About that hiatus…

Remember that I didn’t really blog for like 5 months? It became so normal for me to not blog that people even stopped asking my what was happening with my blog. I partially happy people stopped asking (because I didn’t have answers) but also disappointed with the fact that my lack of blogging became so normal. I think I saw it as a type of failure – failure to persevere in difficulty, failure to be creative and figure out what to write.

blank-journalYesterday I took some time to actually think it through. I meant to write more, but have been putting of thinking through what’s next. And now I have a bit of an idea. I know what distracted me from blogging and I have an idea of what I want moving forward. (If you want to hear a bit more about some of the changes in my life that influenced the lack of blogging, I’ll be sending out my next newsletter soon. My newsletters are typically more personal than the blog content. If you’re interested, sign-up here).

Some things haven’t changed

This is a relief. I’m glad that even though I’ve lost interest in some things (staying on top of social media/platform building innovation) other values have still stayed.

GUYS, I still care about running. This, I’m honestly surprised by, but I guess I shouldn’t really be. I haven’t run in almost a year. But I’ve thought a lot about it (I know, it so does not count). BUT, I was this close to getting back into it, and then I fell pregnant (yay!). Because I had been so inactive before, it wasn’t recommended for me to re-start running. This will be postponed until the baby comes. I had a lovely conversation about running with my best friend’s multi-marathoner dad that was inspiring. I think I might try to talk to him more on the topic.

I still value writing. Even though I haven’t done much of it lately, it still is something I want to continue to cultivate the habit of. This winter semester I took a class and was SHOCKED that it took me a couple of painless hours to write a 15 page paper. This is not what my life was like in my undergrad, but all the writing since undergrad has obviously paid off. This was very affirming!

I really like you guys. I don’t know if I can go so far and call the readers of this blog a “community” (my husband is really picky about the proper use of this word!), but I appreciate all of your feedback, the fact that you actually read this and seem to find it helpful. I don’t know where this blog will go and how long it will stay running (I have no plans of being a “mommy blogger”), but I have enjoyed it and been surprised by it and you.

This Summer

I’m not going to make you or myself promises about writing this summer considering I’ll be pretty busy travelling with work as usual in the summer. But, I do know that I’m a different person in the summer: full of energy and ideas. I imagine I will likely have more to say.

I hope this works out! I miss it.

Being Crafty

It's still in its home on the back of my dad's couch.

It’s still in its home on the back of my dad’s couch.

Growing up, we had this afghan that lived on the back of our couch. No matter how many times we moved (and they were many), this blanket came with us. It was there through all of our childhood illnesses, through every movie we watched, every cold Canadian winter. My Dutch grandmother had crocheted it years ago. One day, I resolved as a teenager, I would learn to crochet and make a blanket like this for my family.

Since graduating from University, I’ve been on a quest of sorts for hobbies. I know that hobbies are a very important part of a balanced and full life, especially if you’re someone like me who can be a little too into her work. But I just couldn’t find something that I clicked with and loved to do (except blog, right?).

“Start being Crafty” has been on my Personal Development Plan for years. I’ve taken steps towards these things. I sewed a bit one year, I tried to cross stitch another year… but there’s always this threshold of difficulty that I have a hard time surmounting. My mom finds this hilarious and bewildering, because these things are like breathing to her. Whereas I get annoyed when she can’t remember her AppleID or work her iPad.

But alas, here I am, finally crocheting. I asked for crochet gear at Christmas and this is my big goal for the year. For a few reasons:

  • I want to be able to do it
  • I’ve put it off long enough that it’s becoming shameful.

So despite the fact that I’m not running right now, I did go swimming this week. Despite the fact that I haven’t been writing every day, I’m blogging a little bit more regularly. And three weeks ago, I couldn’t crochet at all. I’m not stagnating anymore!

crochet

I’m back in the saddle, it seems. A friend recently asked me why I’m blogging more again and what had changed? The answer: who can know? I don’t really know what has changed, other than I actually feel like I have something to say again. Why do I have something to say suddenly? Again: who knows?

Maybe it’s that I got restless after sitting around for so long in the fall. Maybe it’s that I got a crochet hook, some wool, and a how-to book and enough motivation to start. It’s probably a little of both. This brings me to the point of my post.

I haven’t really been working on my bucket list goals very much recently, but I obviously have been moving forward on other ‘lesser’ goals. In some ways, they’re just as important as these other things, just less audacious. They’re also things that I had always wanted to do, but never made it onto my official list that I had created.

Even though a Personal Development Plan is different than a Bucket List, it’s still totally relevant to this blog. I’ll explain why the next time I write (see? I’m back in the saddle, people!).

Your turn: What do you count as a goal completed?

 

I barely made it out for a run today. If it weren’t for the Get The File Out principle, there’s no way I would have gone. “I’ll just put my running clothes on” was how it started and it ended when I wanted to barf cause I was running too much!

As I was running and struggling to keep going (it was a hard run!) I wondered something about goal completion. I wanted to ask you because I’m pretty confident what my response is.

When you have a goal in mind, is it enough to complete the goal (say a 1/2 marathon, no matter what your time is) or do you need to complete the goal on your terms (it doesn’t matter if I completed my first 1/2 marathon unless I get in at the average time or better than average time)?

eBook and Writing

reach-your-goals-screencapIt’s been a few weeks since my Easter Weekend Project and this past week I had some time to look over the book, make some suggested edits as per my brother’s recommendations. Willy took a quick look over it, gave me a few recommendations and the next step is to edit it for reals. I’m still debating whether I’ll let Willy edit it or not. Being edited is hard. I haven’t decided whether opening myself up to his criticism is better than someone else’s. He’s already read it now, so I guess he can already see it for what it is before being editing.

