Scatterbrained, or How I Go After My Goals

You know all that talk about priorities and going after the life you want? I talked about here and here and here...okay, I talk about it A LOT. That shit is hard.

Talking is one thing, but taking action is a struggle. My biggest weakness: analysis paralysis. I research every method and read every article I can find on how to do something until I get so overwhelmed by all the advice that I can’t seem to put any of it to action. I get too wrapped up in the “right” way to do something when I could just trust myself, try something, and see how it goes (most of the time anyway). 

Instead, I do the things I think I should be doing and not the things that I want to do, the things that will lead to real change. Besides my tendency to overanalyze, I've got a few other personality quirks that stand in my way:  

  1. Debilitating perfectionism and fear of failure. I put off the riskier stuff that I know I need to do and stick with what I know, even though it won't get me anywhere. Yeah, the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. 
  2. Struggles with time management. Or more specifically, making time for the things that are important to me regardless if they feel productive right now. They are the necessary steps needed to get me where I want to be. 
  3. Trying to do everything all at once. Which again, I've tried in the past and never works out, but yet I still do it. 

Since its April, I figured it was time for a quarterly review of the goals I made for 2016. Some I started strong with and have waned, (like the blog) others have really built up momentum in the last few months (my workout routine). I’m proud of what I was able to do, and yet feeling guilty about the stuff I have put off. 

My goals look something like this:

  • Health: workout, eat well, be kind to yourself mentally and physically - I started off slow at the beginning of the year but I have been doing really good the past few months…go me! What got me going? Making a plan and sticking with it.
  • Career and professional development: create website and blog, freelance, writing/editing, creative writing for publication, make “you” your first client - Started off the year great in this category but got caught up in my analysis paralysis and froze.
  • Personal development: art projects, reading, writing, try new things - Reading never stops, it is the most constant thing in my life, but the rest is on and off because it feels too indulgent.
  • Travel more - Got a few trips coming up, feeling good here.
  • Improve your life where you are right now - I might dislike the cold but we moved to a more exciting part of Buffalo and I already feel my positive vibes returning, daily life in the Buff feels much more tolerable…of course Spring helps.
  • Hammer out financial priorities - Tackled this at the beginning of the year and stayed pretty constant, but this was already a habit so it was more manageable.
  • Take risks and have courage - This one is abstract but important for me to remember. It ties in directly with all the above goals, so sometimes I'm doing good here but could always improve.

Did you notice anything about the list? Some of them complement each other nicely, but others are vague and take far more time and commitment then I've been giving them. It's a lot to work on all at once. I am really only fruitful when I do things one at a time but I am impatient and feel like a slacker when I take that approach. I want to change and improve all the things now! But that doesn't work for me no matter how much I wish that it would. 

A cluttered mind (and to do list) can be just as distracting and unproductive as a cluttered space. So with that in mind, I'm going to go after less, refocus, and put my energy into a couple of key goals. That doesn't mean the goals I mentioned above go away, it means I hunker down and decide what to tackle next and give it my full attention instead of jumping around from one thing to the next until my brain resembles scrambled eggs. Just writing this post has helped me organize my thoughts and I can see clearly, in writing, that my professional and personal development goals are up on deck...need to prioritize and break these babies down into some step by step plans. If, like me, there is a ton you want to do but you are all over the place and can't move forward, try writing it out...sometimes the answers are hidden among the gibberish!