Setting Goals Makes Gretchen Happy
Oh the irony. My single post on "Plan the work, work the plan" didn't exactly go as planned. But I rescued it. It's April 2021, and I have already started this post, Work the Plan Part 2 and my next Writer's Life Post, Work the Plan Part 3, which will drop in December just in time for planning 2022. That bit of working ahead gave me four months to improve my goal setting and tracking before reporting in on how I Plan the Work for my writing life. And eight months to learn how to Work the Plan, which is not my strong suit.
And yay for back-to-school and September-ending fiscal years. It gives me an opportunity for a plan checkup. Also, discounted school supplies. A sale on quad-ruled composition notebooks brings me joy.
Work the Plan Part 1
Rabbit Trail! Or not. I don't like secular self-help books. Hard pass 99% of the time. That said, I do have a weakness for ones on productivity. A colleague of mine recommended Atomic Habits by James Clear. I checked the audio version read by the author out of the library. James Clear has a website with tools and templates. Loved it!
There are so many tips and tricks for setting up good habits and breaking bad ones. It's not as much about goals as it is self improvement over incremental successes from habits and routines. As a person who loves change and chafes at routine, I needed this. Good habits give us more time to pursue what we love.
Professionally, I am in a great place after having a rough first half of 2021. Mid-May marked a dramatic shift in my career. I managed an intense quick-turnaround project that my client couldn't praise enough. I taught an internal training and was invited to present the same topic to one of our major program clients. I'll be presenting next week. Pray for me! Lastly, I am leading a team in a new practice for our business group that goes beyond traditional environmental compliance and remediation. So exciting!
It really fits my personality when approached with the opportunity, I was told the role my involve "jumping on a client call with a whiteboard and no agenda." Most engineers: dive under the desk and develop cold sweats. Me: Yes please! Where's my virtual dry erase marker?
Writing is going well too. I attended Realm Makers. It was a Thanos snap from 2019 to 2021 completely bypassing The Year That Shall Not Be Counted™. I was with my people learning, praying, catching up, connecting, and hugging. Normally a bit of a cactus, I was in fully on hugging mode! At Realm Makers, I had great publisher and mentor appointments. I've scheduled a critique/edit for early next year. The wait has inspired me to complete my next manuscript and dust off a couple of others. So many ideas.
I'm making lifestyle changes too. I've been reading through a Psalm and Proverb each day since March. I just completed both books (over 150 days!). Atomic Habits inspired me to remove some clutter. Social media, streaming apps, and games have been removed from my phone and Merge Dragons (my biggest time suck) from the iPad. I've been waking up early for Bible study since March. Increased exercise and dropping the 15-ish pounds I've gained over the past 3 years is my next thing to tackle. I've figured out how to incorporate daily Bible reading with more exercise. I'm going to run about 20 minutes in the morning while listening to the Bible chronologically. I will still do a traditional Bible study but this new habit will allow me to incorporate two things I find important that have been neglected and yet part of my identity.