How are you doing so far on your 2019 goals?
“Some people regard discipline as a chore. To me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.” – Julie Andrews
January set me back. There’s nothing like life happening to you to keep you humble.
Between the excitement, confusion and work adapting to life with two new puppies (adorable as they are, it is work), teaching two intersession Winter classes at Stony Brook and becoming very ill with the virus du jour that’s going around – well, let’s just say that at the end of January I am very far behind on my January goals.
It’s a good thing I plan my goals out quarterly, or I would be completely discouraged.
Are you anything like me? Are you already so far behind on your 2019 goals that you want to just hit the reset button?
There are a couple of things that help me to refocus when I’m about to just throw in the towel and give up.
- I plan my goals for the year quarterly, not monthly. This allows life to happen to me and keeps me from over-planning the year out in advance. Fewer goals keep the overwhelm in check, and still allows me to feel successful.
- I’ve been meditating consistently since the end of 2016. I can’t tell you how much healing and self-discovery it has brought me. When life threatens to overwhelm me, I am able now to step back and recognize that this is a step on the journey and to relax.
- My MasterMind group, my entrepreneur Master Class group and my accountability partners keep me on track. I’m able to be honest about my overwhelm with people who have been there and can offer real support and solutions.
- Committing to build this community online keeps me honest. I can’t give up, because this is the gritty journey we’ve committed to as artists and entrepreneurs. It comes as part of the package, and I’m right there in the thick of it just like everyone else.
If I look back at my goals over the last few years the most consistent goal has been “Time Management.” Since I list the same goal year after year, it’s pretty evident that I still haven’t mastered it yet.
As I begin 2019 as a full time entrepreneur-artist, I am solely responsible for how I spend my time. Yikes.
Last week I met the incredible super-productive guru Ari Meisel of Less Doing, who totally inspired me and revealed more productivity solutions than I could keep up with. Some of his suggestions I’m going to implement immediately, such as using Trello as my CRM and making more use of productivity apps such as IFTT and Zapier, but really, I learned that my time management and productivity problems come down to the need to manage my own mindset.
The Need for Routine
I read somewhere that every successful writer creates time to write. They don’t just sit down and write when inspiration hits, they create a routine every morning or evening to write for a specific amount of time whether they feel inspired or not.
It’s this creation of a routine that I’m finding priceless.
We’re all creature of habit. I’m now creating a habit that works for me instead of against me. Each morning I get my Starbucks coffee and sit to meditate (my Calm app tracks my sessions for me) because that’s just my habit. A painless and easy “check” to start my day off right. In her outstanding book The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp also recounts the necessity of routine, saying, “By making the start of the sequence automatic, [artists] replace doubt and fear with comfort and routine.” For Tharp, her routine jumpstarts her creativity.
It’s not just humans who need this structure and routine. As I research how to raise and house train these puppies, the experts always stress the need to create a daily schedule. Their day should have a consistent flow of eating, going outside and playing to help their little systems adapt to our schedule. A structure frees them and us to coexist more peacefully, something I’m appreciating very much indeed!
“Wolves are disciplined not only when they hunt but also when they travel, when they play, and when they eat. Nature doesn’t view discipline as a negative thing. Discipline is DNA. Discipline is survival.”
― Cesar Millan, Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems
In creating that routine to housebreak them, I’m reminded of my own need to discipline my time and activities. It’s not just for the puppies!
Finding a Routine is a Process
So now for 2019, my new schedule flows like this:
- 6:30 Wake up, get everyone out the door (including walking puppies)
- 7:00 Feed puppies, household chores
- 8:00 Morning meditation with coffee
- 9:00 Writing
- 12:00 Exercise
- 1:00 Focused Work
- Somewhere between 5-6 I’ll break for dinner
- After dinner I allow myself some freedom 🙂
How do you feel about this? Do you find that having a disciplined time to write helps keep you on track?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! We’re all in this together.
Share it with us here in the comments as we support each other on this journey.
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