I've already had this topic (goal setting) in the back of my mind when I stumbled upon (on purpose) Michael Hyatt's blog post yesterday. It's December and with the new year lurking around the corner, I've been thinking about those resolutions I set back in January and the goals I developed back in October. It was on purpose that I read Michael Hyatt's post- the stumbled part was the fact that it happened to be about goal setting.
Michael's post included good information on goal setting such as it's important to have BIG goals (not those little ones that are super easy to carry out and leaving you without much motivation to keep pushing forward), having the right mindset, and writing down and sharing your goals ( my personal reason for including mine on this blog!). You can see the excellent post for yourself HERE.
The thing is, you can't obtain your goals if you don't know where you are aiming. Your written down and shared goals tell you where your target is. Without establishing your target, you won't know where or how to aim.
So now, with almost a month to go before the new year arrives upon us and we don't know how it got here, it's a good time to start thinking over your goals. Where were you a year ago? Where are you now? WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE A YEAR FROM NOW? What are the things in life you want to accomplish and how do you plan on making sure you carry them out?
It's time to start thinking, planning and SETTING THOSE GOALS!
Last year I wrote just a bit about reading the book Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst. I really only touched upon it ever so lightly in various posts such as this one, this one and a great thought from the book I shared in this one. I didn't even do a book review though I should have. But I was being, well...... private. I've come to the conclusion, though, that I need to reach out. Because after reading Lisa's book and, now, viewing her video, I've FINALLY come to terms that I am human and there's a whole lot more humans out there experiencing the same thing and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Something to change, yes. But nothing to feel ashamed of.
And to really face something head on....to really really take the bull by the horns, to really try to change...I've decided to share it with you.
I become emotionally unglued. Sometimes often. Sometimes it's ugly. Most times it's hidden from the 'public' and comes out in moments of stress and chaos around those I love the most - my kids and my husband. I suppose I've hurt their feelings quite a bit. Isuppose I've overreacted and taken what was a seemingly small problem in their eyes, if a problem at all, and blown it up into a war zone. And the war zone intensifies when I realize what I've done and am too ashamed to admit it. I'm not the calm got-it-all-together superwife/supermom I want to be. And realizing that in the heat of the moment unglued me even more.
It's those high expectations I guess. I expect myself to be PERFECT.
Do you do that? Do you hold yourself to standards that are just too high? Do you expect yourself (and maybe everyone around you) to be perfect???
I'm afraid I do....especially myself. And I expect everything that I've planned to go perfectly - otherwise, well.... I become unglued. I'm not so patient. I'm not calm. I'm not stress-free. I truly become unraveled.
And then I suddenly see myself. Or hear myself...yelling..sobbing..being rude...being stubborn and selfish.
Oh, the agony.
I read the book last year. Honestly I felt I needed it and honestly I did. I wouldn't have known about the book if a friend hadn't posted about doing the study group on Facebook one day. I didn't have a group. So I just bought the book, hesitatingly....I usually don't purchase books that are in any way 'spiritual' if they are not written by an Orthodox author. But I was desperate to change a life long habit of....well....becoming unglued.....becoming overly emotional and , well, a bit loud, maybe when frustrated, hurt, angry.... you know... don't you? So I bought the book....thinking it might help a little. It helped a lot.
It helped me identify what kind of reactor I am ( a bit of all four types really) and helped me identify what I was doing when I was doing it, which in itself is a huge step to changing. And mostly, it helped me realize that I CAN change.... but that I also need to be kind to myself. I need to not expect PERFECT overnight CHANGE. Lysa calls it imperfect progress. And she does a really good job at guiding you(me) through it in her book.
But a year has passed and, as I've written in past posts, I'm under quite a bit of stress. I find myself sinking fast into those holes of darkness where I unravel quickly and feel almost claustrophobic from the tension within. So I need to climb back out of the darkness and set myself right(with the help of the book and most of all...GOD).
I decided to reach for that book again.
But then I wondered.
