Friday, March 30, 2012

Goal Setting

The last few months have been crazy, to put it plainly.  My commitments at work have been a little out-of-the-norm and have required longer hours and more stretching of myself.  That's not all bad, except that I have a hard time keeping several things going at once.  I'm either all "this" or all "that".  If you know me, you might not see that played out nearly as much as I do, because I attempt to keep up with everything all the time, and the things that suffer are mostly hidden from outsiders. Ouch.
My husband knows.  When a deadline has me in a zone, nothing else matters. 

I suppose many of us function like that, at least to some degree, but it sure drives me crazy!  I feel like I work and work, and there's no end in sight, and I have a hard time looking at past achievements with any measure of pride if my current situation is chaos.  When my life is spinning like that, priorities become misplaced, and out of desperation, the important things may get shoved to the bottom of the list.  For example, my grocery/couponing time was non-existent because there were deadlines to meet.  Is that a big deal?  It's a huge deal, but my deadlines seemed the moment.

Misplaced priorities can sure cost a gal.

So, I decided I needed a plan.  I am a goal-setter, but not so much a list-maker.  I don't spend time writing out a plan for each hour of my day, or even each day of my week.  Important things get thrown into Cozi, and the not-so important things happen as they can.  In my short search for a workable, tangible system, I really couldn't find something simple enough to meet my need.
Then it hit me...the thing I was looking for was right in front of me.  All day. Every day.  And I took one. Remind me to pay the .003 cents or whatever.  :-)

I can hear you laughing already. Yep, it's simple.  I'm simple.  But here's the deal:  my goal card only contains my "home" goals, and those goals can only be accomplished after I've already put in a whole day on the job...unless I can somehow train myself to rise before dawn, which I've pretty much given up, because with the layout of our house I would have pre-dawn company - especially one little blonde girl who could really use the extra sleep. 

So...this is it.  It's my system, and it's working great so far.  What I've found is that when I have a simple plan, I spend very little time sitting with a pen and paper in my hand, and that frees me to actually accomplish something.  When I have something written (small enough that I can carry it in my Bible or my purse), I know what I want to do when I get home, rather than just freezing up when the whole mess hits me in the face, or working at bits of this and bits of that, without any real progress.  Another thing that I'm finding is I get more done than is on the list (Greg helps me with things around the house we accomplish more than I anticipate), so it sweetens the deal. 

Blogs are great, especially the ones that give you handy tips for managing the house and finding creative ways for efficiency, but one can become overwhelmed with all of that information.  They can even foster guilt because of a false sense of perfection that comes from viewing someone else's life through a window, rather than by coming in through the back door. 

If you find yourself in my shoes (a sanguine who can't ever find her list and has misplaced priorities), or like some that I know (melancholies who are drowning in lists and guilt), don't sit and mope.  Instead, cut out a 4"x6", make it look pretty, and draw 35 boxes.  It'll make your day.  ;-)

***Disclaimer:  I wasn't "off" on Tuesday/Wednesday because I felt I needed a break, but because I had some kind of a virus, and my day job was all I could handle.

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