Plodding progress

pexels-photo-129264Earlier this year I wrote about how life and “progress” can feel very slow sometimes. I’ve been thinking about that and also reflecting on the book, Ordinary, I read in preparation for my first child. Yes, lot’s of reflecting, as usual. (Have I mentioned I’m pregnant with #2 and he’s coming any time in the next 2-ish weeks?)

Jack just turned 2 a couple weeks ago. Two! I’ve been a mom for two years! I haven’t learned this much about life and myself since University. My personal growth in the last five months alone is a bit shocking to me, and it’s all been slow plodding. So often I have felt like I’m not moving in any direction, but looking back at the last year, I certainly have grown.

Just like the thesis of Ordinary says, the normal patterns of the Christian life bring natural growth; you don’t have to strive and strain.

Somewhere along the line, I’ve learned to do my dishes regularly. My house is generally speaking tidier more often. Of course, soon baby will come and throw a wrench in everything again. The pattern will continue, I’ll get the hang of things again – this time with a bigger load, and then baby 3 will arrive etc.

I guess what I’m saying is: I’m learning to chill out and not try to rush everything all the time because it turns out that I’m still growing. Except with less stress.

Another goal completed

So I can now check off “publish ebook” from my list of things I wanted to do.

She’s out in the wild. I sent a scheduled email to go out yesterday while I was on vacation. Today the “My Ebook” tab appeared and the “Download Now” image to the right which is where you can go to get your copy. I’m surprised by how many of you have emailed me saying you’ve read it already! You sure know how to make a girl blush.

I’ve got another giveaway coming up soon. Another book. Yay!

The role of ‘productivity’ in reaching our goals



Don’t forget the giveaway that finishes tomorrow. Click here for more details.

As I’ve been working on this blog and flushing out my ideas, I’ve realized that maybe I haven’t really been clear about the link between productivity and reaching my goals. In my head it’s clear, but you might be thinking “if this blog is about reaching her goals, why does she talk about productivity so much?”

Why productivity?

When I was thinking through topics I know about and enjoy learning more about productivity was on the list. I didn’t want my blog to be just another talking about the exact same things as everyone else, but more importantly, I wanted it to be something that was true to me. Over the last few years I’ve learned things about working more efficiently that I’ve tried to pass on to others, but didn’t really have one place I could send the people I was teaching. This blog is now that one place.

More than that, I do believe that if we can harness some of our wasted energy we have more to put in other places that require more energy. This is where productivity comes in. If I build good habits now, I’ll be that much more likely to have success in accomplishing my goals as my life becomes more and more complex. I’m still in the early stages of a lot of these goals, as you very well know. I’m determined to do my best to make them happen, which involves tweaking things in the process to achieving those goals.

What do you mean?

Here’s an example: if I have a weekly routine of work, meal planning and prep, getting groceries, running, my morning routine etc. then I don’t have to think about it. I have a lot less resistance due to less decision fatigue. If that freaks you out because it’s too repetitive, I agree. However, I’ve learned that there is tremendous freedom in structure.

Your turn

Have you had an experience where you found yourself running on optimized performance or running on all cylinders because you had planned and structured your life well? Do you think you could never organize yourself well enough to do that? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments.


10 Questions About Your Goals


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.

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