Knowing what you’re doing

Did you set some goals/resolutions/intentions around New Year’s Eve or the following day?

Have you reviewed your progress yet?

I know at least three people just looked at the date and thought, what the f***, Mhairi, it’s only 7th January!! Give us a fighting chance!!

The thing is, how do you know if you’re moving towards your goals if you don’t keep checking back?

I go through quite an in-depth goal-setting process at the end of each year. It includes looking back at the last year, coming to terms with everything, good and bad, as well as looking forward to what I want to achieve in the year to come. I use Michael Hyatt’s Five Days To Your Best Year Ever course, which includes a bit about how you have to constantly review your goals – it helps you acknowledge every little milestone which in turn keeps you motivated to hit the next one.

You can do this whenever the hell you like, but I know me and I know that I need to do this weekly if I’m to have any hope of sticking with it. Monthly might as well include a date with Neil Armstrong in a cute café on the Moon – it ain’t gonna happen. My review day is actually Tuesday (long story) but hey, I’m talking about it now. I’m sure you’ll cope.

So, I open up my little book – I finally found a use for a GORGEOUS little Moleskine notebook I’ve had since forever and never used because it was just too damn pretty – and look at the goals. When I did Michael’s course, I went through all the stages and the working out of stuff in this beautiful little book.

After I thought I was done I went back through and added an extra layer of “why?” which is, funnily enough, where I ask myself “why?” five times about every single goal to try and get right down to the root of why I want to do that thing. Sometimes it throws up the fact that the goal isn’t actually something I want, but something I feel I should want – one of this year’s goals got scratched because of that. There’s no point in having huge goals that I’m not actually interested in achieving.

In the interests of full disclosure, not all the goals in the book were mentioned in my post on the matter last week. Some of them are private and that’s okay. So I’m just going to talk about the ones I did mention.

Daily blogging – I have written five blog posts in the last seven days, which includes this one and the New Year’s Day one – I call this a win! Damn impressive, actually, I hadn’t even realised I was doing THAT well. (this is why we regularly review our goals, folks)

Daily fiction writing – I’ve fictioned two days out of the last seven, although today will probably be a third. I’m going to call that a win. It’s an excellent start, for sure, and that’s what this is all about.

Read 2 books a week – I’m still on the non-fiction book I was on last year and I haven’t read any fiction at all!! I know exactly why that is – it’s because I don’t make time for reading! I need to sit down and sort that out. Reading over breakfast is one idea, as is reading in bed before lights out. That would be a good time to read a dead tree book as the light of an ebook will not help me sleep. So not doing so great on this one but I have a plan and I can live with that.

Exercise – I’ve been walking the dog every day, sometimes twice a day, since Richard went home. It’s not the highest level of exercise I could be doing but it’s consistent and I’m very happy with that. The best thing about it is that there are several other things I can and will be adding into the general routine, Pilates for one, so this will only improve.

Encouraging others in their creativity – I’ve sent out three Daily Drop emails (today will be four) in the last seven days and posted one as a video on YouTube for those as likes that sort of thing. Yesterday I Skyped with a Bard fan about writing, publishing and the creative process. I cut up a couple more decks over the last week and announced a temporary closure of Bard orders while I get caught up on the pre-orders, an announcement which promptly produced another order, or rather an attempt at one. Bless her heart, the lady is willing to wait. Again, I’d prefer the Daily Drop be living up to its name but currently I’m averaging every other day and that’s fine too. Again, we’re going for small steps and consistent progress and the fact that it’s going out as frequently as it is is absolutely fine by me. Getting it up to Daily is the end goal – we’re still on the road!

Likewise, Bard is a journey. Cutting the decks takes a few hours, so technically I should be able to cut several in a day. Unfortunately, it’s hard bloody work and by the end of one deck my right hand is in a LOT of pain, to the point where I can barely move my fingers. This is why the process is taking longer than it should. It’s also why the price will be going up when I reopen the orders. Both these things come under the heading of Self Care.

Now that I’ve broken it all down, I’m really rather proud of myself. I’ve started well out of the gate, albeit not perfectly. I don’t mind that. After all, it is the Shoot For The Moon Challenge. It’s not supposed to be easy or even necessarily attainable. The idea is that you’ll end up doing more than you might otherwise have done, nothing more or less. I can see I need to pay more attention to the areas of reading and writing (and me a writer, too – the irony, it burns) so that’s on my list for today in terms of planning, as well as actually doing! Plans are great but an implementation is better.

So how about it? Where are you on your goals? Still working towards them? Do you think a regular review process might help? Let me know your thoughts!