Sunday, August 28, 2016

Planning Doldrums And Other Thoughtlets For The End Of Summers

As summer comes to a sizzling close, I find myself pensively gazing out the windows of my upstairs home-office longingly hoping for a sign of a drip-drip-drop of rain. Some clouds had gathered today for a short meeting but it seems no one had brought coffee, so they dispersed later on in the early part of the evening. Planning on Sunday evenings feels cathartic, needed and natural. It often feels like some kind of beacon, honing in on what the week's pulse is destined to be.

This week we had 9 trees felled at our cottage. We still have a whopping 32 on the property and I know when the storms come later next month, I won't worry as much about which branches are hovering dangerously close to my office roof. Similarly, I have culled a tree's worth of data from 8 months of planner related detritus collected mostly a little thoughts, or thoughtlets, as I like to call them. Some of these thoughtlets were thought with the intention of them turning into full thoughts and upon weekly once-throughs in my planner, they became discarded entities, abstract realities with no tangible connections to projects or goals.

As with all seasonal changes, the beauty of their reality is dependent on our own ability to see ourselves within those same changes. I would very much like to have a clear space when the rains do come, to examine goals progress and adjust milestones to account for the being of human being. Knowing the seasons change should allow us to be kinder to ourselves when we take an account of where we are in the year, based on our own expectations of where we anticipated we might be at the  beginning of the year. We are now different people. In a month or so, so much more will have changed in us and in our lives.

For anyone looking at a laundry list of failed goals, consider this new season one of renewal where a recommitment to idealistic hopes can be reassessed and repurposed, this time with clearer instructions and actions to help pick apart behemoth goals we often set for ourselves. The key to succeeding is to pick 1-2 goals only. Make sure when you ARE picking your goals you are not inadvertently picking out action items to help you progress toward your goal success. Often actionable items can be conflated with goals. For example: I want to exercise more is not really a goal; it is a vague descriptor of an action one can take to gain a better sense of well-being. The goal might be to feel more supple in 6 months or to lose x number of pounds or be able to walk for x number of miles. A well-defined goal, with milestones, realistic outcomes and a motivational reason for accomplishing it all serve to help create momentum around achievement. Habit is what helps us succeed with the drudgery of actually getting things done. 

If, for example, you are setting a goal you hope to maintain as part of a new lifestyle, changing your lifestyle habits must also be part of the actionable items, otherwise you will go back to what you have now. 

I shall be using the remainder of summer to plan out and track a single goal for myself with a deadline of 3 months, to keep me honest. Now to find my to-do list in the pile of papers I've just culled...

Copyright Karine Tovmassian, LLC 2016

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