January Goal List

Each month I sit down and make a list of goals for the next thirty days. It’s usually seven to ten things ranging from easy to nearly unattainable and a few are even fun.

For example, January’s list included my reading goal (fun), packing up the Christmas decorations from the back porch (easy) and taming my craft room into something both presentable and functional (not in a million years).

I unearthed the January list on February 7, while cleaning out my work bag. That was the same day I realized that I hadn’t accomplished a darn thing out of the ten goals except my reading goal. I would like to say that I don’t know how I spent my time in January but it clearly involved books.

What’s worse is that I didn’t even try. I didn’t even look at the list or know where it was.

I also realized I was a week into a new month and hadn’t even thought to set new goals.

Some of that stuff got transferred to the February list. My current goal is to pack up the porch Christmas and put it away by Saturday. Note that it’s now Friday and still not done. Never fear, there’s time.

There was a time I was organized, energetic and motivated. I had lists to keep track of all my lists and getting things done wasn’t really a problem. The last few years have more or less beaten that out of me. My thyroid has left me tired, my brain in a fog and my attention span short. Whatever energy exists within me gets allocated to my workday right now. I mostly keep with with this blog, look after the cat and try to do whatever else I can.

For the last few nights I have been playing beat the clock. Last night I set a timer for fifteen minutes and did a quick clean of the kitchen. When it went off, I hit repeat and kept going. Once I was satisfied with that room, I repeated the process in my craft room and actually made some progress.

You can do anything for fifteen minutes. The trick is continuing when the alarm buzzes. The vitamin commercial tells us that a body in motion stays in motion and that is absolutely true. Getting started is the hard part but, once you do, it’s relatively easy to keep going.

If you don’t like the idea of alarms, try saying you have to stay busy during a podcast or a favorite album. Just set some parameters to signal that your job isn’t done until there’s an alarm or the end of an episode.

Tonight’s plan is to not sit down after work. Instead, I would like to tackle some of those goals and maybe a little regular cleaning – working in fifteen minute intervals, of course!

Inspirational Pessimism

I consider myself an inspirational pessimist. That’s because I like to aim for the best even though I’m pretty certain the odds are against me and I’m prepared for things to end badly. I can also give a darn good pep talk even when I know you’ll most likely fail too.

So here’s to today. Whatever you hope to accomplish, the most important thing is to just get started. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to know every step. Just do something and start working toward that goal.

It’s the only way and you’ll feel better for knowing you tried.

Do You Believe In Resolutions?

What’s your stance on New Year’s Resolutions?

Studies show that about sixty percent of us make resolutions but only about eight percent of us follow through on them.

I’m a planner and a goal setter so I usually have two or three of varying size.

One of my 2020 resolutions was to read 100 books. Check!

Another was to travel as much as possible with a couple of big trips in mind along with some weekend getaways. That clearly didn’t work out.

And there were some smaller ones that fell to the wayside but others came to light as the year progressed. For example, I log the miles that I hike and intentionally walk every day and am very close to reaching 500 miles.

Planning is in my nature and one of my stronger skills. I’m good at breaking down a large project into small pieces that can be completed in phases. Sadly, 2020 sort of beat the desire to plan right out of me.

And yet, here I am, contemplating goals for the new year. It isn’t productive to wait for the flip of a calendar page to start but a new year feels like a fresh start and an irresistible opportunity to take a run at planning again.

The picture above is from a Denver sidewalk. Most of us will never make it to the moon. But what’s the phrase? Shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

Reading, walking and traveling may not get me to the moon or the stars but these things will give me opportunity to improve myself and that’s pretty good too.

Sunrise Over A New Day

Just a pretty sunrise to remind us that we are starting a new day and a new week. It’s a clean slate of sorts.

Want to start a new habit or start working toward a goal? No need to wait for January 1.

Today will do just fine.

One Month Down

January is typically a quieter time for me but this month has been extremely low key. I’ve been home a lot – stress has played a big role along with weather which has made it difficult to get outdoors for hikes.

This has actually made my No Spend Month a little easier. If you stay home (and away from your favorite online retailers), there’s little temptation to buy stuff you don’t need. Even still, I did have some unplanned purchases – a work function took me to a cute vintage shop which I wanted to support. So I spent $21 on two cute hats.

I ate out more than I wanted because of work travel and ended up exceeding my grocery budget as well. This was mainly because I found some deals that will save money in the long run. Even still, I ate well and came in under what I would normally spend on groceries.

There were a number of opportunities to shop for entertainment, to pick up clearance deals or seek out vintage treasures. However, I was so busy doing other things that I don’t feel like I missed out on anything.

I did buy tickets for a couple of upcoming local shows that I really want to see and I’m ok with that.

Perfection isn’t nearly as important to me as “good enough.” And I did good enough.

My little cat is happy having me home more and I’m better read, having plowed through a big stack of books in January.

I didn’t focus on exercise nearly as much as I wanted, opting instead for more rest. The treadmill isn’t nearly so inviting as the open trail.

In all, January feels like a success. It has been pleasant enough that I’m planning to continue through February with some new exceptions to the rules.

So, there you go. One twelfth of the year is now complete. One twelfth! How quickly did that pass?

Adapt, Revise, Change, Repeat

“Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change.”

Richard Branson

If there’s something you really want, you don’t get to just announce that you want it and then attain your goal without working for it. That means following Mr Branson’s plan to constantly adapt, revise and change.

I’ve somehow gotten off the road toward my goal of being healthy and strong. That was the focus of 2018 – to challenge myself, to stretch and grow and to be as strong and healthy as I can be.

It took about a week of convalescing with a dumb sinus infection to realize how far off mark I have been for the last few months. I’ve lost my drive and am grasping at straws seeking meaning.

So, here I am, regrouping again and trying to determine if I need new goals. I think I’ll stick with healthy and strong and see where it takes me for the remainder of this year.

Here’s hoping I can regain some of the excitement and genuine interest in the world that I used to have.

Make it a good day, my friends.