I started 2016 like the president of the student body-head cheerleader-valedictorian, that girl that we all love to hate. I was focused and goal-oriented and ready to kick some ass. I even wrote a totally obnoxious blog about it.
This is what my goal planning calendar regularly looked like.
This is what my social media calendar looked like.
And then life kicked in.
In the six weeks between spring break and now, I traveled six times. That's six hotels. Four car trips. Two plane trips. I toured four separate college campuses. I ate so many burgers. I had A LOT of cocktails.
During that time, this is what my goal planning calendar looked like.
And this is what my social media calendar looked like.
So now it's the beginning of May and I've finally gotten to unpack my toiletries and do some laundry and wake up in my own bed on a Saturday. And I've looked down the pathway of May and realized that those goal posts and milestones I'd set up for myself earlier this year...they're gone. Obliterated by reality. Shadowed by the goals of March and April glaring back at me with disapproval and disappointment.
Sorry. I anthropomorphize.
When our goals have slipped away from us, it's easy to beat ourselves up. It's easy to pull up the anchor of goal planning -- of setting our sights on a more meaningful objective and working toward it -- and instead get carried away in the tide of the day to day. And it's exhausting to goal plan when you're just trying to play catch up.
But I gotta believe that those larger goals -- for our careers, our families, our relationships, our personal health -- are worth putting down stakes for. I gotta believe that the hoped-for results are worth the planning.
So I'm doing a few things this month to get my goals back in place. First, and I think most importantly, instead of beating myself up for what I didn't accomplish, I'm acknowledging what I did. I helped my kid choose a college. I helped raise some money for my writing chapter. Seldom are we just sitting on the couch eating bonbons and lazily watching the opportunities to fulfill our goals pass us by.
Secondly, I'm letting go of what I couldn't accomplish. As my dear friend Paige Trevor said today, "the world doesn't stop spinning because a few things were shoved under the bed." I may not be using the quote in the best way (sorry, Paige!), but it is valuable for me to remember how few of the things that I get worked up about will make the world stop spinning if they don't happen. Like, none.
Third, and this is the hardest part, I'm going to put one foot in front of the other and begin again. Re-starting -- making those lists, writing out those calendars, confronting the to-dos that I thought would be completed already -- always feels like the most daunting and frustrating task. But even daunted and frustrated, I can start. I can do. I can be powerful in my ability to overcome my own inertia.