Groundhog Day is my second New Year. First you have 1/1, then you have 2/2, right? It’s also a great way to tie in the Harold Ramis movie and themes of fighting boredom by learning all kinds of cool new skills.
I need a second New Year because January somehow always seems to be a disaster. It’s like chaos is determined to disrupt any plans and projects I might try to make. Since there will never be a perfect, uninterrupted streak of routine and a smooth supply of both mood and motivation, might as well accept it. Skip January and wait until it’s finally February.
Which it is!
I’ve done what I planned to do, which was to waffle around and come up with a loose outline of how I sorta roughly plan to attack my goals and projects for 2020.
Ultralearning: My ultralearning project for 2020 is to get to A1 level in Dutch. I am on track! I downloaded an app and loaded up the lessons, and, toughest part of all, I figured out a time of day when I can practice. Mealtimes? No, mouth full of food. Evenings? No, husband is home. I’m going to do my lessons either first thing in the morning, or while my hubby is in gym class on weekends. I already know some basic greetings and pronouns, and the app says my accent is good! Now that I’m over the part where I debate scheduling with myself for weeks, I’m having fun and looking forward to each lesson.
Personal: My big personal plan for 2020 is to Get My Body Back. (Recovering from surgery in December). New urgency behind this as I had night terrors twice in January, and one of those definitely woke up my husband on a work night. Unfair. Years of tracking my metrics have led me to the conclusion that I only experience night terrors when I: [eat after 8:00 PM] + [weigh over 135 lbs]. + [did not do at least 45 minutes of cardio training that day]. While I always feel stupid when I eat something late at night and then immediately have night terrors, I have other reasons to feel that my current body composition is not serving my needs. My “low-side compliance” bare-minimum goal is to lose five pounds a month until I hit goal, and I am on track for that.
Career: My career goal is to learn to do webinars. This may be escalated on the timescale because, due to misfortune, I lost out on a speaking opportunity. Instead I may be able to present the same workshop online. With an external deadline involved, I may be able to find support to learn what I need sooner than I would on my own, i.e. late November.
Home: My home goal is to work on automating more chores and researching methods for my upcoming book. The result of this is that the place looks great and hubby has been doing odd jobs like fixing door handles. Bustle is contagious.
Couples: The only thing I really did as a couples goal in January was to take my husband to the emergency room when he got a corneal abrasion. I did earn major wife points that night but I would recommend something, anything, else as a bonding experience.
Stop goal: My stop goal for 2020 was to stop procrastinating on text messages and voicemail. I am really proud of myself for having a perfect track record on this. It has been challenging, though, as it seems that my rate of received text messages has literally tripled since I put the goal in place. Schtaaaappppp!
Lifestyle upgrades: I put on my list that my major lifestyle upgrade for the year would probably be gum surgery. I went for a checkup with my endodontist, got a referral for a periodontist, called to clear the insurance, and actually scheduled the appointment. I keep reminding myself that the sooner I get an answer, the better, and the sooner I can put it all behind me. Also that there are few things more middle-aged than having one’s own periodontist.
In another area, my hubby and I rearranged our living room (which we often do in January) and we love it!
Do the Obvious: I put down for Do the Obvious that I should accept the reality of constant travel and No Normal Weeks. This has to be at least the fourth time I have smacked my forehead for picking the stupidest, worst slogan for my year. Let’s see, so far this year our dog almost died, my husband almost lost vision in one eye *the night before* my first big-time speaking opportunity, we both got the flu just as a major remodel began on the apartment downstairs, and, yes, he already has at least a week of travel on the calendar. “No Normal Weeks” [glares at self]
Quest: 50 for 50! I have done no outdoor running yet this year, but I have put in considerable time on the elliptical and actually walked out part of my proposed training route, visualizing how much I am going to enjoy it.
Wish: My wish for the year is to get a book deal. I have been unusually productive on the book outline itself and I feel a lot of momentum around this.
For anyone else who is thinking about resolutions and goals and plans and projects, take heart. Whatever you are working on, it’s probably best that you do it seasonally and take a few months off each year. Accept the natural rhythms of your life. Allow yourself to start at zero, feel like you have no idea what to do, have no concrete plans or structures, and just LEARN about your project from a place of curiosity. If it’s something that will continue to appeal to you enough to do it, let it draw you in and become more interesting to you.
Everything I do, I do with bumbling, fumbling, stumbling, ludicrous misunderstandings of what’s involved, missed deadlines, bungled introductions and mismatched networking, purchase of inappropriate supplies, and every other possible mistake. These are the compost of the garden of creativity. Even the most glorious botanical tourist attraction has a lot of bare branches in winter.
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.
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