I’m a bit of a sucker for a ‘to do list’. I like to empty my head before I go to bed, and then I know in the morning what I need to do. I also have two dry boards on my wall that I can see all the time. At first, I thought this was a good idea….but then I realised that instead of helping me get through my week and staying (semi) organised, I was concentrating on the quantity of stuff that was on there instead – I was getting bogged down by how much stuff was waiting for me.
Every couple of months, I re-assess things, buy myself another new note book, and start another to do list for the next few months….and then break the list down into weeks, and days. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. ….and then sometimes I end up with at least four note books all with different lists in. Sometimes I even convince myself I can just keep things in my head….but then my head turns into an ‘internal dry board’!
In January I set myself 10 specific goals for the year, and then I broke each one down into bite size chunks, and I also looked to see which goal would be most beneficial. This would be my main focus. …..or that was the plan…
…nearly four months in, and I decided to re-visit my list for the year to see how I was getting on, and things were a little fuzzy.
….. the thing that I found most unnerving was how in such a short space of time, some of my goals had changed. Some still applied, some I had completed, others didn’t seem particularly relevant anymore….and one was pretty unrealistic, or rather, the time frame I had set was unrealistic.
But then last week I decided to dig out an old book to try and get myself organised and focussed again, and the thing that became clear when I looked at this year’s goals, were that they were realistic. Don’t get me wrong, we all want goals that are achievable, but I realised I had set them partly because they seemed obtainable, and because the sensible side of my brain wanted to stay within my comfort zone. After finishing my book, and looking at my goals, the thing I realised was that I hadn’t allowed myself to dream. I hadn’t put anything on my list that seemed unrealistic and unobtainable. I had played it safe. I was setting goals that I thought I should be aiming for and I wasn’t chasing anything……
…..after refocusing and setting a new set of goals with new timelines (business and personal), I decided to dig out the goals I set in 2008 after reading the same book. The thing that became apparent from that, was that some of my goals were still the same (financial security, and to travel), some I had completed (to work for myself), but also that my goals were so much simpler, and I had allowed myself to dream. My goals came from the heart. Whereas now, I feel like I have a tendency to overcomplicate things, and set goals according to what I think I should do, rather than what my heart tells me to….
My new goals and timelines may not be as easily achievable, but at least they feel like I’m staying true to my values…..
In another few months I might return to my new set of goals and change them again. But until then, I’m allowing myself to dream……
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”
- James Dean