It took less than two weeks into the month of January before I realized that my personal goals didn’t fit. They didn’t work with my day to day life and I wasn’t excited about them. The overall mission was still there, still igniting my motivation, and getting me pumped about the year ahead, but the daily grind was killing my smaller goals.
My initial reaction was disappointment. So much time was spent reflecting and crafting reasonable, exciting, and purposeful goals for myself – how was it that my daily, weekly, and monthly goals weren’t getting me closer to the finish line?
Okay – reality check: I know that it’s not realistic to expect progress in two weeks. But you should feel some sort of movement, right?
In late December, I started my reflection and planning process using the 2017 PowerSheets from Cultivate What Matters. You can read about that process, take a look into my brainstorming, and see my goals here.
Knowing what January had in store for Justin and I, goal setting seemed odd. How could I be planning for my year when I didn’t know what our life would look like post-transplant? I was anxious about setting myself up for failure, ultimately losing interest and not following through on this process for the next twelve months. I started small: on a day to day basis I wanted to walk 5,000 steps, track all of my eating in MyFitnessPal, clean at least one thing, reach out to one person, and track my gratitude for the day.
Working in an office, getting in 5,000 steps can be difficult, I found myself more annoyed with my hourly reminders (thanks, FitBit) than excited by them. I looked like a loon walking around a board room table as I facilitated meetings, and had the maintenance guy demanding I do laps around the cubicles in the office before I could use the restroom. I mean, it was fun, but jeez, it became the priority of my day. And still, I didn’t hit 5,000 ONCE.
Other than the incorporation of a higher step count into my day, the actual issue with my daily goals was TRACKING them. Going back at the end of the week didn’t work, how was I supposed to remember what I cleaned on Tuesday? My daily goals became something to add to my to-do list, and I already had enough things on that. My resentment began to build – not good. ::images of PowerSheets flying through the air::
In all of my reflection, planning, and goal setting, I missed a step. I didn’t plan for the restructure process – I just assumed I had gotten it right on the first try. Boy, was I wrong.
One evening when I was home on my own, I pulled out my PowerSheets and my favorite orange marker and went to town! I took notes, I made connections between my goals instead of looking at them individually, and added in another category for the year: CREATE.
In my haste to put all of my goals into neat packages (tied with a bow, of course), I forgot an important aspect of who I am – I like to create things. I like to write, doodle, color, develop images, take pictures, play with craft supplies, and try new things. My days should be filled with more than just a check list, it should include the things I love to do!
The once monochromatic goal pages of my PowerSheets booklet are now covered in orange notes and doodles inspiring me so much more than any black marker ever could. Even if it was a medium point flair pen.
A piece of advice, my little goal setter? Give yourself some grace and be satisfied with progress. Not everything is going to be perfect on the first try. Stop, reevaluate, build in realistic action steps, and always, always, always, remember to build in time to take care of yourself.