So while I'm on my quest for imperfect progress, I'm still on my quest for stress management which really coincides well. I know when I'm stressed, I become unglued more often.
The first chapter I completed in my book on Stress Management was titled Goal Setting and Time Management. I figured it would give the basic time management strategies one usually hears:
- Make a daily to-do list
- Block out media distractions
- Get up earlier
- Go to bed earlier
- Be reasonable and don't over plan your day.
You know, basic stuff. The stuff everyone knows we should do but don't always do it.But the chapter really actually spent a lot of time on goal setting which is pretty important. So I made some goals.
First, I had to come up with a list of my ultimate priorities. They do not consist of the only things I find important in life but they are the most important. While the first 3 are in numerical order, the others could be interchanged. These are the things that I simply could not accept having to live without:
- My marriage
- Mothering my children
- Health & Safety
- Friends & Family
- Comfortable, nice clean home
- Financial Security
- Fun & Relaxation (Yes, some would be surprised this made the list as it's the one that is overlooked most often - but it really is a priority for me)
Once I determined what my priorities were (that part did not take long), I needed to develop short-term, medium-term and long-term goals....starting with long-term.
LONG TERM GOALS:
- Develop a union and closeness with God - keeping Him ever-present in my mind and heart, allowing Him to control ALL - Choosing to always be on His side. In Orthodox language - staying on the path of Theosis and climbing the ladder of divine ascent.
- Have a strong lasting loving relationship with my husband that will strengthen one another that can serve as a model to others.
- To have my children always know - without a shadow of a doubt- that I loved them and to be a Christian model to them and someone they can depend on for strength.
- To feed myself and my family, REAL food as provided by God and provide a safe healthy environment to maintain all of our health.
- To educate my children to the best of my ability throughout their elementary, middle and high school years and prepare them for life, especially by way of heart and soul.
- To write and publish several children's books and have a blog of several thousand followers (blushing a little here....wondering if I sound vain??).
- To engage in pleasant activities and communicate well and often with friends and family and also help them in whatever ways I can.
- To maintain an orderly clean and , yes, stress-free environment in our cozy well-maintained home (finding this current cozy little house in the woods is a great start to this goal!).
- To live within our means and not only have a security net but also be able to help others in need.
- To enjoy life and remember to have fun and RELAX! (this is actually the hardest one for me--- but I think my Stress Reduction and path of imperfect progress I have myself on will help achieve this goal! But I may need a LOT of encouragement here- so please feel free to comment on these posts and offer words of wisdom and encouragement and your own tales of imperfect progress!
From there, I did establish some 'medium term goals' that I hope to accomplish within the next 1-5 years as well as short-term goals that I hope to accomplish within the next few weeks up to one year.
Obviously for my first goal - forcing myself to get up at 5:30 each morning for my quiet devotional time and reading Unglued and working on my imperfect progress will help me to do that. I must remember that my goal is not to be perfect and I must forgive myself when I fall. That's the hardest part I think. I have this deep inner voice that ridicules myself when I mess up. It's actually NOT nearly as bad as it used to be... but I must focus more on remembering that God will forgive me - but I must forgive myself also.
I also set goals that were specific to the Unglued Participant's Guide to describe what I would like my 'new normal' to be:
1. I do not yell or raise my voice when frustrated, angry or confused.
2. I make it through my days without regretting how I've spoken to someone.
3. I find ways to acknowledge what I'm feeling without doing either of the above and without stuffing those emotions down to boil over later.
Whew.... that's a lot of goal setting! Now on with my day and hopefully make some progress! Are you with me?