Depression · Life · Organization

Goal setting, planning and doing

I have the great privilege of being my own boss, and mostly the master of my own time.  With that freedom comes the danger of drifting along not really accomplishing anything. This was especially dangerous for me a few years ago when I was struggling with unrecognized depression. PJs all day is great every once in a while. Not every day for a year.

Thanks to a good doctor, a therapist, understanding family and friends, and a husband who is my best friend and basically, a saint, my depression is controlled. It doesn’t rule my life.

I am still a super introvert, but that is not the same as being frozen, exhausted, frustrated, guilty and hopeless.

One of the best things about getting healthy again is being able to enjoy planning for the future. I have always been a calendar keeper, a journal keeper and a list maker. Planning is very satisfying for me. Sometimes so satisfying that I use too much mental and emotional energy making the plan, and not enough actually doing the thing.

About a year ago, I discovered the Self Journal. It is a hardbound calendar, planner and goal-setting tool. Each journal covers 13 weeks, and the days and dates are blank, so you can start anytime. It includes goal-setting guides, weekly progress pages, and daily pages that are two facing pages. I use it as a combination calendar/planner, journal of what actually happened that day, and an art journal where I include drawings, photos and affirmations and quotes.

I am starting my fourth 13-week journal today. The first one was not very successful. It was more of an experiment in how to define my goals. I wasn’t the greatest at carrying through on the day-to-day plans. The second journal was better. I read books about goal-setting and learned to hone my goals to better fit the 13 week time period.

I use mind-mapping software to break large goals into parts, and even sometimes into tasks with specific deadlines. Some people do this simply with lists, or spreadsheets, but I enjoy the colorful visual of a mind map, with its bubbles and clouds and arrows. Whatever motivates, right?

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I marked out the text because the amount of detail I go into is embarrassing.

My third journal was the most successful yet. I can look back and see exactly how close I came to completing my big three goals. (For the record, I was about 50%.) I’m not discouraged. I can look at the weekly pages and see where I strayed from my goals, and also what exactly got me sidetracked. I had very few “dead” pages, where I failed to plan, and later had no idea what I did that day.

Now, as I set my goals, I am reminding myself that I am planning what I can accomplish in 13 weeks, not in the next year, or in the rest of my life. I have settled on general categories for my three goals: Self-Care (diet, exercise, reading, hobbies, time with friends and family), Getting My Shit Together (cleaning, organizing, developing good daily habits, minimizing the “stuff” in our house and garage) and Helping (making the world a better place, activism, volunteering, donating, being a friend, supporting others.)

Blogging and other writing blurs the lines between all three goals, so that will be part of every day’s plan.

Promise not to judge me and I’ll show you a random page from my last Journal.

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Some days are better than this, some days are worse.

Here are some of the resources I have used so far:

The Self Journal

Mind Maps Classic for PC – Available free from Microsoft Store. There is also a Pro version, but Classic works great for me.

Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results, Stephen Guise

Best Self Alliance Facebook Group Lots of support here, and good ideas for how to creatively use the Self Journal. There is no one correct way to do it.

Kodak Mini 2 Wireless Instant Photo Printer This prints photos from your phone. They are 2 x 3, and have peel and stick backs, so they fit in the Journal. The photos are very clear and sharp. The photos are expensive, so I use them sparingly to print pictures of family events and fun times, or occasionally a finished project I’m proud of.

Staedtler triplus fineliner marker pens These are great for color coding systems, or just  making certain entries pop. They don’t bleed through the paper, and I find them easy to write with.

 

Blogging · Inspiration · Writing

Pardon my crazy

November is the month for #bloglikecrazy, a blogging challenge created by the wonderful Javacia Harris Bowser. It is simply a commitment to publish a blog post every day during the month of November. For most of us, that is way harder than it sounds. There is a terrific network of support from Javacia and the members of See Jane Write, and of course, from the regular followers of my blog.

My problem with daily blogging is perfectionism. I want every post to be awesome, but honestly, I don’t have awesome things to say every day. My life is pretty small right now, and I like it like that. I don’t have an exciting career, my sons are grown, I’m not currently embroiled in local political controversy, so I worry that I will bore my readers to death.

Some folks criticize bloggers for being self-absorbed, and it is not completely undeserved. I would like to write impeccably researched posts about current events and history and feminism, but that is not what my blog is. My blog is deeply personal. My intention is to open myself up through my writing – to be honest and sincere, to commit memories to writing, to hopefully connect with readers, and above all else, to write well.

