Goals // Week 52

This week is the last full week of 2019, the week of Christmas and the first of my winter break. I have to work some, but the work will be light and relatively free from stress or frustration. I’ll also have a lot of time I get to claim for myself and I do not want to waste any of it. This week is practice for the new year and a chance to wrap up the last through reflection and resolution.

This week I will:

Finish my resume! If nothing else gets done at all over the next two weeks but this, I will count my time well spent and my winter break a success. I have enough on my plate worrying and preparing over interviews; I don’t want to worry about (or fail miserably over) something as simple as updating dates and duties in a document. The fact is, I am just terrified of change and this small task signals big changes to come, but the change is good and I have more than earned it.

Update: I did it and it looks great. I was afraid that when I was done there would be embarrassingly little to show for all my years with the same company and with very liitle change to my position but it turns out I have done, and still do, so much. I’m proud of all of it and happy to see it laid out in black and white finally.

 Schedule every hour for the next week and then stick to the schedule. This is early practice for my one New Year’s resolution: To be mindful of how I spend my days, and thus, how I spend my life. I’m simply using Google calendar to start and mapping out everything I need to do from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. I’m tired of losing time. I’m tired of looking back on the day and having nothing to show. I want a record, a reminder, a place to be accountable.

Update: I made it as far as Wednesday and then the whole thing fell apart. I should have just sat down and adjust and edited what I had after that but I felt like a failure and so ended up avoiding the whole thing. This can’t happen again though. Mistakes are okay, but given up in unacceptable.

Start an early morning workout, nothing too strenuous. I won’t begin until after the holiday, or until I am feeling a little better, so this goal only counts for Thursday and Friday at the least. I have been pledging all year to start a workout regimen and have failed miserably week after week but now that I am scheduling my time and getting used to getting up early even on my days off; I think an easy 20 minute work out before breakfast and a shower is a good place to start.

Update: I have it all written out, but I only completed one day. I think I need more time in the mornings than I have been giving myself and a space that makes me feel more comfortable. I’ve moved the weights back into the “creativity room”, put up the pull-up bar, and brought up a yoga mat too. Next week I there will be no excuse.

Make time for my plants and pets. The dog has been cooped up, he snakes are being neglected, and my plants are all looking a little limp and brown around the edges. Only the cat is thriving in this newfound independence my chronic illness has given them but even she wishes her litter box was cleaned a little more often. I haven’t been feeling well but they need me too and I have to stop being so selfish with all of my good hours.

Update: I wish the weather had been warmer to walk the dog in but she did get lots of cuddle time, a trip to the pet store, new toys, and treats. The cat is sleeping with me again and the snakes all got fresh clean substrate, nice big meals, and new hides to burrow in. All the plants were watered, pruned, and moved to more favorable lighting conditions as needed.

Post my end-of-year reflections and my beginning of year intentions and goals. I have them drafted but deciding what you want a whole year to look like before it’s even begun is a daunting task. I have no idea what kind of year 2020 will be or what kind of person I will be in it. I also know that whatever I say now will change within 3 months and be completely forgotten by August, anyway. Still, if I want to be more deliberate in my life, I have to try.

Update: I was simple a week too early. This goal was meant for Week 01, not week 52. Still, I did write the posts, mostly, and plan to share them on the days they are meant to go out. If I do it, I will come back and update this post to reflect that.

Enjoy my holiday! I’ve never been a big fan of Christmas or New Year’s. I’ve never liked winter and I’ve never taken much time off during the break. This year isn’t really an exception but I would like to make a little more of an effort. I’d like to look for the good, to see the bright lights, to eat good food, to feel warm and cheerful. It was a good year. I am surrounded by love and support, and looking forward to so many good things. I’d like to celebrate that too.

Update: Christmas was delightful! All my gifts made it to their intended destinations and recipients. I received some pretty neat things in exchange. There was plenty of good food, plenty to drink, plenty of laughter, and I was surrounded by so much warmth and love. I enjoyed every second, and I am relieved beyond words that it’s finally over.

