: "blogging for progress", blogging, goals, Month 1: Integrity, virtue

This month 16 individuals set out to better understand what integrity means. They were all asked to think about integrity, and make a personal goal to have the Month of March be their Month of Integrity. The variety of goals were instructive, showing that integrity means very different things to different people. Here are some of the great goals individuals from the experiment chose:

– Never criticize another person when they aren’t around, unless you are willing to criticize them to their face.
– Train for a half marathon: show integrity by keeping to the goal of running 6 days a week.
– Goal for lent- eat no cheese for 40 days- and be 100% faithful to that goal.
– My word is my bond, follow through on 100% of my commitments, if I say I’d like to watch American Idol with my neighbor- I will watch American Idol with my neighbor.
– Learn to speak Spanish, specifically- learn 60 new words per week.
– Truly live my religion, seeking after things that bring me closer to God.

I am hopeful the members of my virtue experiment will achieve all of their goals, but if not, the process of picking these goals, and sharing them with the group has already created a vision of their potential that will hopefully create unexpected opportunities and serendipitous results.

Here are a few tips I would like to share for setting powerful goals this month:


Trees grow because they reach for the sun. For personal growth to occur, we have to leave our comfort zone- explore undiscovered country. The best goals will terrify us a little, demanding we take a step into the unknown.


Expect discouragement. Nobody can be perfect in accomplishing their goals, and we must anticipate falling short sometimes. Be honest with yourself in setting goals, but also be honest with yourself in your shortcomings- do not be discouraged if you fall short of perfection.

I want to invite anybody reading this to join us for the month of integrity. Think about what integrity means for you, and set a goal to make this your Month of Integrity. Feel free to comment below, (publicly or anonymously I’ve changed the settings) and let us know what your goal is!


4 Comments so far
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So my goal for the month of March is to visit teach all of the sisters assigned (by my church women’s group) to me. My goal is a personal visit/lesson in each of their homes.

At first I thought that would be a namby pamby goal because, hello! aren’t I supposed to be doing that anyway? At least I’ve said I would in the past.

However, it’s a particular challenge right now for me because of the sisters I’ve been assigned. Some of them are easy to visit and fun to see. But two of them present a real challenge. One speaks only spanish and as a result doesn’t come to church. Her husband comes and her children come, but she doesn’t feel comfortable and doesn’t understand enough. My limitation is that my spanish is RUSTY (huge understatement). So I feel nervous. The other woman I’ve never met and I don’t even know who she is because she doesn’t come to church either, which always makes me unsure how to begin visiting her.

So… I’m really excited to just put my fears aside and do what I had already committed to do.

Comment by Anonymous

Thank you for this; it’s a really good post. My primary goal for March is to actually move forward a web redesign for the nonprofit I serve. The challenge has been juggling being a new mom with a demanding, full-time, out-of-the-house job. I’m realizing that the more I dwell on the feeling of being overwhelmed, that the more I’m focusing on the negative and thus creating a mental barrier to getting it done. Which in turn creates a feeling of guilt for not getting things done when I said I would, which in turn adds to the mental barrier.

Down with the mental block! I WILL finish the site map, get it approved, finish the wireframes, get them approved, and hand off to the new volunteer for concept creation.

Thanks again for prompting me to give myself a long overdue kick in the pants. Scratch that. A long overdue pep talk!!

Comment by Amy

Awesome post. So how many Spanish words do you know? Need more more help? I can be your ringer!

Comment by juliorvarela

Thanks for your post Amy- sometimes just diving in head first is all we need.

Anonymous, sometimes the biggest challenges we face are those others don’t expect us to accomplish- almost like it gives us permission to fail. Way to set an ambitious goal.

Comment by Adrian the Dad

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