December (AKA Resolution-Planning Month): My Favorite Time of the Year

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Yes. I am one of those people who get all hyped up about New Year’s Resolutions. I stand proudly in my goal-planning nerdiness. Before all of you New Year’s Grinches, who can’t stand the thought of uttering one resolution (losing weight, exercise consistently, eat right), roll your eyes and click off this post, give me a chance to argue my point.

I love new beginnings. The unfolding of possibility, the endless imagined outcomes, the shiniest of what could be, sets my soul alight. The beginning of a new year is no different. The old year, with all its failures and triumphs, sorrows and joys, loss and bounty has passed, and the future with all its new endeavors is bright with endless possibility.

This year I have even more to celebrate. In years past, I’ve set lofty goals holding onto the hope if I could just keep focused and inspired, I wouldn’t spiral into overwhelm and drop everything like a hot potato. This never succeeded, and 2017 was perhaps the worst. But now I know where the overwhelm came from—chronic illness. Knowledge is power, right? So this year I went about goal-setting with renewed hope for achieving success.

But to achieve success, I had to go about my process differently. First of all, since my brain doesn’t work linearly and I struggle with foggy “Lyme Brain”, I used Post-it notes for each goal, writing them down over a few days as they popped into my brain.

They happened to fall under four categories: Mindset, Wellness, Writing Career, and Travel. From these categories I examined each goal and journaled about my fears, my hopes, and the reality of whether I could actually achieve it with my physical limitations. What emerged was consistent across all categories. I was afraid I wouldn’t follow-through again and thus postpone my dreams another year, not because I wouldn’t try or lose motivation, but because chronic illness would prevent it.

In the midst of the mild depression that ensued I realized something. Mindset dictates physical wellness, dictates mind/spirit wellness, dictates output. Here’s a graphic to illustrate:

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How I think about my life, my mindset, will influence everything in my life. If I think I will never get well, I won’t. If I keep an open heart and an open mind and appreciate every step towards health then the chance of me landing on a healing protocol that works becomes more probable.

Next, doing everything in my power to have a healthy body—giving it the rest, the nutrition, the activity, and the herbs and meds it needs—is crucial to having a healthy mind and spirit ready for wholeness and growth. This wholeness of body, mind and spirit is the catalyst of giving my best to the world.

My best output has different categories, too. In no particular order the Consistent Output circle includes relationships, tasks, career, dreams, travel, accomplishments.

Next up was creating a doable daily schedule with plenty of margin. I know by one o’clock fatigue starts setting in. Some days are worse than others, and I never know what symptoms I’ll be fighting: fatigue, pain, brain fog? So instead of trying to push through it like I did in years past, I accounted for it. My mornings look the same: read, write, drink coffee. By one o’clock I generally know whether my body will quit on me for the day or whether I have stamina to do more. This never knowing makes it hard to plan ahead, so I split my schedule into two options. If I feel good I will either write more, hang out with a friend, and/or complete a to-do list task. If not, I will take a nap, read a book, watch a show.

So, with this graphic and a flexible daily schedule firmly in my mind I moved on to create specific goals for each category. I’ll dive deeper into some of them in later posts, but here’s a taste:

  • Mindset: Take risks and embrace failure.
  • Physical Wellness: Listen to my body.
  • Mental Wellness: Discover what is meaningful (purposeful) to me.
  • Career: Finish editing four books by October 31st.

I’m satisfied with my 2018 goals and I have hope I can accomplish them. Having an achievable plan makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

What about you? Are you a Resolution Nerd like me or more of a Grinch? If you’re a Resolution Nerd what’s your top goal for 2018? If you’re a Grinch, what makes you resolutions so much? Either way, I wish you a love-filled, prosperous, and adventure-rich 2018!


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