The Best Laid Plans And All That Jazz
Updated: Feb 17, 2022
Seeing as how it’s still January, I figured we could have a gander at goals. Every December I do my best to stay present in the current year, while simultaneously looking back at what I’ve accomplished, where I’ve fallen short, and what I want for my future and for my family’s future. Then I make goals. Great dreams of grandeur that I hope to accomplish in 12 months or less. Granted some of my dreams I begrudgingly acknowledge will take longer than a year, so I set smaller goals that will lead to accomplishing those bigger, long-term desires. I work diligently and tirelessly (I may be mildly exaggerating about my level of effort) to make these goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). Then I break them down into monthly and weekly plans of action. I even have a nifty little section on my calendar for habits I want to track through the week, like exercising 5 days, and drinking three of my ginormous glasses of water, etc, etc. I also set a word or phrase for the year. This year it is Be Proactive. By this I mean, acknowledging what I know of myself and those I interact with and planning ahead so that the situations that are often triggers of negative emotions and interactions are less so or even nonexistent. And the situations that trigger positive emotions are more frequent.
Now, I tell you all of this to, 1. Motivate you to set or keep working hard on your goals, and 2. Remind you that no one crushes it all day every day. “But wait” I hear you say “you’ve only shown us your amazingness? Where’s the failure?” And to that I say, whoah whoah whoah. Pump the breaks there hoss. Who said anything about failure?! Not crushing it every second of every day is NOT a failure! It’s life! It’s how we handle the curve balls, the seen and unseen forces bent on our total annihilation, or, you know, the parts that make us miss the mark on our goals.
And now for my example of a successful ride off the path: One of my weekly habits I’m trying to work on is less junk food. Particularly those little snacks that are so sneaky because they don’t seem like much, but they add up quickly. So on my habit tracker I am trying to not eat junk food five days a week. Now, before I lose you to a tangent on eating habits, this is a choice of mine for my own personal satisfaction, I like the challenge of it (the struggle is real people!), and I am happy with my choices. Back to it? Cool. Anywhozer, my very sweet husband, who knows my greater goals, but not the little details of things, wanted to treat the kids. So, he brought home 4 tubs of ice cream. YUP! Four. Forking. Tubs. A girl only has so much will power! I’m being proactive. I know how much will power I have when there is one quart of ice cream in the freezer, but FOUR?!?! So guess what’s not on my habit tracker for the next week or two. Because I’m not going to do that to myself. I’m not going to unrealistically say I will not eat ice cream five days of the week when there are four gallons of it in my house!!
And there it is folks. I have failed at nothing. The wind blew and I adjusted the sails. I’m being diligent to all of my goals, but when that ice cream sings melodically to me from the freezer (after I put the kids to bed of course) I answer that siren’s call without an ounce of shame.
Do you set goals for the year? How do you respond when something steps in the way to set you back? How do you treat yourself when life doesn’t care about your plans and decides things for you? I hope that you are gentle with yourself. If you weren’t before, please try to be in the future. Don’t quit, don’t give up, adjust.
Take care of yourself, take care of each other, and have a proactive week!