Progress vs. Perfection

Apparently the universe didn’t get the memo that I’m trying to get my life in order!  My intention was to do an update on my progress that I’ve made toward my goals for my 40th birthday but then Tuesday happened.  Tuesday was just not the best day.  I don’t even remember what all happened to make it a “bad” day but I was in a mood.  So instead of writing an update that would have just put a negative spin on any progress that had been made, I just took a step back at laid low.

I’m a person that’s comfortable with working through a process.  Unfortunately, there seem to be few people around that are comfortable with processes.  But, when you feel like things need to change majorly for not only your happiness, but your sanity/survival, the daily circumstances that surround you can often feel too daunting to overcome and you might feel like giving up.  The most important thing to remember is DON’T GIVE UP!!!  You can never give up on yourself or what you truly want out of your life.

So instead of giving up, I look at what I’ve been doing and reflect on what’s going well and what I can improve.  Acknowledging what has gone well is a far better motivator than casting a critical eye on everything and magnifying what we deem to be a failure.

With 24 days until my birthday, here’s where I stand:

Goal 1: Simplify-I’ve collected 3 boxes of stuff from our house to donate.  (There’ll be MANY more boxes to come!)  I found an old file box that I’ve had since I first started teaching that was SUPPOSED to be my filing system.  There were bank statements from banks that no longer exist and so many other things that were just completely unnecessary and I can’t even tell you the last time I looked in that box!  I consolidated it down to 2 file folders and the rest was shredded.  And to think that I have carried that box with me for 4 moves!

My goal today is to make sure that our living areas are free of extraneous things and to take the boxes to be donated.  We still have cabinets to go through and purge.  We have an entire extra bedroom that is currently serving as a storage room that needs to be purged, but that is a long term project and I’ll have to break that down into smaller pieces.  The more daunting challenge (and the most needed) is tackling my classroom.  I might have to recruit a team to take care of that!

Goal 2: Schedule-I’ve been consistent with my morning routines and making sure that I have everything ready the night before.  Bedtime for baby has been consistent but I need to move my time to work my business to the morning because my brain does not function after baby goes to bed which effects productivity, but it’s still has be an improvement.

Goal 3: Health- I’m pretty sure that I haven’t hit 120 oz of water a day but I’m consistently hitting the 60-90 oz  a day so that’s progress. Being consistent with my bedtime has certainly NOT been consistent, but I think moving my business time to the morning will help with that as well.

Goal 4: Mental Well-Being- I need to go back to my old school days of marking my activity on a calendar.  This is definitely something that I have to make visible to myself.  I’m going to put my jogger stroller in my car and pack workout clothes to go to the park after work and hit the trails with baby because that would do us both some good, but of course that means I have to leave work before it gets dark!

This week I will make a checklist of my Steps for Success so that I can make it visible to myself and hold myself accountable.  I SEE great things happening this week. 🙂

Goal: Focus on the Fundamentals

A lot has happened since I first started this blog which contributed to me going MIA for a little while.  I had a baby and suffered through one of the roughest school years of my life.  A few months ago, I changed schools and grade levels, which was an improvement, but presented a whole new set of challenges.  We celebrated our child’s first birthday and then bought a new house, which meant moving.  So between moving classrooms and inheriting a LOT of stuff and moving into our new house, I rarely know where anything is!  Being inundated with too much stuff, learning so many new routines, both at school and at work, has left me feeling like I am living my life in survival mode.  I actually haven’t felt like I have been living my life at all.  “Survival mode” eventually gives way to “avoiding catastrophe mode” and I think we could all agree that that certainly doesn’t qualify as living your best life possible.  I certainly do not want my daughter growing up watching a frantic mom run around completely scatter brained and just barely getting by and think that is the norm or what being a mom looks like.  I want to enjoy life and enjoy my life with the people that I care about the most!  So what better time than the days leading up to your 40th birthday, could it be to get things back in order?!

Over the next 38 days, I am going to focus on a few goals that may seem far too basic to have much of an impact, but in my mind will create the perfect ripple to bigger and better goals down the road.  After all, if you don’t have a solid foundation on which to build goals, you will be far less likely to achieve them.  I chose a small number of goals to create a well rounded variety, so that I can focus on the “Whole Emily” and not just one facet of my life or personality.  So here we go…

Goal 1: Simplify.  I feel VERY STRONGLY that many of our problems today are due to the over complication of things that would best be kept as simple as possible.  To simplify things for myself, I am going to focus on decluttering both my home and my classroom.  There is just too much stuff to manage and I want to free up my cognitive space to manage things that actually require brain power!

Goal 2: Schedule.  I am going to create a daily schedule to serve as a guideline for better managing time and schedule specific time for tasks that pertain to my home life, my work life, and my business life.

Goal 3: Health. My goal is to drink 120 oz. of water a day and have a consistent bedtime.

Goal 4: Attend to my mental well being. I need to schedule down time to read (for enjoyment) and exercise.

I look forward to seeing my progress over the next 38 days and can’t wait to share this experience with all of my friends!