Getting Back on Track: Three ways I create new goals

20190614_094524_0000.png

Feeling Overwhelmed & Without Purpose

After several emotionally taxing events last year, I had another round of depression that crept in and hung around for several months. Overlapping with that time, but extending until just recently, I had a couple stressful work events that consumed a fair bit of my time and, more importantly, my energy.

Getting Back on Track

When I get frustrated with my work-life-play balance and how I’m allocating my energy and focus, I find it helpful to switch around my bullet journal setups, reevaluate my routines and typical behaviors, contemplate my values and set some new goals. It can provide me with inspiration, excitement and a more optimistic outlook.

The first thing I typically do is review articles about the “Eisenhower Matrix”. The Eisenhower Matrix is a prioritization system for your to do list that emphasizes the difference between important things and urgent things. If you haven’t heard of it before, you should definitely read up on it. The goal is to be working on important, but not urgent, things most of the time. Sometimes I need help deciding what is important, though, and this is where my three methods of deciding goals comes in.  Once I have some goals, my goal-related items on my task lists get stars next to them- they are important and should be given the priority they deserve even if I feel there are more pressing matters.

Method One: Value Sorting

Have you heard of value sorting before? It’s a common life coaching tool. It consists of a deck of cards with values on them. Some examples of values are: “creativity”, “wealth”, “professional accomplishment” and “faith”. You sort these values based on their level of importance to you. Eventually you sort them into five categories: least important, less important, neutral, more important and most important. You can find one online version of the tool here: http://thegoodproject.org/toolkits-curricula/the-goodwork-toolkit/value-sort-activity/

Understanding what your values are is important for living authentically. Authenticity is about living consistently with your beliefs and values. Someone who is honest, hardworking, down to earth and responsible might still not be an authentic person. For example, a person who matches the above description might spend a lot of their time working, taking care of family and meeting the expectations of others; however, they truly have a passion for art and beauty that they are ignoring. They might be a wonderful person, but they aren’t living authentically.

Once you’ve done a value sorting exercise, take a look at your “most important” values. Each time you do the exercise these might change slightly, and that’s alright. You are looking to acknowledge what is important to you at that moment. You should have just four most important values. Brainstorm possible goals that relate to these values. What helps you live more in line with these values? What activities can you add to your daily life that relate to these values?

Method Two: Categories of Self Care

Consider the different categories of self care. If you are unfamiliar with those categories take a look at  another one of my blog posts: http://www.crazycatnerd.com/meowing/2019/2/28/types-of-self-care-a-comprehensive-look-at-self-care What categories do you feel you could give more attention to? What areas would be beneficial for you to focus on? Is there something self care related that you’ve been wanting to work on? Perhaps you already recognize you need to get more movement or better sleep, listen to what your body is telling you and focus on that. But if you aren’t sure, review the self care categories and brainstorm possible goals related to them.

Method Three: Wheel of Life

There are several variations of the Wheel of Life which is another popular life coaching tool that is used for finding balance. If the various aspects of your life were put together to form a wheel would you have a smooth ride? Some of the aspects to consider are career, family, health and fun. Find a template such as :https://medium.com/@chengeerlee/wheel-of-life-a-self-assessment-tool-to-find-out-what-is-not-working-in-your-life-8af1faadafa5 or https://raviraman.com/the-wheel-of-life/ .

Rank your satisfaction with each area of your life on a scale of 1 to 10. Which areas are the lowest? Brainstorm goals for each of your lowest categories.

Setting Goals

Choose one goal from each method- Values, Self Care and Wheel of Life. If any of the goals from each method are the same or similar, I give them priority. If something can help increase both my self care and helps me realize one of my values, I go with that one! It’s important to limit your goals. I chose to do one from each category, but you could do more or less. We are seeking to find purpose and have a clearer path so limiting ourselves to just a few goals gives us focus.

Once you have your three goals, break them down into small actionable chunks. Something that will take you less than three months to achieve. I write my goals in my monthly bullet journal spread along with five actionable steps I can take that month to work towards that goal. When I set up my weekly spread, I take at least one actionable step from each goal and add it to my weekly task list. When I setup my daily spread, I write down three small, achievable tasks that work towards the step I chose for the week.

For example, one of my goals is to establish a blogging routine that I maintain for three months. For the month of June, my goal was to simple write three blog posts. For a variety of reasons, I haven’t been blogging as much recently so I started simple- I just wanted to get some posts written. Writing posts will help me formulate my routine. For this week, my goal was to write a blog post. My goal for today- write a paragraph for that post.

By breaking my goals down into more reasonable steps I can ensure I work on them mostly everyday. This keeps my motivation up and ensures I don’t let my goals fall to the wayside. It makes me feel good to know I’m moving in the right direction step by step.


Moving Forward

This has helped me immensely over the last couple weeks. I feel optimistic about the future and motivated to improve my life. I hope this post gives you some inspiration. One of my top four values is personal growth, so please share any ideas you have with me about goal setting in the comments!


Back from Walt Disney World & Upcoming Blog Posts

20190126_091958.jpg

Today I’m transitioning from Vacation Mode to Routine Mode, as last night I got back from 10 nights in Disney World. I had a great time in a magical place with some amazingly lovely friends who were excellent to tour with. It was my first time to the World with friends, and my fourth trip as an adult. My transition is even harder this year as I do not know when my next trip to the world will be, as we currently have no trips planned. I definitely will be back- it’s my happy place- but I don’t know how soon.

