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Goals and changing the narrative

July 1, 2014

I’ve been reading a lot about goal setting. Specifically over on Elisa Blaha‘s blog. I love having goals, and not only because it means getting to make lists- I love lists!- but also because it helps me to break things down into smaller steps. I’m a person who gets overwhelmed easily and have a tendency to freeze when something seems too big. In fairness, I must admit that I also have a tendency to freeze even when something doesn’t seem big.

Often I hesitate to set goals or make promises to myself because I don’t trust that I’ll follow through. In the past I have been lofty and general, very all or nothing. I’d start out gung ho and then peter out after a week of doing whatever I’d said I was going to do. Part of it was fear of failure. Why try if you might fail? (I am loathe to admit this, but it is my pattern.) Another part, I think, was not having enough respect for myself. I wouldn’t just bail on someone else, (anymore) s0 why would I do it to myself?

On this first day of the new month I find myself wondering how much of that personal narrative is true anymore. I’m holding on to that fear and it’s holding me back, but why couldn’t it be possible that I am different? That I won’t bail on myself? And if I did, or do, one day, who’s to say that I won’t pick right back up the next day? And does it make me a failure or a bad person if that happens? No.

Easier said that done. I made a list last night of things I would like to work on and things I would like to change. Then I worked backwards to end up with the following items.

I have knots in my stomach as I write this… I’m terrified I’m going to fail.

For the next 30 days I will do my best to:

Walk every morning. (I spend enough time complaining about the sun and the heat and how I can’t just go out for a walk, when the truth is, I can walk, it just has to be early.)

Meditate for 10 minutes every day. (The old mindfulness meditation that I love so much.)

Blog every day.

This month I will do my best to:

Go on a picnic.

Figure out how to post a collage here of things I love for Eli and myself. And post it.

Put together the basic outline of Eli’s baby scrapbook.


There are more, of course. Personal and professional- a word count goal, for example- that I’m not ready to publicly commit to. Is that stupid? Why do I feel like I could barf? Guys?

Wish me commitment! (I was going to write “luck”, but luck has nothing to do with whether or not I accomplish these things.)

This guy's going to keep me going on the morning walk bit at least!

This guy’s going to keep me going on the morning walk bit at least!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Kelly permalink
    July 1, 2014 12:25 pm

    I like this post. I like lists too. They give me a focus and sense of accomplishment. Without them I feel like everything needs to be done and then nothing gets done. Then I get discouraged and feel bad about myself. I also like that you have pushlished your commitments. Good luck…errr….I mean “good commitment” or something like that. 😉

    btw – What is a “word count goal”? Number of words to write?

    P.S. I am enjoying your blog…great recent posts. I am looking forward to another 30 striaght days of them. Good commitment!!

    • Clementine permalink*
      July 1, 2014 8:58 pm

      Thanks Kelly. 🙂
      The word count goal is to help me continue to move forward with my non-blog writing. I didn’t list it because it’s just so small. Let’s put it this way, one time my goal was to write 1,000 words a day. It wasn’t realistic.

  2. July 1, 2014 1:06 pm

    Worthy goals! Don’t beat yourself up if you slip–just go back to it, and know you are serving as an inspiration to others (me, at least). xo

    • Clementine permalink*
      July 1, 2014 9:04 pm

      Aw thanks, Juli. Also, I miss you. xo

  3. karyn permalink
    July 1, 2014 3:24 pm

    Blaze your own trail here my friend, and if you think of your goals as scheduled business meetings, something you CAN NOT miss, it makes it a bit easier to cross things off your list

    • Clementine permalink*
      July 1, 2014 8:53 pm

      I wish it were easier for me to do that.

  4. July 1, 2014 8:41 pm

    I am very impressed that you even have energy to identify goals at this point in your baby journey! If I had been through what you’ve been through in the last ten or so months, I’d probably be comatose.

    Goal setting has always been difficult for me. I go in waves. I’ll set a goal a month for six months and make sure they are “do-able” and that they get done. Sometimes, at the end of the 6 month period, I’ll review what I’ve done, pat myself on the back, and then realize the goals I set and accomplished were totally unrelated to my greater personal ideals. This kind of “goal gone astray” thing has happened to me several times. I guess this is one instance where perseverance has actually paid off for me. I settled on Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements.

    Once I accepted the idea that I really did want to try my best to live the wisdom of the four agreements, a lot of other things fell into place. I’m 64 now and still chugging along trying to finess both my understanding of and my adherence to The Four Agreements.

    I’m not suggesting that The Four Agreements book is the universal panacea that will clarify goals and purposes for everyone. I am suggesting that sometimes we get so caught up in the process of getting to a goal that we lose sight of the desired final outcome. Deconstructing the desired final outcome can sometimes be the most obvious tool for goal setting.

    I admire your fortitude and energy. You are a wonderful story teller. But don’t give it all away. Save some for the book! .

    • Clementine permalink*
      July 1, 2014 9:04 pm

      It’s all about the stories I’m NOT telling. (I’ve got the word count goal for those!)
      You make a lot of good points. What I did differently this time, among other things, was brainstorm macro to micro. I got down my bigger, rounder goals and then broke them down. That way when I accomplish them I will be working toward something. Even if that something is to spend more time outside.

      • July 1, 2014 9:18 pm

        We all find our way when it is our time. I love your blog and anxiously await the first, of what I imagine will be several best sellers.

        Commitment, commitment, commitment!!!

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