I Whiffed On My 3Q Goals (and I’m not sorry about it)

At the start of July, I posted this on Instagram:

At the time, I had visions of being lighter, smarter, richer, and with a few more items to add to my accomplishment belt.

Do you want to know how many of these I actually accomplished?

I’m not sorry about it either. The plannerverse is full of goal planning virtue posting that even I admit to partaking in from time to time. Goals are wonderful; they make you feel good when you accomplish them and help you be a better person. Don’t get me wrong, I am pro-goal!

But… People change. Circumstances change. Interests change. It follows that your goals can change too, and I think we should celebrate that. Why spend all your effort sprinting towards a finish line in a direction that you might not even want to go in anymore?

I want to break down my 3Q goals and talk about why I let them go, how they no longer served my purpose, or maybe just why they weren’t very good goals in the first place. Bonus: I’ll also tell you how I “fixed” them

☐ Hit Target Weight

Right off the bat, I want to say that I think this was a bad goal focusing on the wrong thing. I’ve spoken about my body image issues before (multiple times!) on here, and this was rooted in insecurity more than anything else. I’ve got an extra organ shoved in my abdomen and I’m on Don’t Die meds that are known to be funky fresh with metabolic function. Plus, kidney issues and water weight wreck havoc on judging the numbers on the scale. This was not a good goal on my part.

The Fix:

My partner and I have done fairly ok at establishing a gym routine that gets us out of the house and active – which is really what matters. But, most importantly, I have found a “gym thing” I love – Kettlebells. It’s an activity that feels like cardio (which I love) but works like weights (which I hate). I even got one of my very own so I can play along at home. I also stopped getting on the scale every morning, which makes me an overall happier person.

☐ 500 on KiwiReadsBooks

A little while back I spun off a Bookstagram so I could keep my reading log seperate from my “personal” account. At the time, I had visions of having separate accounts for individual topics so I could curate my profiles and diversify my followers. It’s a legit digital strategy in many circumstances. But, my main account is simply a stronger account and by splitting focus, I was splitting my audience, which was not a vibe.

The Fix:

This one just kinda fell off and disappeared into the ether. I have played around with some different strategies overall for Instagram, but I’ve kinda just let things go as they will for a bit and it’s been nice. My growth has slowed, but my engagement is stronger. I like that direction, so I’m happy with it.

☐ Catch Up On GoodReads Goal

I have such a love/hate relationship with the Goodreads Yearly Reading Goal. I love a good challenge, but I hate how it becomes a status symbol in certain communities. I also dislike how it counts big long heavy War & Peace sized tomes the same as a novella. I love to read non-fiction, and let us be frank… those are not always “easy reading” options. Anyway, I crushed my goal last year and set a lofty reading goal this year. Last I looked, I was about 10 books behind schedule to finish on time. This isn’t a bad goal, I just didn’t put a plan in place on how to achieve it, and thus have gotten nowhere.

The Fix:

One solution is to accept that I’m not going to reach that initial goal and lower it to something more achievable. I might end up doing that. No shame in changing your goals to something more achievable. Another solution is to force myself to read outside my preferred genres and be more liberal with adding things to my Did Not Finish list and move on. The final solution is to block out time in my day to read. I will probably do a combination of all three and try this again for an end of the year push.

☐ FB Ads Certified

This one (and the next one) are good examples of how priorities change. When I sat down to write this initial list, I was plotting launching an awesome side hustle and a Facebook Ads certification under my belt would be like an extra ninja star I had to throw. Over the summer I decided I didn’t want to do that (more below) and although having this certification wouldn’t be a bad thing, it’s not something I need right now.

The Fix:

Draw a big fat black Sharpie line through this one. Maybe down the road, but right now I’d rather spend that time and money reading (and buying) books.

☐ Second Revenue Stream

When I wrote these goals, I was fresh in a new position at a new company after leaving my previous one with some major burnout. I was feeling like I had to scramble to rebuild my safety net ASAP in case the shit hit the fan again. Creating a second revenue stream was my plan to rebuild that net. When I planned this, I was still in a bit of a Chicken Little panic thinking that the sky might still be falling. Sitting here now, I can say the sky isn’t falling and this isn’t really the safety net I wanted or needed at that time.

The Fix:

Having multiple revenue streams is a good idea regardless, because it does help you weather a storm easier. I do still want to do this and I have been researching and refining ideas to make it something sustainable and fun. It’s taking longer than I anticipated because A. I want to do it well, and B. I’m focusing on some other opportunities right now that are more pressing.

☐ Solo Trip

I have never gone on a trip ALL BY MYSELF. Yes, I’ve traveled alone and stayed in hotels alone, but usually when I’m going to a place it’s to see people I know or to go to an event full of people I will soon know. I want to do it totally on my own. I had a couple different locations in mind that were in driving distance. I had money set aside and some mock intereraries. I had Pinterest boards set up with ideas. Why didn’t this happy?

