Goal Planning, Uncategorized

Goal Planning, Powersheets and My Word for 2019

Ahh January.

Here we are, four days into a new year.  Does anyone else fight the feeling that you’re already behind in the first week of the year, or is that just me?

Starting a new year, with all its promise and potential…right at the tail end of December…when things have been crazy-hectic-yet-simultaneously-completely-unstructured…I may be way off here, but it seems counter-intuitive to me.  Planning goals for the new year while I feel like my routines are burning to the ground around me is a little crazy-making, or at least it has been this year.

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Looking Back on 18 for 2018

I’ve never been successful with New Year’s Resolutions.  The only times I ever tried making them, I abandoned them quickly.  It only took a couple such failed attempts before I decided the process wasn’t for me.  When I’d hear of people setting goals and resolutions at the first of the year, I paid little attention.

But in the past few years I’ve followed certain podcasts and social media accounts that focus on things like habit formation, productivity, and yes…goal setting.  As with most things, I was slow-to-warm-up but over time became intrigued. I wanted to be the type of person who set goals and accomplished them, but I was afraid my track record made trying a waste of energy.

Then, late last fall, the podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin introduced a unique idea: 18 for 2018.  The hosts encouraged one another to create a list of 18 things they wanted to accomplish in 2018.  There were no rules.  Goals could be as specific or as vague as one chose.  They could include one-time items as well as long-term goals.  Tasks could be ambitious and risky or small and safe.  Listeners began creating and posting their own lists, and seeing others’ ideas sparked my own.  I decided to jump in and give it a go.

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What’s Working Well

I’m just going to start this off by being brutally honest and vulnerable: I’m not having the greatest morning. I started this blog to talk about being intentional: doing things with purpose and planning, not haphazardly and reactionary.  But right now, it’s 8:55 am on Friday, the day I set for myself to publish a new post each week.  And here I am, just now writing one.

I feel like this week has been hectic and busy, but I have nothing to show for it.  I feel like I’m failing and floundering and overall a hot mess.

These things may feel true, but they are not true.  Feelings are not facts.

Life is busy, and a mom’s work (or, let’s be real, life as an adult in general) is repetitive and cyclical.  As my former roommate’s brother once told me, “Your laundry will never be completely clean, so long as you are fully committed to the idea of wearing clothes.”  (He now has a PhD in philosophy, unsurprisingly.)

Because I know that how I’m feeling is not the truth, and that intentionality is not only about planning for the future, but about taking assessment of the past and present in order to move forward, today I’m going to remind myself of things in my life that are working well, even while I’m currently frustrated about the stack of dishes in my sink, waiting to be washed yet again.

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Reclaiming Saturday

It used to be my favorite day of the week.  I’d sleep late, linger over breakfast and a second cup of tea or coffee, maybe catch up on cleaning and laundry, run some errands…no rushing, no agenda, no demands.

Those were the days before Saturday Anxiety.

Like a lot of other fears which the reality (and hormones) of becoming a mother brought to the surface in my life, Saturday Anxiety took what had been an enjoyable part of my week and turned it into something that brought me stress and turmoil.  Where once I found Saturday to be relaxing and refreshing, now I found myself always out of sorts, unsettled, discontent.   It seemed that no matter how hard I tried to keep it at bay, the overwhelm and angst would push into my day uninvited, more often than not causing me to fight with my husband, almost weekly leaving me in tears.

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Hope, Trust, and Baby Clothes

This week I cried over a diaper box full of baby clothes, size 18 months – 2 T.

In the middle of putting away yet another load of Abby’s laundry, I decided to perform a quick purge of the things she’s outgrown.  First, to make it easier when we go to get her dressed, and second, because a little friend of ours is exactly the right size to wear them.

It took me next to no-time to sort out the items to pass along. I kept back a couple things that have a little more sentimental value. Most of these clothes have been clogging up Abby’s room, and overflowing into a teetering stack in the guest room closet, for at least a year now.  Everything in the box no longer fits her.  The vast majority of the items were hand-me-downs or gifts.

And yet, for some reason, as I finished up and moved on to cleaning the kitchen, instead of feeling relieved and accomplished, I found myself feeling gloomy and weepy.

I washed dishes while I tried to sort out what was going on with me.  The water and soap swirling around my sink mirrored the thoughts in my head.

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A Call to Follow

They didn’t understand.  They had known the prophecies.  They had waited all their lives.  When He showed up and called them from their normal lives into His nomadic world of miracles and profound teachings, they were ready.

Surely, He was the Messiah. No man could do the things He did.  It was only a matter of time before He took over.  He talked of His kingdom constantly, while they waited in ever growing expectation.  Any day now, He would give them the signal and they would rise up, overthrow the evil Roman empire and rule by His side.

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Preventing an Expectation Hangover

I was chatting with my vastly-more-experienced-traveler friend Denelle, ahead of our trip to Copenhagen this past summer, filling her in on our planning dilemma: whether or not to get a hotel room during our 8-hour layover in London.

“Well, if you decide to get one, make sure you book it early,” she said. “You’d hate to get there thinking you had a room, and then have to sleep in the airport. Avoid the expectation hangover.”

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