20190124_175122.jpg

I have plans to do a day by day trip report here with our experiences as well as some tips and recommendations for your own travels to WDW. If there is anything you’d like me to talk about in those posts (Toy Story Land, restaurant reviews, merchandise, how to prepare for a trip, or any questions you have about Disney, really) please leave a comment below! I love helping people plan their future experiences in WDW, and talking about all things Disney!

20190124_172114.jpg

Aside from my trip report posts, I’ve got a lot on my mind for upcoming posts:

  • Establishing an improved Self Care routine: My mental health hasn’t been the greatest these past several weeks. I think I need to make self care a priority. I’m going to do some research on the different categories of self care (physical, emotional, psychological, social etc…) and establish a weekly routine for addressing my needs.

  • Related to the above, in WDW I got a new notebook perfect for recording daily intentions and gratitude journaling. I will discuss my plans for this.

  • Disney Souvenir hail: Pins!!! Plus a few other things (like earrings and a cute purse) that I got in WDW.

  • Goals: Now that my vacations over, I can focus on the fact that it is a new year and I only recently started a new bullet journal. I have goals this year to improve my cooking skills and learning to draw.

  • Bullet Journal Spreads?

  • What podcasts I am listening to/podcast recommendations

  • Reblogging old posts

  • A Sims story? My new self care routine should involve more time for gaming, which means I will have Sim stories to tell.

  • Other things I might touch on- WDW news, journaling, depression, anxiety, pets, games, apps, books, penpalling

If there is something from the above list that really appeals to you, dear reader, please let me know and I’ll do my best to make it one of my priorities. While I blog for me, I do enjoy engaging with my readers so if something sparks your interest, we can have a conversation about it!

I hope you have a magical week!

Clean Slate

20181106_154658_0001.png

I like clean slates.

A blank piece of paper. A new notebook. The next project. A fresh D&D campaign. An unwritten story. It’s relaxing to me. Full of possibilities and lacking in mistakes. This might have something to do with an inward desire for perfection, and never being satisfied with my own work.

I’ve been wavering back and forth on how to proceed with this blog. I’ve changed my plans many times. I read a lot of articles about having a niche, and a schedule, and something called SEO. The articles told me if I didn’t follow the formula, I would lose readers and they would never return. I needed to choose my goals and motivations. I needed to participate in Twitter chats and up my Pinterest game. I had to decide exactly what I wanted to write about. I had to choose topics that would be helpful to my readers. I should scan for what’s trending so I can frame my posts to match. All these decisions needed to be made or I was doing it wrong and I would never succeed. It was overwhelming.

Consequently, I was paralyzed with inaction. I was planning out posts…I even wrote one that I never published because halfway through I decided I needed to focus on a different topic. So…nothing was posted for several weeks.

Two things have happened recently that might be turning things around:

1) I started reading the Bullet Journal Method. I was already a Bullet Journaler, but the book has made me not only get back to basics, but really focus on how I spend my time. The last few weeks I’ve been swimming in a sullen sea of introspection and philosophy…asking the “why” for everything I do and honing in on specific goals to focus on now. I’m narrowing down what I’m giving my attention to. Being more intentional with my time.

2) I came across a blog called The Story of John Sennett, and I read this post: https://thestoryofjohnsennett.com/2018/10/26/am-i-a-blogger/. In that post, John addresses these very issues- niche, schedule, doing what you are “supposed” to do as a blogger. Here’s a bit of that post:

I’m a ‘ME’ blogger. I don’t have a niche. I don’t fit into a category. I don’t tick a box. I talk about everything. My focus is me, my story, the things I love, my thoughts and experiences.

The term ‘niche’ is damaging. We don’t need to feel like we don’t fit in because of the term and as a result, feel like we’re not a blogger because we don’t fit a ‘niche’.

John doesn’t follow a posting schedule. According to one of his comments on a different post, he also doesn’t really edit his posts. He talks about whatever he wants to…and his readers are really engaged with lots of comments on every post.

I love blogging. Possibly because I’m an introvert who loves talking and sharing. I’m the opposite of a private person, but I’m too shy to engage in conversations with new people in person, and in real life conversations are exhausting. This isn’t exhausting. In order for this to be a conversation though, I need comments. But that’s all I want to build a community of online friends whom I can share my many passions with.

I want to be like John. I want to do my own thing, my own way and love it. I want to have fun with my blog. I work a full-time job. I’m married with lots of very needy fur-children. I have a fairly long commute. I have lots of hobbies that require my attention. I have a life, and I should stop apologizing for that. If anything, having a life should give me more interesting content, right?

For this reason, I’m giving myself a blank slate. It’s the same website, but it’s a new blog and this is the first post.

On this blog I will talk about Walt Disney World, cats, Bullet Journals, self-improvement, self-care, anxiety & depression, stress management, Disneybounding, books, podcasts, video games, board games, Pathfinder, Virginia, traveling and more. There won’t be a set schedule, a certain number of posts per topic, or anything else that checks off a box. And we’ll just see what happens.

Oh, there will still be polls, though…because I like polls.

If you’ve read this far- thank you.