So, I accept the challenge to write and publish every day this month. Not every post will be a home run, but I hope that they make someone smile, or inspire someone to push themselves a little, or just to get through the day knowing that they are enough.

Follow my blog, and pardon my crazy.

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VOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTE

Blogging · Nonsense · The Dreaded House · Writing

She’s Back and in a Bad Mood

cat-1865538_1920 (1)Not really. Not a bad mood. Just the perpetual anxiety of living in the US with Donald Trump as President. It has been long enough that I have given up hope that it is a bad dream. So I retreated into the world I have a little bit of control over. I cleaned out my closet and conducted a brutal purge of my wardrobe. Same with the hall linen closet. Don’t laugh, I am really proud of these tiny accomplishments.

My writing has really taken a hit. Something about fearing the end of American democracy is bad for one’s creativity. My daily writing is not blog-worthy. It’s more like primal scream therapy, with a keyboard.

But blog I must. So bear with me readers, as I get some bad and emotional writing out of the way. Today, I share my pet peeves. Maybe you can relate, and smile. Continue reading “She’s Back and in a Bad Mood”

Blogging · Writing

The big 6-Oh.

I turn 60 years old on August 4. I’ve been feeling very restless lately. I want to travel, to make things, to interact with new people, to learn a new skill, to start a new project. (Or ten.) It is hard to put my finger on exactly what I want. I spend a lot of time planning trips. Then I line up the excuses why I can’t take those trips right now. I have a list of 100 books I want to read.

What is this restlessness? It feels like I am racing against time; as if the things I can do with my life are whittling down as I get older.

And this is true, I guess. There are only so many books I can read, only so many places I can travel. So in addition to the restless feeling, I feel frozen in space. I can see so many possibilities, but I am not reaching out for them.

At 60, is it too late to reach for a bigger life? Am I too old to travel alone? Am I too old to write a book? Do I have the stamina to do what it takes to build an audience for my blog?

My gut tells me that of course it is not too late. There are dozens of stories of people who found success in their last third of life. I have the freedom. Do I have the will?

Writing is my one real talent. I have played at several careers, but writing is the thing that gives me joy. It isn’t easy, but it is always satisfying. Words on paper, rolling into sentences and paragraphs and pages. I love them.

I blog for myself, although having an audience is amazing. My blog entries are the result of taking my thoughts and feelings out and putting them into words and sculpting those words into something hopefully readable and meaningful and maybe entertaining. I resolve not to worry so much about my themes, or my categories, or what readers “expect” my blog to be about. Today, it is about turning uncertainty and timidness into courage and action. I am a (soon to be) 60-year-old woman who wants, still, to do magical things in this life and write about them.

Blogging · Inspiration · Writing

Why I want to “Blog Like Crazy”

Writing creates a certain connection with the world that I often can’t attain in person. Even with my closest friends and family, there are still some walls that remain. Maybe this is a personal failing of mine, but I keep certain beliefs and desires and dreams behind the wall because they are too tender to hand over to others – especially the others who I love and respect the most.

When I write, and publish my writing on my blog, I tear down the wall and  become my most honest, authentic self. I often have a moment of anxiety before I click that “Publish” button, because I am putting my heart out there, defenseless, to those who know me well, family members, those who know me only by reputation, and also strangers.

I blog because there is a certain exhilaration in writing and publishing on honest, heartfelt topics. Love me, hate me, be indifferent – this is who I am. When I write, I have the freedom to be real. This is why I want to “Blog Like Crazy.”

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Weed or flower? I am both.

 

 

Admin and Technical

Blog News

I’ve decided to combine two of my blogs into one. What We Watched has been around a while, but I find that I don’t really watch enough television to maintain a whole blog on just that topic. My posts are few and far between.

This blog, however, Just This About That, covers a lot of topics and I think my television interests would fit in here nicely with the rest of my ramblings. I hope that the tiny number of followers I have will be okay with this. It’s perfectly fine to skip over my thoughts on ADHD, empty nest adjustments, politics, local Alabama craziness, etc., if television is why you follow me.

I think a single blog gives more of a picture of who I am. My television watching, book reading, parenting, political views are all part of the same person, and I have spread myself too thin to post regularly on any blog.

If you find anything of interest here, feel free to follow. I don’t automatically follow back, but please don’t take that personally.