Sunday, April 6, 2014

2014 Goals and Resolutions Update, Part 1: Where I Stand

Now that we are a full three months into the year, I thought this would be a good time to update everyone on my 2014 goals and resolutions, to check in with myself and see how I’m doing.  Actually, I know where I am, and I don’t like it.  The short answer is: my goals are kicking my butt, not the other way around, as it should be at this point.

I might have been tempted to not post an update, seeing as it’s not going very well.  But Josh’s Accountability Project has me thinking that the only way for me to be accountable for my goals is to write about it, since clearly I’m not accountable enough to myself.  (Josh has also created a Facebook group for his project, the link to which you can find through the link above.)

If you remember from my original post, I had a lot of goals (12 to be exact).  It is not the sheer number of them that has me failing; it’s the lack of motivation for anything during the last three months.  The easiest way to explain it is to blame the weather—it’s been so bitter cold here and very snowy, more so than is typical for New York.  And so many of my goals lead into one another, so where one fails, the next does too, and so on, and so on.  It’s the domino effect: I’m too lazy to go to bed on time; therefore, I’m too tired to get up in the morning; therefore, I don’t get my exercise in first thing in the morning; therefore, I eat junk and drink too much coffee to compensate; therefore, by the end of the day, I’m too tired to go to yoga (which I love); therefore, I sit on the couch watching TV and wasting time; therefore, before I know it, it’s way past my bedtime; therefore, I go to bed late; therefore…

You get the idea.

This is where it stops.  This is where it has to stop.  I have gotten nowhere.  Well, maybe not nowhere, but not nearly as far as I would like to be at this point.

Since the weather has finally turned, and I can see the light at the end of the lazy-ass tunnel, I am ready to begin again.  I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help me, some of which I’ve already incorporated.  This will be a multi-part post since some of what I have created is new and needs more detailed explanation than anyone wants to sit for for one post.

So let’s start with a review of my goals and where they stand:
  • Keep Going On Health Journey - This is a double-edged sword.  By that I mean, I have not made too much progress here, but I haven’t failed either.  I’m not exercising regularly, and I’m not making the best food decisions.  But I haven’t gained back my original weight, so that’s good news.  I’ve also been keeping up with an exercise journal, which is good since I wanted to be more accountable there.  It’s just currently filled with self-loathing and lack of any progress, but still it’s tracked.  I can look back on it, learn from it, and move forward.  Mostly a fail here, though a few perks are included.
  • Let Go of Fear and Anxiety – I’ve been doing okay here.  In all honesty, I haven’t come up against anything that would cause these feelings to take over, but I’ve been keeping it in check where they otherwise might have in the past.  This might not be something that I can eliminate completely, only deal with on an as-needed basis.  Seeing as I haven’t been taken over by these feelings, I consider not having them a winning situation until it isn’t.  So for now, I’m good here.
  • Take My Time; Don’t Rush – I’ve done okay here, too.  I wouldn’t say I’ve savored every moment of every day so far, but I haven’t felt overwhelmed with things to do.  (Okay, maybe a little at work sometimes, but that always happens in cycles.  I just do the best I can, and it always works out in the end.)  I just keep telling myself, it will get done when it gets done, and if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world.  My life will not fall apart if I don’t get that project done or a blog post doesn’t get written.  Sure, I’d like for certain things to get done; I’d like to have more time in my day.  But it is what it is, and I can only do so much.  A mostly-win here, too.
  • Be Mindful and Present for Every Moment – This is hard to evaluate because how mindful do I want to be when ironing, for example?  But this goes hand-in-hand with taking my time and not rushing.  The more time I take, the more mindful I am.  And the more mindful I am, the slower I can go.  I consider this a win too, so long as I’m not rushing to get stuff done, and based on the above, I’m doing okay in this area.
  • Worry Less and Enjoy More – Again, hard to evaluate since I’m a worrier by nature.  I won’t say that I haven’t worried about things, though maybe a better description is “thought about all possible outcomes and scenarios.”  I have an idea in mind taking some sort of shape (what shape the final version will be, I don’t know).  One might say I’ve worried about any and every scenario that may accompany this idea.  Worry, in fact, is probably accurate.  But I’m also a planner by nature, and so even if I’m not worried about these scenarios per se, I will still try and be prepared for any outcome or bumps along the way.  I keep telling myself that I might be better off just jumping in without thinking, but that’s not me.  We’ll see where I end up.  This worry though is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed more.  I’ve enjoyed some things more.  I think I’ve been too focused on my hate for winter this year that I haven’t enjoyed as much as I could have.  This hopefully will change now that my mood has changed.  I’m going to say this is a partial-win.
  • Learn to Say No – This is also a partial win since I’ve been good at saying no to overplanning; unnecessary food is a different story.  I’ve indulged a little too much in cookies and “comfort” food.  The reality is though, that it’s comforting for only a short time.  It doesn’t solve my problems and only makes me feel guilty, which leads to not saying no to guilt.  This is pretty much engrained in my mind, so this one is very difficult for me to beat.  As I’ve learned from a personality test I took years ago, when dealing with other people, I focus on the relationship rather than the issue at hand.  So if some conflict comes up, I worry (there’s that word again) that the other person will be upset with me, rather than focusing on resolving the issue.  In order to “fix the relationship,” I put the other person’s needs ahead of my own, ultimately depriving myself of what I need.  It’s okay to be this way to an extent, but I have to learn that most people (this is not always the case, however) will still be my friend even if we disagree about something (and if they choose not to be, then it’s not a solid enough friendship, right?).
  • Read More Books – Simply, I’m failing here.  But it’s not really a failure.  This was—is—something I would like to accomplish, but it’s not a make-or-break thing.  My life won’t change based on how many books I read or don’t.  So if I continue at the pace I’m doing now, that’s perfectly fine.  So, this is a win based on my change of attitude towards it.
  • No Excuses! – Clearly, I’m failing here, as illustrated by my winter excuse for not accomplishing most of these points.  No matter what excuse I give, the only one who can make anything happen is me.  So while I might give one excuse or another, I know the truth—I haven’t accomplished these things simply because I didn’t make the effort.  I will sigh at my lack of action and move ahead.  Simple enough.
  • Get to Bed On Time – Yeah, I’m failing here, too.  This is a difficult time of the year for this one.  My husband is an accountant, and until April 15 when tax season is over, he is working seven days a week, 10 – 12 hours most days.  So by the time he gets home and by the time we’ve caught up with each other and spent maybe an hour together, it’s already past my bedtime.  It’s hard, but we’re dealing with it as best we can.  I recently downloaded the Sleep Cycle app.  In essence, it’s an app that tracks your sleep cycles based on how you move in bed.  Creepy, maybe, but it’s been very informative.  I knew I wasn’t getting enough sleep, but it wasn’t until I saw that I’m barely averaging six hours a night that I knew my habits had to change.  It also shows you a graph of when you are in deep sleep versus light sleep.  This is good to know in order to schedule your wake-up time during a light sleep, which makes you feel more rested.  I’m still working on this point.  So I’ll call this one not-a-complete-fail since I now have a tool to help with this.
  • Stick to a Budget – The goal here was not to create a monthly budget, but to not overspend.  I’ve been very good here.  I’ve been backed up with some unexpected expenses and Christmas expenses, but I haven’t overspent otherwise.  I think this month is when I’ll finally be able to catch up and move forward in order to save a little more.  So, a win here!
  • Start Meditating – Well, this is a partial-fail and a partial-win.  I started off well with this, scheduling in time to meditate for 15 minutes most days, and I succeeded.  For a while.  Then I stopped out of sheer laziness.  However, I started on a different path that, to me, is a similar idea.  I will do a separate post on this since I have incorporated a new notebook for this “project.”

