A couple days ago I was feeling really down for loosing some of the pace and motivation I had kept up through January. Last month I got really into hooping and I spent a lot of time at the gym practicing. After almost two weeks strong of no practice whatsoever, I couldn’t understand how I could feel so great and have so much fun doing something and then just suddenly stop doing it— then my mind got stuck on a loop where I just kept thinking about things that way and I fell into this spiral of self-criticism.
All I could think was, why do I always do this? I don’t ever finish anything that I set out to do.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past couple years, it’s that it is so important to pay attention to thoughts like that and flip a switch ASAP once they start taking over in our heads. Usually our own toughest critic is ourselves, and I know we’ve all heard that before but in my experience it’s true— and it’s also the most relentless. Negative self talk is a total energy sapper, and I think that when we get into that frame of mind it’s good to gain some perspective and shut it down before it gets the best of us. ❤
So while I was indulging these feelings of criticism and defeatism (all over a simple two week break from hoop dancing) it dawned on me that February is the six month point in my Bloom Daily planner— my general planner which started in August 2016 and goes on until August 2017. I had some really specific goals mapped out for the year so I flipped back to August 2016 and took a look at my first collage and bullet point list of goals that I wanted to accomplish for the year.
To my complete shock I’ve already accomplished some of the biggest, most challenging goals that I set out to do, but somewhere along the way I totally put them out of my mind because of all of the focus I was putting on my momentary slump— which really wasn’t even a slump because though I wasn’t hoop dancing I was still keeping active in my artistic hobbies.
To give you an idea of what I’ve been up to in the past six months here are some of the things I’ve completed on the list so far— or if they’re not quite complete yet they’re set to be soon!
Write a novel length manuscript— I did that in one month during NaNoWriMo.
- Hoop dance— still a long way to go, but it’s a thing that can take a long time to master and learn. The point is I started, spent a lot of time on it and learned a lot in January, and I will resume spending time on it again very soon. 😉
- Buy a new car
- Visit Samantha in Clearwater— My trip to Clearwater is planned out for April
- Fly on a plane for the first time— Also happening in April, I bought my tickets yesterday. This might not sound like much but I’ve been afraid to fly (or more specifically afraid of chaotic airports!) for a long time, so this is actually a big goal for me and a big one for facing fears.
So there it is— all of my biggest goals of the year are finished with six months to spare. There’s a spattering of other goals like read this book and that book and keep track of my diet. Lose 40lbs in twelve months was a goal too but at this point I don’t think I will by the end of July unless I put some serious effort into it. And honestly I’d rather focus my efforts on all of the other things so I guess I’ll just have to let that one go for now and keep up with my other plans. I’ve had a change of heart in trying to obtain a certain number on the scale anyway (if you haven’t read it yet, pick up “Body Kindness” by Rebecca Scritchfield and you’ll know what I mean, it’s a phenomenal book with a really refreshing perspective on health, self care and diet) so at this point I’m just hoping that weight loss, whatever it ends up working out to be, will fall into place as I focus on decent activity and being mindful of what I eat. Focusing on lbs lost can be another self esteem killer as well as an energy depleater, and I’ve come to learn to look at pretty much everything in how it impacts my daily energy levels— you would be really surprised at some of the things that do once you start paying attention.
Now that I’ve looked back on some of the goals I set out to achieve I’m feeling much better about finishing the things that I start— even if only because I realize now that I actually do more than I think and that’s already giving me some motivation and inspiration for more goals! Staying positive sounds easy enough but it’s tough to put into daily practice; especially if you’re like me and you’re more prone towards a negative outlook when not being especially mindful of your thoughts. It’s really a skill more than anything else and that’s where visuals have turned out to work quite nicely for me. The planner, the collages, the bullet point goals. Some months I keep up with my planner and get really into decorating it and making a daily plan and other months I’m not (probably because I’m actually really busy with doing the things, like writing a 145 pg manuscript in a month that I neglected to consider in my insistence that I never get anything done) but the point is that somehow I made a plan and things are coming to fruition even though it doesn’t always feel that way.
I’ll be back another day with more on the Bloom Daily planner— it’s been quite a project for me and there are a few reasons why I think it’s carrying so much significance in my life this year. But to go into all of that now I think would be to digress, and the important thing that I hope to leave you with right now is to check your self doubt and self criticisms when you can— especially once you get to the point where you’re beating yourself up over nothing. I think very often that a lot of us believe that there’s always more that we could be doing and usually it might be true; but focusing on your accomplishments, be they personal, financial/career, domestic, relationship or what have you— is so much more helpful and inspiring than focusing on the things you haven’t done, or have yet to do, or have not yet finished. It’s important to have some perspective on what you do and what’s behind you, because that’s all the difference between “my lazy ass is in a slump again” and “I’m taking a break/focusing on other things for a while.” It might sound like trivial semantics but when it’s how you talk to your own self, it’s really not.
Be kind to yourselves… I’ll keep trying to do the same as well.