This month I’m taking a course with Margie Lawson called Defeating Self-Defeating Behaviors, which I would recommend to anyone.
“There isn’t any secret. You sit down and you start and that’s it.”
~ Elmore Leonard
Margie might have geared the course toward writers, but I’ve already talked a painting/designer friend into taking it as well.
[Note: The friend is Clair, from Can a Cup ‘o Joe Make Your Man a Ho?]
I’m only on Lesson 4 of eight for the month and I’ve already identified at least five things that will make me more productive forever.
At the beginning of this course, I stumbled across an email draft of my 2013 goals. (Coincidence? I think not.) It was an appalling moment, looking at that list, and realizing I’d only accomplished one. Out of seven fabulous goals, I’d pulled off…ONE.
And then Margie had us examine our thinking and our previous goal lists to find out where we fall short.
The most important thing I learned from all those 2013 goals?
I am not a “yearly list” kind of girl.
The goals are too big and they overwhelm me. I get lost inside them, and then I feel like a hideous, pitiful loser (I told you this process is not logical). I had the same issue with quarterly goals, although it wasn’t quite as bad.
Here is my new list for this month (and only this month):
- Complete Margie’s DSDB class.
- Write at least 15 mins of fiction 5-6 days a week – shoot for 30 mins.
- Meet with friend on the 9th to make a first steps freelance plan.
- Submit 2 queries for freelance work – doesn’t matter where.
- Sign up to teach ONE online course to begin no earlier than mid-to-late February.
You know what the beautiful thing is about my new plan? With only a few small goals each day, I get $hit done and then I feel better about myself.
Margie’s material is proprietary so you have to take the class if you want it (she has packets too), but I will share one little thing that described my old approach to goals:
A Negative spiral. Or – How to set yourself up to FAIL
- Make a big, overwhelming list
- Attempt a few items
- Allow yourself to be distracted, do other things
- Regarding your list items – Fail
- Become depressed
- Ignore list
- Misuse time
- Accomplish little
- More depression
Yep, that was ME the first week of January…feeling like a failure. And it wasn’t logical.
This last weekend, I made a writing resume for the freelance endeavor I described above. I had to list all the writing stuff I do and put it in resume form. My change coach (who holds me accountable to for all this) had to remind me of like 5 things I’d have left off and by the time I was done, the list and it’s descriptors were TWO pages.
That’s not “accomplishing nothing.”
I was exhibiting what Margie calls “faulty thinking.” (Focusing on my shortcomings and ignoring my successes.) Slowly, I’m coming to the realization that it doesn’t really matter what I didn’t do, it matters what I WILL do.
In short, my previous thinking was undiluted crapola.
I’m sure I’ll slide again on the faulty thinking front, but those lists of yearly goals every December/January? I’m done with those forever.
I’m a daily/weekly/monthly goal girl now, and I am never going back.
How do you approach goals? What kinds of faulty thinking do you suffer from? What’s the #1 “goal avoidance” behavior you engage in? Who holds you accountable? Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here at More Cowbell!