Fucking Covid, partially, and a busy summer/fall season. I could have squeezed it in but it wouldn’t have been the full experience I wanted, so I decided to delay until I had the time. You know what they say about your best laid plans…

The Fix:

This will happen in 2022. Like I mentioned, I basically have it planned out… I just need to push the buttons.

☐ Savings Goal

Confession: Technically I did reach this goal. However, it wasn’t really the right goal for what I wanted to accomplish. What I really wanted to do was invest it.

The Fix:

I’m trying to learn more about investments (Thanks, Matt & The Financial Diet) to figure out what the right option is for me. This is a goal that can roll over once I figure out what I want to actually do with my money.

This Is Also Kinda A Lot…

My final thought on this is also an acknowledgement about “goal culture” and what is ultimately its fatal flaw. It’s easy on paper to look at a list of seven items and think “oh… I can do seven things in three months!”. The kicker is that each one of these items isn’t just a single task; they’re each a tree of subtasks and sidequests that you need to complete before even coming close to knocking out the main goal. That adds up to a lot of things you have to do in addition to living your day to day life. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to enjoy my day to day life sometimes.

The Fix:

Stop doing so damn much and relax. Your value isn’t measured in checkboxes.

How To Cope When Nothing Is Wrong

A lot has changed in my life in the past 6 months or so.

  • Resumed full time work
  • New apartment without roommates
  • A boyfriend that is actually functioning as a semi-responsible adult
  • Health complaints at a minimum
  • Stable financial situation

As these pieces have fallen in to place, it has come to pass that I don’t have any crises to control. Any frustrations I’m feeling are just that… normal, everyday, regular human frustrations. For the first time in about 5 years, I’m not teetering on the edge of a cliff or moments away from shuffling off this mortal coil. Nothing is on fire. Nothing is wrong.

I don’t know how to deal with this.

Conventional wisdom tells me that this is actually a GOOD thing and I should embrace and enjoy this. Fucky-brain, my old friend, does not understand how this is possible and goes in to full on panic mode.

My brain is run by the Potter Puppet Pals

The past month in particular has been a case study in preventing my own self-sabotage and learning how to actually enjoy this current disaster free situation. I’ve by no means mastered it – my massive failure at “Self-Care September” can attest to that – but I’ve found a couple things that have helped break though that anxiety cloud and helped me appreciate this new phase of my life a little more.

Create Your Own Ticking Clock

I have come to realize that I need something to grind my ax against to feel like I’m moving forward in life. Like the majestic salmon, I must swim upstream to fulfill my destiny or flop on the bank to stagnate and die. Dramatic, yes. But this is me we’re talking about… I love a good over-the-top analogy.

People love a ticking clock. That’s why we get all hyped over the NYE Ball dropping at midnight and then winge and moan when it doesn’t hit EXACTLY at midnight. There is some psychology behind it, but the essential point is that it calls back to our hunter/gather roots and creates a sense of scarcity and urgency. That’s right, come for the witty commentary, stay for the random psychological studies.

In this case, my fucky anxiety brain needs a ticking clock to come up against so it can be consumed by worrying about that non-existent problem instead of creating one of its own. So, instead of obsessively checking text messages or stalking Instagram, I have set perimeters in my day to day that occupy that space instead by doing things like time blocking my work day or incorporating the Pomodoro Technique to my tasks.

Is it perfect? Oh hell no. That’s the point. When I don’t meet my self imposed ticking clocks, I can have minor conflict over that instead of poking the people in my life with sticks until they react and I cry.

Set “Selfish” Goals

When was the last time you were selfish? I don’t mean in the “self care isn’t selfish” way… I mean TRULY FUCKING SELFISH. It’s been awhile, right? It’s usually the first thing to go when things get hectic. When was the last time you did learned something that had no actual benefit to your life just because you wanted to?

One of my selfish goals has been makeup. I’m a pretty minimal to none makeup gal, but I love playing with it. I’ve set some mini goals on learning how to do those Instagram level looks. I will (probably) never need to cut my cheekbones as sharp as Trixie Mattel, but I know HOW to and that’s the fun of it.

Legend. Icon. Star.

Level Up Your Life

More psychology class… do you remember learning about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? It’s that fun triangle of levels that you need to be a successful human being. You have to have the foundation built before you move up to the next level.

Pay attention, there might be a quiz

We move up and down this pyramid as we live like a shitty chutes and ladders game. As I mentioned above in my salmon analogy, I’m not happy unless I’m punching up.

This is leading me to look at long term goals, and what I need to do to get there. Right now, that looks like building out my work portfolio so I can get the boyfriend’s gig of speaking at conferences and tipsy podcasting…. which will help me down the line of achieving my ultimate goals, a bigger paycheck and world domination.

Legends. Icons. Stars.

In doing these things, I’ve come to terms with the notion that things are actually… good. Having to hack my brain with these tricks is a nice change of pace. At the very least, I know that when the other shoe inevitable does drop, I’ll be ready to tackle the real challenge with minimal tears.