This week I won’t let myself get too down. My health is weighing on my mind and weighing down my body but if I put rest first, eat what I know is good for me, keep a positive outlook, and allow myself to feel pride in accomplishing what I can rather than dwelling on what I can’t I know I can keep on putting one foot in front of the other though to the week’s end.

P.S. For a look at how I fared last week check out my updated post for Week 51.

Photo by Katie Doherty on Unsplash

Goals // Week 51

This week is going to be a long one, I already know it, but there’s nothing I can do to speed it up or to make the hours less grueling so there is no point in dwelling or whining over it. Instead, I will focus on the moment rather than wishing for the weekend. I will give each of my tasks my best and when it’s time to rest, I will give that my best too.

This week I will:

Read 100 more pages of The Plague by Albert Camus. Having such limited energy level lately means that not only must my best hours be spent on the most physically taxing tasks but that the act of reading has become a rather potent sedative. To be too tired for books is a rather depressing way to live, and I’d rather make cuts elsewhere than go on like this another week.

Update: I did it but I’m not happy with how it went. I read the most on Monday making it halfway to my goal in the first day of the week, but every day after that I made less and less time for reading. What I’m trying to do is read a little every day. I want reading to be a habit. I want to treat each book like a marathon, not a sprint.

 Stay on top of my meal and medication schedule. I’m still tweaking the regime and trying to find the best way to take all my medications and supplements that facilitates maximum absorption and effectiveness and results in as little nausea as possible. I’m doing well but the slightest distraction can mean skipped doses, missed meals, detrimental cravings, and debilitating fatigue. Bonus: Stay hydrated!

Update: It’s been so hard with work, with holiday festivities, time spent out shopping and with my withering appetite but I’m doing my best. I have the schedule down and the pills separated so that they are spread throughout the day. I take them with me wherever I go and I give myself permission to stop and eat when I can and where I can to make sure I stay on top of my health.

Schedule time to create a new “Bradbury prompts” list every day and write 1000 words. There is no goal beyond that. The words do not have to be good. They do not have to be interesting or even make sense. They do not even have to be published or shared. The goal is to practice the art of WORK RELAX DON’T THINK and all I need for that is a pen to write and paper to spill my thoughts onto.

Update: This is my greatest disappointment this week. Making the list last week really worked. It got me thinking, feeling, and writing in a way that I haven’t been able to in a long time. But writing, real writing, the kind that forces me to delve deep, feel my feelings, and then to expose myself to others is terrifying. I famously avoid anything that is hard or scary, so, I just didn’t make the tie and put the whole thing out of my head.

Finish my Christmas shopping and ship packages to out-of-town loved ones. It’s going to be hard but every day after work I am going to have to go back out into the world, fight the cold and the crowds, and get my gifting done. I have a few packages to ship but have little hope they will arrive on time. I just have to do my best.

Update: I’m done! I hated every second of it but I’m happy now knowing all the cute and fun things I bought are on their way to my loved ones across the country. I had hoped to send them a week earlier than I did to avoid the up charge to guarantee arrival by Christmas but I’m content knowing I wasn’t so late it was impossible all together.

Start a gratitude journal. Since I have been posting here (almost) daily I’ve severely neglected my physical journal. When I was journalling by hand regularly I used to end each day with a list of 5 good things that happened or that I felt, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. These things are often too personal for the internet which is why I haven’t continued the practice but I miss it. Time to get back to making gratitude a daily practice.

Update: I wanted to but to be honest, I wasn’t having a very good week and since the journal is a new one and I couldn’t bring myself to start out a new journal in such a negative time. Things have since improved. I have a better outlook and a lot more hope and excitement for the year to come. I am ready to start fresh for the new year.

This week I won’t let people who don’t have my best interests at heart get to me. I won’t let their bitterness push me to act out of character and I will remember that every opportunity I have I earned through hard work and passion. When I feel my frustration rising, I’ll isolate and immerse myself in my work and look toward a bright future I know is on the way.

