Critique

Bring on the Good Intentions and Sprinkle Them with a Dose of Reality

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It’s a new year, and like millions of others out there, I made a list of resolutions, but tried trick my reluctant mind by titling them…Promises to Myself 2019.

Can you all guess how this is going so far?

It’s okay. It’s not a failure. It’s a well-intentioned plan in need of tweaking when implemented and in the ongoing process. And it’s not like I’m just setting writing goals. Nope. I have goals for publishing, writing, marketing, continuing to learn craft and marketing, health, maximizing personal time, keeping my house a well-oiled machine I can be happy with, and making sure I build in family time and me time.

So here’s what I did…

I called these promises and built in a buffer for implementation. How many of us make resolutions and if we don’t stick to them from the very first moment of the New Year, we get discouraged and fall apart abandoning all of our good intentions?

Most of us.

I gave myself clear goals and a plan to incorporate them in phases. The do not arrive at the finish line of my goals on the first minute of 2019. This is the beginning of the transformation into making these goals hard and true habits so when I go into 2020, I don’t even think about them anymore.

I’m giving myself January to test my goals. Find out which ones are realistic, which aren’t. Especially when it comes to how often I post on social media, which forms work best for me, and keeping a balance of my interests and my book news.

The first week of February…I reassess. Make adjustments to the goals. Then I go again.

I break my promises into three lists. Goals I want to make habits by summer, fall, and the habits I want in place by year end.

I’m three weeks in and so far I’ve learned that I need to accept:

  • I have the same 24 hours in my day as everyone else.
  • I have to look at this list at least three times a day. Learn it like the back of my hand. Always keep those promises fresh in my mind.
  • There should always be leeway for the unexpected…for me, in January alone: Bailey and Bronwyn both got sick. They gave it to me which turned into a rather impressive sinus infection right as we took a five day trip to NY. While in NY, my three month old, expensive as all get out computer burned up (thank goodness for warranties), but it left me four days (because of course it happened in the beginning of the trip) of no access to my business world and pushed me even farther behind. I landed in urgent care within fifteen minutes of arriving home.
  • I deserve to make my life work for me.
  • There are a lot of boundaries I have to establish with those around me to make this a success. And that might be the hardest part of making promises to myself.

Overall, I feel pretty successful. I need to make some major adjustments in February, but January has been a huge teaching moment for me. So far it’s showing me what is attainable and not attainable. Also, it’s exposed my habit of not only putting rigid expectations on myself, but how I set myself up for failure every time.  Most of all, it’s left me motivated to keep going because I’ve made this a work in progress instead of a rigid requirement of perfection from day one!

And here’s one final admission…I was supposed to have this post up last week. Yup, I blew it. But you know what, had I put it up last week, I would not have been able to share with you just how spectacularly things fell apart this past weekend. And if I can feel like there is hope going forward after all of that, well then, it’s only bolstered my confidence that I must be doing something right with this whole promises to myself three-phase plan!

One Comment

  • Jen Talty

    I’ve never believed in resolutions. I’ve always been a list maker and a goal setter. Right now I’m playing catch up with my daily/weekly goals to meet my publishing needs. I hate it when that happens. I was totally stressing the other day, but then I realized while I might be three days behind, I’m working toward my overall writing career goals.

    One thing at a time.

    They say, whoever they are, that it takes three weeks to make an activity a habit. It takes only a couple of days to ruin a habit. I’ve tried many things to organize my life and writing world. My problem, is once I try to do things that I’ve never done before, or changing my patterns, I have set myself up for failure. The best thing I ever did for myself when it comes to keeping the balance that I need is to spend a couple of days checking out my routines and my habits. I searched out the bad ones and came up with ways to change them, but nothing too drastic.

    That’s why I don’t like resolutions. They are usually drastic and often difficult to maintain. Change takes time and a self-awareness of our strengths and weaknesses.

    I love the image and quote on this post. It’s very true.

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