There is something comforting about knowing I can be whole by myself. In addition to adding a dance class, I want to try to incorporate yoga or Pilates, too this upcoming year. I am not saying I am fractured or broken but just like anyone else, I have my moments. And those moments are a wake-up call to change my status quo. I heard about an exercise that asked you to write out a schedule in 15-minute increments of your ideal life and then asked you write out that same schedule with your actual life. Hearing about the exercise was sobering enough–holding up your ideal life next to your real one was absolutely jarring.
One way I know to ease those feelings is to commit to being a whole woman.
If I can’t be whole for me, how can I ever be the wife, daughter, sister, servant and writer I know I am supposed to be?
One of my writing goals for 2018 was to pitch an idea once a week to a publication. This week, I decided to really look at how often I was really pitching. I think I have only pitched once or twice. Instead of hanging my head low, I’ve decided to evaluate that goal. Does once a week work for me? Have I organized myself to meet this goal?
When I even take a cursory glance at it, the answer is No.
When I go deeper, I had to ask myself why I have not met the goal. I have been able to keep up with my blogging schedule, publish my first E-book journal, “What I Love About You: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Proposal and Vows” and take writing classes. In addition to the rigor of everyday life, I am aggressively attacking my health goals.
But none of those realities are excuses. I now have more time in my schedule to see how I can start making the time to pursue freelancing opportunities. It’s been a wonderful side effect of writing in my journal every morning. In addition to writing my prayers and gratitude, I’ve also included a to-do list. Writing it down has gifted me with tremendous clarity on the parts of my life I neglect.
Part of this clarity can be attributed to belief. Before establishing a morning routine, I didn’t believe I had time to write and pray just for me. I didn’t “believe” I was a morning person or and I believed I was a night owl. My transition is not miraculous but it is a result of sticking to the habit which created my new beliefs.
I believe I am the type of person who goes to bed early and wakes up early, too.
I believe I am the type of person who makes time for exercise.
I believe I am the type of person who schedules time to pitch editors and other blogs.
I believe I am the type of person who more often than not, finishes what she starts.
I believe I am a child of God who loves and works hard who intentionally makes the time to achieve her goals, has fun and gives herself a break when she needs it.
Today, I thought a lot about promises kept. On my last post of 2017, I made several goals for 2018. Two of the goals were to complete an E-Book and to take writing classes. Although I have many more goals to reach and even more to make as the year unfolds, I realized I achieved both of those goals. I just came back from the last session of Life in 10 Minutes and I released my first E-Book last week. I am happy I didn’t wait to schedule an appointment with a coach to help me organize and provide a calendar for writing or try to put off taking class for later. I believe I would have done both at a later time but I didn’t want to kick it down the road or just assume everything “would work out.” I have been down that road many, many times before.
Tonight after class, I knew I would be back for another session soon. My teacher passed out Valentine’s candies and Dream Big was printed on one of the hearts, faded but definitely still visible.
I don’t think I should be looking for signs in candy but it made me smile nonetheless.
I have pretty much been in work mode all day and next level tired the whole time. Hubby is still sick but he has his moments when he is walking around so I remain grateful–a bit frustrated but grateful nonetheless. Part of me wishes I went to writing class tonight instead of giving into the weariness and the work.
So where does that leave me besides committed to the work? It leaves me proud that my weariness comes from work and challenges me to push through finalizing my project and keeping to my schedule posting here.
It also reminds me that if I could go back to even 2 years ago and ask if I would rather be living that life, the answer is an emphatic “No.” Being too scared or lazy or a combination of both to take classes, seek coaching, blog, attend conferences and write even when my lids and heart are heavy is nothing I want to run back to. Don’t misunderstand me. I harbor no ill will against who I used to be.
You ever get to the end of the day and feel like you made a lot of good decisions? Decisions that were just right for you?
Today was that day for me. I talked more openly about my writing with people. I spent an hour outside, just walking and talking. Even though there was a chill in the air, I cherished every moment I had outside and not cooped up indoors.
Now I am here, writing this post and preparing to work more on the first draft of my book and another writing project. I am thanking God I asked one of my writing group members to check on me this Saturday to see where I am with my pages.
Which is leading me to another thought: Please don’t underestimate the power of accountability. I sorely need it! One of my goals during #bloglikecrazy in November was to finish my first draft. I know why I set two lofty goals but I also know they were not completely grounded in reality. When I set unrealistic goals, I set a trap for myself. And I fall for it every. single. time.
The “All or Nothing” mentality has never served me well and it only guarantees that something on the list will not get done. In November, it was my first draft. I looked at it but that was about as far as it got. I did not anticipate the everyday stressors, activities, work, and of course I couldn’t have known to factor in hubby’s short hospital stay. However, there is something about me that wants to keep reaching. I think there is a little devil on my shoulder that whispers “This time it will be different. This time you can push yourself to do it all.”
I can at least promise not listen to the lies and do what I know I can do and if sometimes I surprise myself with more, then I will welcome it. For right now, I am happy to dedicate the rest of 2017 to staying consistent with my blogging schedule, working out a few times a week and continuing to work on my first draft with the support of my accountability partners.
I can’t think of a better way to start to say good-bye to 2017 and hello to 2018.
Next week, I have a schedule change that will have me up earlier in the morning. When I was in my early 20’s, I jogged a few miles before class about 4 times a week. During one of my jogs, I fell hard and suffered a bad sprain that took a long time to heal. I never worked out the same again and I quickly gained back all the weight I had initially lost plus more.
With this schedule change, I would like to get up early again to exercise. I have worked out before and after work, off and on, for years since the sprain but I have not been intentional about picking a time, unless it was to attend a class or meet with a personal trainer.
I believe making this change will provide more of the discipline I need to meet my goals. Taking dance class this past month has empowered me. Setting a concrete time to workout, especially in the mornings is a habit I’ve read about for many years and I am inspired to make it my habit.
Only three days left of the 21-Day Water-Workout-Write challenge! The end is nearing fast and has me thinking more about the next phase of challenges for myself. I may not name it but I will set a schedule for exercise, giving back, writing, submitting and being active in the writing groups I belong to. Clearly defining my goals has made such a difference in my life. I have never written more regularly. I feel a bit embarrassed to admit it as it’s barely been three weeks but that was part of the reason I started this challenge anyway. I can choose to be the kind of writer that writes sporadically (tried and failed) or the kind that sets goals and knocks them down, one by one.
Today was low-key. Yesterday, I was out and about after my doctor’s visit and wore myself down as evidenced my needing to use an inhaler before bed last night. My intention was to maybe go for a short walk but that did not happen. But I have coughed a lot less today. Hubby keeps reminding me I have a very active week ahead. If he could pin me down, he would. So instead of frustrating the person trying to take care of me, I am staying put, watching and laughing at an awful Lifetime movie, sipping water and working on this article I committed to submit by the end of this weekend for my guest post.