P.S. For a look at how I fared last week check out my updated post for Week 50.

Photo by Nicolas Moscarda on Unsplash

Goals // Week 50

This week I have a lot to get done, again, but not as much as last week. The new class of employees is just about done and by midweek I should start seeing more time for myself and I just hope to have the energy, the mental resources, and the emotional stability to focus on what is important when that time comes along.

This week I will:

Read 100 pages of The Plague by Albert Camus. Last week I didn’t get any reading done at all and while I already know I will fall far short of my reading goals for the year, I had hoped to end with at least two more books under my belt. So, this week I have to get back to it. I don’t think 20 pages a day is too much to ask of myself.

Update: I made it just over half way which was better than nothing so I won’t be too hard on myself. I just have so little energy right now that reading has become a chore. I’m actually really missing it and hoping that paring a cup of black or green tea with my reading time going forward will help perk me up and get me through the pages.

 Stay on top of my meal and medication schedule. Between medications and supplements I’m up to at least 17 pills a day. Some of them have to be taken with food, some 30 minutes before I eat, and some make me so nauseous that they have to be spaced out as much as possible front the others. That means I can’t miss a meal, or eat too late, or forget a pill or I end up feeling cruddy or slipping back down hill. My health has to be the top priority now.

Update: I only missed one evening dose of my medication and between 17 pills and having to break my meals up into four a day rather than three I think that’s pretty good. I made some small tweaks to the schedule and wrote it down to keep with me so I won’t forget what to take when. Just 7 more weeks to go like this.

Begin my own list of what I have started calling “Bradbury prompts“. These are simple words or phrases pulled from the mind without too much forethought to kick start blog posts and essays. The list is the first step in the Ray Bradbury WORK RELAX DON’T THINK system. I’m looking for patterns, for concept groups, for my motivation and possibly a project.

Update: I did “start” but I failed to keep going. I did enjoy the exercise very much and saw immediately how it could save me time and help me start writing when I don’t know where to begin. Going forward I really want to make this something I schedule and do every day and follow the list up with 1000+ words toward an essay or blog post based on what pops out of my head and into the list.

Get the Christmas shopping finished for our out-of-town people. December is slipping away quickly and before you know it, the last day for gifts to arrive before Christmas will be long passed. I’m sending to small children and I cannot have them disappointed in on Christmas day when there is nothing from Auntie Lisa under the tree.

Update: I did “start” but I failed to keep going. I did enjoy the exercise very much and saw immediately how it could save me time and help me start writing when I don’t know where to begin. Going forward I really want to make this something I schedule and do every day and follow the list up with 1000+ words toward an essay or blog post based on what pops out of my head and into the list.

Finish my resume! There is a new opportunity coming up very quickly that I know I would be perfect for and I want to be ready but I am procrastinating, badly. I have started but I haven’t finished and half finished means nothing at all. This opportunity was made for me and I have only to be brave enough to reach out and seize it.

Update: I don’t even want to talk about it. I failed miserably to finish it and rather than let myself down again I have taken it off of my list for next week and pledged to revisit the document at home during my winter break. I’ve already added it as an even in my calendar and turned on multiple notifications with note proclaiming “No excuses!”

This week I—hopefully—will slowly be returning to my old self. The temptation will be to overdo it. I’ll want to eat foods I know I can’t eat, to do things that I know I can’t do, and to push myself too far too soon. The danger now is losing progress. This week I have to listen to my body over the needs of anyone else.

P.S. For a look at how I fared last week check out my updated post for Week 49.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Do you also have a ‘stop doing’ list?
Most of us lead busy but undisciplined lives.  We have ever-expanding ‘to do’ lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing—and doing more.  It rarely works.  Those who  built the good-to-great companies, however, made as much use of ‘stop doing’ lists as ‘to do’ lists.  They displayed a remarkable discipline to unplug all sorts of extraneous junk.”

— Jim Collins, as excerpted from Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t (via Steve Layman)