Prone to work: Motivation month

Motivation monthI’ve written before how I love all things goals/lists/motivation. I’m a sucker for New Year’s resolutions, to-do lists, motivational blog posts, etc. This morning, I was lamenting how many of my goals and ambitions weren’t anywhere near where I had hoped they would be by this time of year. Then I realized that the year isn’t yet over (obviously), and I can still work toward some solid next steps in many of the areas that need some attention.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve also got a few items on your original list of goals that may not be quite where you wanted for one reason or another. Personally, I had a bit of a disruption this year with a cross country move that shifted a few of my projects and put others on hold (read more about that here, here and here).

The good news is that we’ve still got a month to go! While we can’t create more hours in the day, we CAN be intentional about the time we have left. And the fact that the last month of the year is often one of the busiest is no excuse. Just think of how great it will feel to begin 2015 on a high note after finishing this year strong!

So, admitting that I CAN’T accomplish EVERYTHING I’d like to in the next month, here, in no particular order, are the things I’m hustling on:

  • Do something physical once a day. I ran this morning for the first time in WEEKS. The move and drastic weather changes got me out of sync, but I’m back on the horse after signing up for the half marathon in Nashville in April (any other hustlers running that one?). For me, it’s always more helpful to have something external to aim for and schedule around.
  • Do something professional once per day. I transitioned to a part-time, remote role once I moved to Denver from Florida in late September. I’ve been diligent about sending out job applications, updating my resume, and networking with professional contacts, and I want to continue making this job hunt a priority. Shameless plug: check out my profile and professional experience on LinkedIn if you know anyone who’s hiring 😉
  • Get the side project up and running. Before making the move this fall, I had an idea for a writing project that I wanted to tackle after I got here. While I’ve made some strides, it’s certainly not launched, but 31 days is more than enough time to stay diligent and see this idea through.

While these are the “big” things, there’s plenty more on my agenda that I’m looking forward to: freelance project deadlines, Christmas activities, travel, editing projects, Christmas shopping, etc., and I’m excited about the month ahead.

But what about you? Taking a look at your “original” list of goals, whether that’s for the year or the season or whatever, what are you going to focus on–realistically–for the next 31 days? How will you finish 2014 strong?

Comment below, and I’ll check in with you around the middle of the month to see how things are going!

Prone to quit: The worst kind of busyness

do all the things

If you ever ask me how I’m doing and my reply has anything to do with being “busy,” you have permission to unfriend me. Seriously. No questions asked.

Let’s be honest: we’re all busy. It may look different to you than it does to me. Some of us wear it as a badge of honor, but I’m over that.

I find myself in a very brief season of what I jokingly referred to as “the worst kind of busyness”: spinning your wheels while making no progress. (As opposed to making real progress, like my in-person friend growing her garden and re-doing her office, or my internet friends getting great content out on their blogs. At the moment, y’all are not my favorite people.)

Perhaps you know the feeling. Lots of lists written down and strewn hither and yon. A woefully unrealistic deadline (often self-imposed) to get things done. The promise to yourself that it won’t be like the last time.

And then it becomes like the last time. You resign yourself to the fact that things will be left undone. You substitute a real dinner with a fresh pack of Oreos to mask the disappointment. Just me? OK then, moving on…

In this particular episode, I’m juggling projects at work against a pending international trip in 1.5 weeks that I’m leading and STILL haven’t booked our final hotel with LOADS of unnecessary house chores and cleaning sandwiched in between watching two dogs on two separate weekends with a friend visiting from out of town thrown in for good measure all before welcoming a new roommate this weekend and finalizing my house refinancing. Clearly, I NEED to sweep my garage and organize my Gmail and sort, file, shred, and store YEARS worth of paperwork before I leave the country.

Who knew Oreos could be so soothing?

I should know better by now. You would think my awesome sense of self-awareness would kick in at some point and keep me from such destructive patterns. When I took the StrengthsFinder test a few years ago, it told me one of my strengths was “Achiever” (shocker!) but I’ll “never feel as though [I’ve] reached [my] goal” and I “must learn to live with this whisper of discontent.”

Discontent, thy name is Dustin.

But this is not a pity party. This is not a complaint. For the most part, I rather enjoy the things that keep me busy.

This is a line in the sand. The day I stop talking about being busy and give myself the permission to avoid creating it. And recognize that this is a season.

I’m going to plow ahead and redeem the time that’s left as best as I can. There will be things left undone. But the world will keep spinning and those things will be here when I get back from the other side of it.

Perhaps you’d like to join me. Let’s quit this cult of busyness.

Fun fact: I decided to write this blog post instead of tacking the to-do list, because there aren’t enough Oreos in town to deal with my inbox or the work list I carried home.