Friday, October 29, 2010

October update: 7 months into my plan

Yesterday was the 7 month anniversary of this blog. Much like last month's report, I'm not very happy with my progress.

For awhile things were going well. I was organizing myself, I had changed to a three day a week blogging schedule and stuck to it, and I was feeling okay about my progress (although I was unemployed and uncertain about my future).

Then things got harder. Progress was first delayed by the enormous amount of time I put into a project and then completely derailed after the exhaustion and burnout I felt after completing that event. Since then I've been a well-meaning but mostly stuck in inertia person. I plan that "today will be the day" but then I pick up my computer and the next thing I know it is dinner and the house is a mess, the projects aren't started, and I have no idea how I managed to spend so much time on trivial things. I'm disorganized and depressed and I'm not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg.

This probably is natural for any project. There is the initial enthusiasm which then is faced with the reality of trying to do a lot in a little time. The burnout from overdoing it then creates a backlash which must be worked through and then the person climbs out of the low point and heads to victory. That, at least, how I imagine it will be. The question is how to climb to victory from this low point I've created.

I reached a plateau where I no longer see a clear path. The first stuff to do was easy, which is why I did it first. The habits I am trying to change now are the ingrained stuff that holds me back from being what I want to be.

I'm going to count my victories here and see if this can help me feel more motivated:

1. Started a blog and kept to it
2. Started a list of 41 Things to Do and did a bunch of things on it (although not nearly enough if I am going to finish them all before the end of March)
3. Began a major organizing project in my house (although this has fallen apart somewhat lately)
4. Did a major event which took all my attention 24/7 for 3 months and got national attention
5. Became more adept at marketing and networking--this is a major victory for a chronically shy person because I now can speak to total strangers and interact with them comfortably while speaking authoritatively and enthusiastically about a subject (I feel better about this in the last year as I've done more of it lately)
6. I've applied to many jobs which were interesting and challenging (and perhaps a bit out of my league, but I was brave and tried. True, I'm still unemployed but I am working on that)

The challenges ahead:

1. Getting myself back on track for getting organized
2. Write my novel
3. Find a job (preferably one which I am passionate about)
4. Get control of all those half-finished projects sitting around and those "I'd like to...." and "I really should...." plans

We'll see where I am at the end of November. I will start on Monday to start fresh and see if I can get beyond the planning to do stage and to the actually doing it stage.


  1. Hi Real Me

    I don't know if the following will help you, but in his book The Work We Were Born To Do, Nick Williams has some interesting thoughts on how we can become invested in our problems, to the extent of constantly sabotaging our efforts to solve them.

    He suggests picking a problem and honestly answering for yourself the following questions:

    What don't you have to do as a result of this problem?

    What does this problem allow you to continue doing / being?

    Who are you proving wrong as a result of this problem?

    What would be your biggest fear of not having this problem?

    He also writes "At the core of any problem is the belief that this problem will give us something and that if we release it we will lose out."

  2. Astral Cat, Thanks for this comment. I found these questions really interesting and potentially useful.

    The thought of self-sabotage and what I get out of it (probably excuses for why I don't succeed--so that I avoid the fear of success) is something I still have to deal with, I think.


Please be kind in your comments.