October Objectives

They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And while that may be a bit extreme for the point I’m making, it is nevertheless a fairly accurate summation.

 

I have every good intention to use to these monthly objectives as stepping stones to completing larger, overarching goals. But when it gets to the end of the month I look back to see that not much progress was made. There is a disconnect somewhere, and until it is identified and corrected, I’m going to be like a hamster running on a wheel.

 

It was time for some reflection, to take some time to look back in order to be able to move forward. Finally, an epiphany began to take hold. You see, for the longest time I thought that the root of the problem was the inability to control myself when it came to certain things. After all, I will be the first to admit that while I am methodical, I am not above reacting on pure impulse at times. But then it began to down on me that the issue was two-fold. Yes, I needed to work on controlling my (bad) impulses. But I also need to hold myself more accountable. Making excuses and feeling sorry for myself will get me nowhere. By controlling myself, I can exit amazon.com before I buy the unnecessary <insert random purchase>. By controlling myself, I can turn down seconds during dinner at my parents’ house. By holding myself accountable, I can have enough respect for myself to do the right thing, whatever that may be. By holding myself accountable, I can make decisions that facilitate success in my life.

 

I’m only human, and a flawed one at that. I am not looking to cut out everything that is fun and delicious and wonderful and what makes being on this planet worthwhile. I’m not about that life. But there will be days where I indulge in some comfort food or a dessert. There will be days where I veg out on the couch with some Netflix instead of writing.  But now, instead of wallowing in the guilt of having slipped up or using it as an excuse to slip up more, I need to use that as motivation to do better tomorrow, or with some control (see what I did there), not indulge too much.

 

That being said, with this new and improved mindset, I’ve decided to extend my September objectives into October, with some minor modifications.

 

  1. Practice mindful eating more actively. This isn’t changing. I’ve given myself the goal to lose 17 pounds by year-end and this is definitely a major player in accomplishing that
  2. Be more effective in time management.
  3. I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this November as a way to jumpstart the ideas I have for some short stories. While I’m not writing a novel at this point, I am still going to try and accomplish the 50,000 goal. That will give me plenty of material to work with and hopefully mold into a working story.

 

October is probably my favorite month of the year. The new chill in the air, the crunch of leaves beneath my feet, I find it all invigorating for mind and spirit. So I’m moving forward with rejuvenated perspective and steely determination. After a year of feeling unmotivated and apathetic, I have made it my mission to make up as much ground as possible these last three months.

Allons-y!

August Review and September Objectives

I started out August strong. I was doing well until I came to the realization that I needed to buy new running shoes. With two different running trails literally right across the street from my house, it only makes sense to utilize these resources to help me get back on track with my fitness. But with me, shopping is a slippery slope and soon I was justifying other purchases. While nothing was completely frivolous, all in all I think I spent about $200-250. There is progress still to be made in controlling my spending, but considering my past history, this was definitely a step in the right direction.

Since last December my weight has been one of my biggest struggles. It’s been incredibly frustrating, at times dragging down my normally positive and upbeat personality. Weight loss has always been a mental game with me, and I think I’ve finally had the epiphany that will help me to the corner and get back to how I was feeling this time year, which was absolutely amazing. The number on the scale is not going to be 6 lesser by the time I leave for Chicago on Thursday, but I’ve made strides to get myself to a place where I will start to see the results I’ve been desperately seeking.

And I’ll be completely honest, I kept completely forgetting what my third goal was. I suck, I know.

So I got myself onto the right track by setting firm but obtainable goals last month. But if I want to be continually successful is achieving them I have to have the understanding with myself that exceptions are not allowed unless there are extenuating circumstances. I can do better. I will do better.

With that said, here are my September Objectives.

Objective #1: Practice mindful eating more actively. I’ve been reading a book that talks about mindful eating and many of the principles resonated with me. The great thing about these principles is that they are easy enough to incorporate into your daily habits as long as you actively work at them. With time and practice, they will become second nature. These mindful eating practices will help me to control my overeating and indulging tendencies, and when I control that, I will easily and effectively cut several hundred calories daily. Sustained weight loss and a healthier lifestyle is accomplished through long-term changes in your habits, not by diets and quick-fix solutions.