So there we have it—my accountability for my 2014 goals and resolutions.  I have not succeeded in every area, in most areas actually.  This is hard to admit “out loud,” especially when I was so gung-ho when I originally put them out there.  In my mind, there was no way I was going to not succeed if people were watching.  The reality is, though, you only see what I reveal to you.  So revealing where I stand (even if it’s not where I want to be) is the first step in getting back on track.  I hope to update my progress as we go along.


Up next: my Life Books…

4 comments:

  1. Really interesting because I feel like goals are so interconnected that one goal goes phlooey and the rest of the dominos fall as well... I'm trying to figure out why what is working is working for me....because I'm the same way as you ... and all I can think is I've really broken everything down into the smallest parts and am tracking them all. That way even a partial win is more of a win then my all or nothing tendencies. And I agree, some of these things - like mindfulness and anxiety... are hard to quantify.I'm sort of with you actually and feel like I'm restarting... but I guess I have to acknowledge that it's better then it was in Feb. and not fall prey to things not being a total win or a total fail. And this winter! OMG... agree. I don't think I felt like doing anything for weeks at a time.... maybe it's not so much an excuse as a biological reaction to all that cold. At least I'm sticking to that for now :)

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    1. Exactly, Tracy -- a partial win is still a win, and sometimes it's those partials that keeps us going! I keep telling myself, Okay this isn't where I want to be, but it's not where I was, and I'm still on my way to where I'm going. So that helps. Agreed -- let's stick to your theory of a winter biological reaction. I like it!

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  2. I was just thinking this was a great time of the year (end of 1st quarter) to review goals etc. I'm going through my own Health Journey, too -- a minimalist one, by the way (simplifying in every area of life!). And it's too soon to notice results but here's other stuff I realized... a) the body NEEDS healthy food, at least 70% of the time, it's not a "weightloss thing", it's a "I want to be okay" thing; b) the body NEEDS exercise. Same as a). And c) you just feel better when you do the right thing. Period.

    So, let me tell you I know what you're talking about. It's true that you need to your diet/exercise/whatever to fit your lifestyle, but I feel much better since I developed the habit of being more mindful about my health. I make better choices, which ultimately leads to reaching your goals. (Unwritten goals now that I remember... oops!).

    So that's my two cents... Good luck with your health goals! Just thinking about it is a tiny success!

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    1. I was thinking of doing an update anyway, and had actually written on my list after I finished the original post. But it was really Josh's video that pushed me to do it. Otherwise, I might never have done it, knowing I accomplished very little. I agree -- I feel so much better when I nourish both my mind and body. It's very easy to get off that cycle though, and very difficult, it seems, to get back on. But once I've taken the first step, the rest is easy. So I just have to push myself to take that first step -- the rest will follow. Thanks for your two cents!

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