Last month I was inspired by a post by Sharon Boggon discussing dreams and goals. It reminded me of a time when I was incredibly organized having been trained to train others in time management and organization. I have been feeling pretty useless and quite the underachiever since my injury in September. Sharon’s post inspired me to pick up my old skills and think about what it is I really want to be achieving. Sometimes when you do that, you find you are not quite so far from your goals as you think.
And for any creative person who feels they are spending too much time in mundane activities and not enough in the creative outlets that feed one’s soul, the activity suggested by Sharon and described here are good tools.
It resulted in the resurrection of a Contract With Me. What is this? It begins with identifying dreams that I have in several aspects of my life. For example:
Physical Health: I will reach a weight I can live with for the rest of my life.
Emotional Health: I will be “happy.”
Finances: I will live within my means without a sense of deprivation while honoring my obligations to others.
Spirituality: Ultimately —become enlightened.
Creativity: I want to be a virtuosi in needlework, especially blackwork. I want to publish a book that sells well to my audience. I would love to have my creativity support me and Jeff.
Social: I hope I can always have at least one very close friend with whom I can shared my Dreams and hopes. And, yes, woes, too.
Community: I want to be well respected and looked to as an expert and reference in the stitching community. I want to be able to give generously to the world, to the causes that promote peaceful coexistence.
Occupational: I want to support myself with my creativity and never have to work for someone else again.
Dreams are pretty vague, pie in the sky sort of statements. It’s important to give yourself permission to dream and dream big!
But to quote Thoreau, “If you have built castles (i.e. dreams) in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations (i.e. goals) under them.”
The next step is assessing your dreams. How do they fit together? Do some areas reflect the same dream? Do themes run through the dreams, like money or health or art or connections to people or your Creator? Make note of such factors. They are important messages from your subconscious. So, on to the step that comes before making goals or my…
Overview: Most of my dreams dovetail from one or several of the others in the list. Prioritization and flexibility will be key. Hence review periods of 4 to 6 months should be set to see if it is time to introduce new goals, while maintaining previous progress.
- My ability to manage my money is integral to a positive relationship with Jeff and with creditors, so Financial goals are a priority.
- My ability to do anything at all depends on my physical health. My RNY post-op behavior affects my physical and mental health. This is a high priority to set a right.
- Creativity is not just an outcome, it is like a tool for me. It is a “medicine” for my mental health. It is a catalyst to spiritual growth. My community is founded in creativity and this ties me to them, makes a place for me. It is the zeitgeist in which I want to live. It is how I wish to make my “living.” Because of how integral this aspect of my life is to my being, I cannot just “be creative.” I must exercise and strengthen the creativity muscle. I must have a “workout” plan for my creative muscles. I must first identify what those muscles(skills) are and develop the appropriate workout schedule. Something that has always been useful in the pas that must not be forgotten is the Dreaded/Craved Weekly Artist’s Date with myself.
- I tend to be an all or nothing sort of person, no halfway measures here. This is nowhere more clear than in my community/social connections. I have many blogs to read. Three e-mail accounts that are quite active. A number of virtual groups I belong to. I tell myself that each is a tool for growing my potential business and connecting my potential audience. This is true. But, how much is enough? Which connections are critical? Which ones contribute to my overall growth? Which ones are really creating connections? I need to figure out how to evaluate these questions and more. Then assess the situation and simplify to give myself more time for the critical activities that will truly lead to my overall well-being and making dreams a reality.
Summary & Recommendations:
- Develop and implement a plan to improve eating behavior.
- Outline a daily routine that will meet all goal implementation needs.
- Research ledger types and pick one that will make it easiest for me to monitor financial transactions.
- Look at financial transactions and define which are needs and which are wants. Decrease spending on wants and give that money to reserve fund.
- Develop and implement a plan to meet needs to exercise all my creative muscles and develop those less often used.
- Data collection and research to create these goals should be completed by January 1, 2013, with goals to be written and implemented by January 15, 2013.
- Review periods should be set at one month (2/15), four months (5/15), six months (7/15), and nine months (10/15). Annual review to begin 10/15 with recommended plan for following year by 10/31.