Objective #2: be more effective at time management, take 2. Something I’ve read time and time again in articles and posts about time management is taking time once a week to plan out ones activities and things that need to be accomplished. This does not mean micromanaging, per se, but it means making sure I have a clear idea of what needs done for the week. One thing that I love about my life is the fact that I have the freedom to do what I want when I want, but outside of firmly scheduled obligations, it can be easy to say oh I’ll do that later, and soon enough the ‘do it later’ list is a mile long.

Objective #3: I do not consider myself a professional writer in any sense of the word. For a long time now, years in fact, I’ve wanted to write an original short story but my insecurities have kept me from even seriously considering this. By exploring my creativity and writing abilities, I’ve found that my confidence has grown and I’m ready to see what I can do. I’m not quitting my day job to become a writer. I do not expect to make waves or get published. Hell, I don’t even expect anyone to read what I write. But a lot can be said for the satisfaction that comes from fulfilling one’s dreams.

I am not perfect, I will make (many) mistakes. Every step, every stumble, is all a part of the process. It’s how we learn, its how we get better.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And I’m nothing if not persistent. 

August Objectives

Try as I might, I’ve been pretty lackluster so far in my attempts to buckle down and get serious with various pursuits. This is in part due to a combination of poor effort, lack of accountability, and too much ambiguity in what I was trying to achieve. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for several months now. I can’t quite pin down the exact root of the issue but all I know is that I’m sick of it. So I’ve decided to take a page out of some of my fellow bloggers books’ and start a monthly goals post.

Objective #1: For the month of August, I will not buy anything outside of the necessities. No online shopping, no random trips to the mall or Target, no Amazon orders. My discretionary spending has been out of control the last three months. I sat down and actually figured it all up and honest to god nearly had a heart attack. 90% of the things I bought were pure indulgences. And while that is okay (especially for someone who is single and not behind on their bills), the extent to which I’ve done it has crossed into ridiculousness. Every penny that I save will add to account I use for cons and trips. Not only that but I’m working on rebuilding the savings that was spent down after buying a house last year.

Objective #2: Lose 6 pounds before ChiCon. My weight is something I’ve struggled with for many years. About two years ago I started to be more conscious about the amount I was eating and exercising. By this time last year I had lost 40 pounds and I felt great. Then winter hit and I stopped going to gym consistently like I had been. By the time spring arrived, I had lost pretty much all motivation for working out. Over the course of those 3-5 months I gained back about 15 pounds and I can tell. What’s more disturbing is that that I can see myself falling back into my old, bad habits. The changes I had made those two years ago were not drastic by any means. It’s just a matter of willpower to start making the right choices again. Six pounds is completely doable and will hopefully get me back to where I was and eventually making even more progress.

Objective #3: Be more effective at time management. Unless I have a specific project to complete or deadline to meet, time management is not my forte. And it doesn’t help that I can tend towards being lazy. I’ve gotten in the bad habit of only doing one thing each evening. Once that’s done, I pretty much veg out for the rest of the night, regardless of what time it is. And while downtime is essential to my mental health, there is plenty of room to add other activities. Whether it’s going back to the gym, doing some writing, DIY around the house, there is no excuse for spending so much time not doing anything. I need to realize that there is nothing wrong with having and maintaining a schedule for all aspects of my life. If it’s what will help me achieve my goals, whatever they may be, then it’s well worth the micromanagement.

We all occasionally need a push or nudge that gets us going back in the right direction. I had thought that happened earlier this summer but apparently that nudge wasn’t strong enough. Various conversations and some personal insights have hopefully given me the major kick in the ass that I need so I can get back on track. I’m ready and I’m hopeful, so here we go!

Do you have any goals that you’re working on? Or is there a goal you’ve reached that you’re proud of? Let me know in the comments!