Working on it Wednesday

Happy Wednesday. Wednesdays are where I write about my progress on goals I’ve set. Actually, I want to call them projects, not goals. Somehow that sounds better I want to enjoy the process. I once read that Olympic medalists are often difficult to work with in a professional office setting because they are so goal-oriented that they have a laser-like focus and tend to forget the bigger picture.

I don’t really consider myself a goal-oriented person. In fact, I’ve considered myself an anti-goal person in the past, because the goals and deadlines I’ve set seem arbitrary and I don’t usually stick with them. Sometimes I set a New Year’s resolution because it’s a tradition. But like most people, I’m off-track and forget about my resolution by mid-February. I’ve learned that for me, goals need to have specific meaning and the deadline needs to make sense.

When I say “specific meaning” I mean that I have to be really excited about the goal and see the point in completing it. I initially set out with a 30×30 list and ignored it for a while. Then I got kind of stressed about it because I knew it wasn’t going to all get done. I debated doing away with it altogether, but decided some of the goals are worthy of pursuit. Having these projects to work on keeps things interesting and gives me something to look forward to. I like to learn and I don’t like being bored. I want to improve.

I also need a deadline or else I’ll put the goal off indefinitely. The deadline is kind of a rough target intended just to keep me going. I don’t want it to feel too rigid or restricted. I still want it to be fun.

Today I thought I’d share what I’ve worked on in the last week.

Editing the Goal List

I edited my 30×30 list for some of the reasons I explained last week. I’m not quite ready to share the new list and it’s longer than 31 items, so I’m not really sure what to call it. Updates on the editing and new list are coming soon.

Breaking Down Goals/Projects Into Chunks

I broke the new list down into what I’ll work on each month, through the end of 2018. Most of the goals were just randomly assigned a month, except the ones that are seasonal, like learning to paddle board. Obviously that will need to take place in a summer month. I mentally gave myself the right to experiment and edit and adjust, so a goal can be moved to another month, it can be changed, or it can continue into the next month. The end of the month isn’t a hard deadline, the idea is just to get started. And obviously checking in here helps keep me more organized and accountable. Even if zero people read this post, it’ll keep me accountable to myself when I have to analyze my progress and organize my thoughts in writing.

July Projects

  1. Finish reading Persuasion
  2. Read a classic book (Catcher and the Rye)
  3. Watch a movie from the AFI top 100 list (American Graffiti)
  4. Learn to make a Pisco Sour cocktail
  5. Work on crossword puzzle skills
  6. Research the stock market (just to become more knowledgable)
  7. Learn the Aquarius constellation
  8. Make an Oregonian sandwich – marionberry jam, rogue creamery blue cheese, and Oregon hazelnut butter between 2 slices challah and grilled
  9. Check for Ellen show tickets 
  10. Research/sign up to volunteer to build a  Habitat for Humanity house 
  11. Update blog NYC & Banff travel pages (kind of digital scrapbook)
  12. Apply for TSA Global Entry (I’ve meant to do this for months)
  13. Make sure retirement accounts are on track
  14. Make 3 items for Etsy shop (to re-open later this year)
  15. Research blog link-ups to take part in (always fun to find and connect with other blogs/bloggers)

Budgeting Time

I assigned each goal/project to a month of the year.  I’m a pretty visual person, so I’ve broken the month’s goals into steps and scheduled each step for a day this month. The goal is progress, not perfection, so I reserve the right to move things around because things always come up. July’s schedule is below, or you can open as a PDF here.If something from the list above isn’t on the calendar, it’s probably because I’ve already completed it. As you can see, I didn’t schedule anything for the end of the month, because I have way too much going on. I also didn’t start really solidify this strategy until around the 11th and rather than wait until August, I figured I would jump in mid-month. Some progress is better than no progress.

So that’s what I’ve been working on. Next week I’ll give an update on how July went, what worked, and what didn’t. Wish me luck. I will definitely need it 🙂