Last year, my friend had posted about the video that came with a study guide. So I looked it up....then I placed it in my cart, but before I did that I checked with my friend. She definitely recommended it. She said it really helped her put things into practice on a day-to-day basis. Just what I was craving. So I pushed the purchase button and got the devotional as well! So here I am on yet another challenge.... to remain glued. To keep myself together....at least more so than I have been. I'm aiming for the imperfect progress that Lysa talks about. I want to find peace in my relationships. I want to improve my communication skills. I want to be able to respond to situations without that lifetime habit of stuffing or exploding. I want to be more calm. More laid back. More God centered.
And He is the key, isn't He? I can't achieve change without Him.
I'm sure that's why I'm off-center. I've let my time with Him slide. I've let myself get wrapped up in those worldly 'needs' and stresses and haven't let Him in. Oh sure, I've gone to Liturgy (though even that has been skipped a few times over the last couple of months due to being out of town, illness and yes, even once because I allowed myself to believe I just needed a morning in bed) but I haven't really focused on Him.
I have, though, finally in the last two weeks gotten back to my morning time. I force myself out of bed at 5:30 to get a half hour with Him before I work on my writing (the blog and my writing on children's books). And I make sure that I'm focusing on studies that will guide me in this challenge. While I was waiting to decide on rereading Lysa's book, I started a bible study on 1 Corinthians 13. When one is focused on loving others, it does help one to stay patient and calm...not perfectly, but it helps. And now I have not only Lysa's book in hand, but the video, the participant's guide andthe devotional. Overkill? maybe. But I'm really really dedicated to doing this.
It won't happen overnight.
I will fall.
But I will let Him pick me up again and set me back on course.
And I will forgive myself. Because after all, if He does.... so who am I to judge harshly against what God does not?
So along with my reading on Stress Management and Relaxation, I've added God to the mix....pretty good call, don't you think? So my plan is to keep posting about this. To share the tidbits on the tools I'm using to face my inner world of chaos in which I unravel upon those I love and start changing to a world of peace filled with His love.
I'm an avid reader, as I'm sure you can tell. Especially if you read my post back at the beginning of the year listing the books I wanted to read by year's end...
I've made progress on that list but I don't foresee actually getting through it. Especially since I'm barely reading at all these days and the ones I could say I'm actually currently ACTIVELY reading are not ones from my list. Sigh.
There are other books I'm reading...but not so actively - meaning I've started them and they ended up in a stack of other books I've started but got sidetracked because , well, I started others. It's almost an addiction... book stacks....
But here is what I'm Currently ACTIVELY reading:
1. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (previously mentioned in several posts such as this one and this one)
2. Charlotte Mason Education: A Homeschooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison- I'm hoping that Ms. Levison's book will at least put in my mind the key points of Charlotte Mason's methods.
Yep....that's it. For me , that is really an extremely short list. But I'm still unpacking...and searching.... Have I mentioned that I have unpacked (not put away and organized mind you...but ) the majority of our boxes and STILL can not find my son's Leapfrog LeapPad???
This is a small computer like toy that he uses for educational games and BOOKS that I've downloaded for him. He is not addicted to it like a lot of kids are with electronic games but we really like it for trips in the car, appointments and for use in general places that he has to sit for longer periods of time than usual.... So anyway... I can't find it. It seems to be gone. And that really really bothers me (obviously since I've seem to have found a way to rant about it here in the middle of a post on reading and books....)
So yes, that's my current book list.
I'm really eager to read more of the Charlotte Mason book. I've just started it and can only get in half a page or so here and there. I truly am falling in love with this method of homeschooling. I just don't know how to shake off all those years of public schooling from my memory and let it completely fall to the wayside... I guess I won't completely. But I do really want to change my approach for our little guy. The way he's picking up on 'making words' right now is delightful!!
I also hope to find more time this week to read the chapter on time management in the workbook....ain't that a hoot! Need to find time to read about time management.... I guess that's a big indicator that I really do need to read it!