Monday, July 1, 2013

hoping my July looks a little like this...

If any of you read Elise Blaha Cripe's blog (I adore and am continuously inspired by her), you'll recognize that goal-setting format. She spent all of last year, setting her monthly goals in this fashion, and she even turned her thoughts on goal-setting into a workshop at Big Picture Classes.

I decided to finally give it a go...after all, nothing I've come up with on my own has seemed to work all that well. Particular aspects I'm drawn to...her emphasis on *choosing* how to spend your time, her hearty recommendation for keeping the list short and realistic, and her idea of balancing your goals to fill various aspects of your life so you don't finish the month feeling unbalanced. (Bonus points to her strong suggestion that if you find that any of your goals simply isn't inspiring you during a given month, you should just cross it off.)

Possibly my worst habit when it comes to setting goals, whether it be for the day's to-do list or the list of things I'd like to accomplish in any given year, is making them completely unrealistic. 99.9% of to-do lists I've ever made have been at least three times larger than I could possibly accomplish in my set time period. And let's face it, failure--day after day, week after week, month after month, season after season--it doesn't lead to a lot of good feelings. I can accomplish a whole heaping heck of a lot and still come out feeling like crap because there's 10 things left on my list. I worked hard to make this list doable, and I really believe it is.

I also worked hard to balance it, not just between various aspects of my life, but between productivity and relaxation. That homeschooling prep goal--it's more about slowing down than it is about getting things done. I know I am not the only person who needs reminders to slow down and enjoy the one single life we get, am I?

Anyway, by the end of the month, I hope I will be posting about my wonderful successes, showing you pictures of my redone dining area and my t-shirt rug, and putting together a new list of goals for August. Wish me luck. And tell me what you're choosing to do with your July (because I'm nosy that way).


Amanda said...

I'm hoping to spend July free from the slave of numbers. No more TRACKING, not health-related stuff like calories or exercise or sleep or water, not blog-related stuff like stats or posts, not money issues, not days left until the kids go back to school,not goals, not anything. I just want to live.

Debi said...

That sounds like an awesome way to spend your July--I hope you pull it off! :D

Jean said...

Hmm. For July, I am choosing not to do a GORUCK Challenge with Don and Steve. Instead, I will shadow (follow) it and see what photos I can shoot in the night. I will continue to look for things to do that challenge me mentally and physically at the same time as they are just plain fun. I will make progress on a quilt I am doing on commission from a friend. I will get the paid-work done that I need to, but I will no obsess over it. I am sure I will choose to do other things, but not today. All the luck on making your list come true!!!

Debi said...

Well, I hope today you are choosing to have the happiest damn birthday ever!!! And the rest I'm sure you'll manage with aplomb as well. :D

DesLily said...

well now... all I can say is that if I drank that much water each day I'd spend the whole month of July sitting on the Potty! Therefore I wouldn't have to worry about my list of other things! lol

I sincerly hope you take 1 day a week (at least) and just sit and watch the garden grow and read some as you relax with a glass of something cold to drink..

All things considered.. after we "go".. life goes on without us, so that must mean we should take some breaks and not think everything will come to a hault if "we" don't do it "all"!

Trish said...

I've never considered monthly goals (ok, I think about but those four weeks always go too quickly!), but I try to take this approach with my annual goals. And what a novel idea to fit in some relaxing time to your goals. Yes we do need it (even if my relaxing time is spent doing other goals like reading or sewing hexies). Ha!

I need to try to read more often with Elle. Singing usually trumps reading because we're short on time and she loves the singing (I'm so glad she forgives my terrible voice!), but I know the reading is important, too.

With the water, would carrying around a water bottle help? I find this easier to remember than filling up a glass of water.

Debi said...

You crack me up! Actually I think water makes me have to pee far less than all the coffee and tea I tend to drink--drinking more water is really my effort to stop drinking so much of those. But it sounds less depressing to say that I should drink more water than it sounds to say I need to drink less coffee/tea. :P

The short time period is part of the draw for me, I think. You know, so I don't have to feel guilty if something just stops being inspiring halfway through the year. And big projects can be broken down into monthly sized chunks. You know, like you do with your "using your kitchen appliances" thing. But who knows, maybe I'll find that this won't work for me either...but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try, right? :)

I hope Elle always loves your singing! I think that is just so sweet that you have singing time!!! My kids get so aggravated when I sing out loud. But I sing so horribly that I honestly can't blame them. :P

I actually do use a water bottle if I'm out and about (which is rarely) or out working in the garden or something, but I don't know, there's something about having a big glass of ice water as I'm sitting working on school stuff or whatever that just feels like a treat. And like I told Pat, what this goal is really more about is getting me to drink less coffee and tea. I'm trying to trick myself into not thinking I'm depriving myself of something. :P

Snowball said...

Goals have always been an issue for me. Like you, my lists were never realistic and it was always deflating. I started the year with Leonie Dawson's "How to create your own amazing life," (just the book, not the courses) and it has helped quite a lot.

It looks like you've already mad some breakthroughs. My July started the same way my June ended, with 110-114 degree weather, and my energy is flagging. I feel inspired just visiting here.

Debi said...

Oh my. How can anyone feel motivated to do *anything* in that kind of weather. :( I do believe that making it through the day should be accomplishment enough with weather like that!
I've never heard of Leonie Dawson, but I believe I shall at least investigate...thanks for mentioning!

Eva said...

I'm glad you're trying to mellow your goals! W my chronic illnesses, I honestly only have one 'goal' a day, even if it's just to tidy my room. Or cook a pot of soup. But I'm lucky in that I'm only responsible for myself, Thistle, & my little space, so I think it's easier to be gentle on myself. The only long-term goals I really have are financial. I do have lots of principals by which I try to guide my life, but that's different, isn't it?

I have recently made a goal of adding 1/2 mile a week to my walking! & to do my Pimsleur Spanish lessons every day. That's so that I can be as prepared as possible for Ecuador, and so far it's working! But I refuse to beat myself up if I can't go walking for a day or two.