This is the halfway point of the year. It’s interesting that it happened to coincide with a full moon; I like it when the milestones I choose throughout the year seem especially significant for any reason. It makes doing regular life reviews seem more like a celebration and less like boring homework.
I have a slide on the lock screen of my laptop with a list of my goals for the year on a pretty backdrop. I’ve grayed out the ones I have completed. Others are in progress, but I leave them on the list so that I will be reminded to keep at them.
How am I doing?
The first resolution, my Most Obvious Thing, is to earn more money and expand my coaching business. That’s been at a plateau, probably because I spent about half of second quarter traveling. I did, however, decide to start coaching weight loss as well as my other areas. I have a new client and we’re both really excited. Now that I’ve maintained my own weight loss for over two years, I feel like I have some credibility and that I actually know what I’m talking about. When she makes her goal I’m going to run down the street crying and laughing at the same time!
My second goal was to join Toastmasters and become a competent public speaker. This is going better than expected. I did my second speech and won the Best Speaker ribbon for that meeting! I had three shifts in my thinking that have really helped. The first was that if you’re nervous, you’re thinking about yourself, rather than your listeners or the importance of your topic. I started focusing more on how my audience would be glad to know what I was about to tell them, which they were, so much so that they lined up after my speech to ask questions. Then they asked more the following week! The second thing was that I thought over my speaking experiences from the past. I realized that I have taught classes without any nervousness whatsoever. I decided to think of myself as “teaching” instead of “speaking.” The third thing was that I learned that 90% of Americans self-identify as shy. This made me feel that shyness is like being stuck in traffic or waiting in line: something that almost everyone feels all the time. I’m speaking again this week and I feel okay about it.
My next resolution was to work on cross-training. I have been making real progress in yoga, and it feels like punishment when I’m not able to do my routine for some reason. I did a 14-mile hike to 5500 feet in elevation, and carried a 40+ pound pack for ten miles of that. I finally got the 400% badge on my Watch, and satisfied the Overlord. (Technically I did 500%, but there’s no badge for that). Now I’ve increased my daily movement goal. I haven’t joined the gym yet, mainly because I knew I would be gone for much of June, but partly because my darn toenail still hasn’t grown back enough yet. It will happen eventually. My mainstay for the past 18 months has been walking 3-6 miles a day.
I had a goal to order business cards. I did. It only took me maybe an hour to look at design templates, choose about a dozen, and then narrow it down to the one that worked the best. It’s fun to give them out. It was nowhere near the huge deal I had made it out to be, and now I look back and wish I had done it sooner.
I had a goal to do a newsletter for this blog. I did, and I put out issues for a couple of months. Response was tepid at best, and I’ve discontinued it. I had read that email newsletters are becoming passé, and I should have paid attention to that advice.
I had a goal to do a language exchange. When we were in Spain, I spoke with people in Spanish every day for two weeks. I managed a couple of tiny exchanges in German while we were there, and I said ‘hello’ to a few French people in both Spain and France. This experience has changed everything about how I think about language study! What a traveler needs to know in terms of vocabulary is wildly different from what someone would use in casual conversation with a new friend. Also, I’ve realized that I need to spend at least twice as much effort on listening comprehension as I do on speaking.
I had a goal to make a new friend. I still don’t have a “lunch buddy” kind of a friend in this city, where I have only lived a few months. But I am getting out at least once a week, and there are now about two dozen people who greet me by name. Joining clubs is a great way to meet people, after all. I also made a new camping friend on one of my hiking trips, although that group of friends lives two states away. Progress is progress!
We had a ‘couples goal’ to eat outside when it was nice enough. We have done this, and we’ve spent a lot of time sitting on the front porch. It was a limited window of opportunity, apparently. As I write, it’s 109 degrees at 6:30 PM. One more reminder to make the best of opportunities each day, because there are usually fewer than we realize…
I made a ‘stop goal’ of not freaking out when I go through TSA secondary screening. So far this year, I’ve flown more than usual but I’ve only been through secondary screening once. That was in Germany, so technically not TSA. Something about experiencing secondary search in a foreign country clicked something into place for me. I understood that I was a foreigner there, and that my “trusted traveler” status doesn’t matter in over 190 countries. I think I’m over it.
I also have a ‘stop goal’ of not beating myself up physically on furniture, door frames, etc. I’m pleased to report that I’m starting to do better on this! I’ve spent a total of three full weeks in a tent or on the trail this quarter. I’ve managed not to get a sunburn, skin my knee, or cut myself. I did get bit by a fire ant last weekend though.
Something great happened. As usually happens at some point during the year, I had a victory that I never thought to put on my list of resolutions. I haven’t taken melatonin in five days, and I’m sleeping really well! I relied on it for about five years, and went through many nights when I forgot to take it (or ran out) and couldn’t sleep for hours. I thought it would be a part of my life forever. It will take some thought while I analyze this and try to figure out what worked. It probably has something to do with better nutrition (specifically dietary magnesium as opposed to supplements), spending a lot of time in natural daylight, and wearing myself out physically to the point that I was just bone-tired by bedtime. Regardless, it is a huge deal for me to feel like I can sleep naturally.
At the halfway point of the year, I feel like the goals I set for myself have been really good choices. Releasing myself from my issues with public speaking, security screening, and beating myself up on stationary objects has been life-changing. I’m sleeping well and I really like yoga. I’m feeling more competent in languages, travel, speaking, and the business world. Most of all, it feels like the better I do in these areas, the more interesting my life will be. This is why I make resolutions and goals, after all.
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I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.