Both my husband and my brother agreed it’s something I can be proud of. This makes me smile.

Right now it’s a series of steps to help you dream big, decide on your bucket list goals/life goals and start making them happen — nothing particularly new for this blog except for all in one place. The working title is Reach Your Goals but that sounds pretty lame and self-help-y. I’m open to better suggestions.

“You’ve written a lot this year!” Willy pointed out. I hadn’t really thought about it, but once I did, I realized that yeah I have written a lot. As it stands, this ebook is roughly 10,000 words. Another one I’ve been working on for the last 8 months (as ideas come) is 20,000 words. The novel I wrote in November was roughly 50,000 words and none of this is including all of the blog posts I’ve written and personal journaling I’ve done. The best part is, my life doesn’t seem to be interrupted by all this writing.

I’m celebrating a little bit in my heart as I write this for having been able to so easily work toward this goal of writing regularly.

10 Questions About Your Goals

10Qaboutgoals

Photo by Seán Venn

Time Management Ninja had an excellent post on friday about goal setting. It was helpful and clarifying to me as I consider and evaluate my goals. I wanted to share these 10 questions with you.

10 Questions You Must Answer About Your Goals:

  1. Are They Written Down? – Writing your goals down is a magical act. It makes them real. It clarifies them, and helps bring definition and accountability to them.
  2. Are They Your goals? – Before you pursue them, make sure that your goals aretruly your own. Or are they goals that have been put upon you by expectations of your family, job, or society?
  3. Do They Have a Deadline? – Goals without deadlines are like a race without an end. You need a finish line to define your goal and when you will accomplish it by. (You can always adjust later… see #7.)
  4. What is the Cost and Are you Willing to Pay It? – Every goal has a cost. Whether it is time, money, or sweat. Make sure you are willing to pay the price to achieve your goal.
  5. What Help Will You Need to Accomplish Your Goals? – Truly great goals require us to go beyond ourselves. Every successful person learned from someone else. Plan in advance how you will get the assistance you need.
  6. Are You Focused on Your Goal? – Many people fall into the trap of unfocused goals. Or perhaps, they have too many goals at once. You must have laser focus on your big goal. It must be front-and-center in your life. It must get constant attention.
  7. Are Your Goals Adaptable? – Life changes. You can’t control that. So, your goals must be adaptable. This is not to be used as an excuse at the first sign of difficulty. Adaptable goals change, instead of break, when life throws you a curve.
  8. Do Your Goals Stretch Your Limits? – If your goal is to do something that you have already done before, then you will get the same results. Your goals should stretch your abilities. That is how new capabilities and limits are reached.
  9. Do Believe in Your Goals? – More than anyone else, you have to believe in your goals. There will be critics, doubters, and people who want to see you fail. Don’t listen to them. Listen to the inner voice that drives you.
  10. What Did You Do Today? – You must act on your goals every single day. It is not an optional activity. If you truly have the determination and focus to reach your goals, you will not only think, but act on them every single day.

My reflections on these questions

  • I’ve already thought through most of these. When this blog was first just an idea in my head, I considered “do I have the money to make these goals happen?” and “Is it selfish to focus on these goals?” (question number 4). We don’t want to set ourselves up for failure, but we don’t want to be pessimists either.
  • I hope you know by now that I love, love, love question number 7. In certain areas of my life I can be a perfectionist (cleaning my house is not one of those areas) and I tend to hold myself to a standard of performance that isn’t helpful or healthy. I’m learning to be flexible and give room for the unforseen changes of life.
  • The last question was a big kick in the butt! It’s unusually cold this week, though the snow is gone and the sidewalks are clear for running. I told myself I would start again but I don’t want to go out in -10ºC after being accustomed to +1ºC! Sigh. Out I go for my first run of spring, reminding myself I was running in -10ºC last November.

Have you thought about these things as you first planned for your goals? Had you forgotten to consider any of these questions? Leave a comment here with your thoughts.

Scratch that.

Having big goals requires having a bunch of little ones to check off the list to help you get there. I’ve written some of my smaller goals here that will help me get to the bigger, badder bucket list items. Today, I got to check one of those off. I now have some articles published somewhere other than my own blog.

It feels like a big day but maybe that’s because the sun was still up at 7PM.

The writing is different from what I usually write here. It’s more personal, or at least a different kind of personal. Also, it’s been edited! It’s weird seeing words that did not come from myself. It was also helpful to see how unclear I can write or how I can mix my points and switch topics mid article. Humbling.

Read on

Confessions of a Former McDonalds Addictmcdo-1
McDonald’s and I have had an interesting relationship over the years.
 I love McDonald’s and have had a tendency to lose self-control around it. At first it was infrequent during late-night study sessions with friends, entirely on impulse. Then it stopped being so infrequent.

I moved to Montreal after I graduated University and found myself in a new (big) city with few friends. My evenings after work were spent alone in those first few months. I didn’t have a lot of energy to meet new people at the end of a long day. So I watchedBig Bang Theory instead. During this time, I had moved right across the street from a McDonald’s. The mouth-watering scent of salty fries were carried on in the warm September breeze across the street and into my bedroom window.

I was doomed.

Click to read more.

It feels good, people. Now that the sun is down I can say confidently that it does feel good to scratch this off the list.

What smaller steps have you scratched off your Bucket list recently? Leave a comment here

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