Last week I posted my (hopefully) well thought-out goals for the next three months. I’ve finished the “aggressive actions” for most of them – I posted one of those at the bottom so you could see what I mean. Now, the question is how to accomplish these actions.
I’ve read several articles that suggest creating and keeping a goal tracker (or using one of several apps). In my usual impulsive zeal, I jumped right in. I can’t show you my personal tracker and I’ll explain why later in this post. But, here is the model I copied:
I loved it for exactly two weeks. Then I missed a few of my habits and couldn’t color in the boxes. Oh no! That “failure” turned my negativity mind into the “on” position. For the next few days, my negative thoughts were dim – just loud enough for me to hear when I missed another habit. By the end of that third week, I was missing more and more boxes and my negative voice got louder and louder. As I began to spiral, I missed more habits.
I made the decision to stop using the tracker at all. Sadly, I didn’t rip it up. Even though I didn’t flip to the tracker page in my calendar, subconsciously I knew it was there and it screamed accusations.
The habit tracker, whether I looked at it or not, became tangible evidence that I was a disappointment, a failure. If you’ve read many of my posts, you’ll know that that one word – disappoint – is a major trigger. Needless to say, I started into a downward spiral. But, after so many years of therapy, I was able to:
My point is that what works for many may not work for me. I know what I need to do to be healthy – I also know that creating a way to judge myself is NOT helpful. Other people like – and need – that type of accountability. It’s ALL ABOUT WHAT WORKS FOR YOU and being HONEST ABOUT WHAT DOESN’T.
Back to my goals for 2018. Some of my goals are straightforward and need no further planning or explanation or resources/support. For example, mindful eating is just that – turn off the TV, put down the fork between bites, chew slowly and “taste” the food, etc. All I need to do is remains conscious of this goal.
Other goals need more active strategy and development of mini-goals. I need to define the aggressive actions but I need to do this in a way that doesn’t set me up to be judgmental. Here are my mini-goals/aggressive actions for the “Start Cleaning My Own Damn House” goal:
Okay, can you see that I’m setting myself up to fail like I did with the goal tracker? I’m going to have to be very careful! I’ve defined the mini-goals so I don’t need to review this list again – until April 15 when I reassess all of my goals. My brain can hold these activities so I threw away the paper where I listed these mini-goals. The truly important/workable mini-goals will just become part of me and my routine. If I kept that paper, I’d use it to beat myself up when I missed a step.
There is nothing LEGAL about my list of goals or my aggressive action steps. If I miss some or all – SO WHAT! If I do them all and achieve greatness in keeping my own damn house clean – SO WHAT! I’m enough either way! That’s my new mantra … I’m enough either way!
So are you!
In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....