It’s been a while since I did a bona-fide list update, so today is as good a day as any!
1. #1 Read 30 Books – I’m not going to make it to 30, and while at first I was a little disappointed about this, truth be told, it meant reading (on average) 2 1/2 books a month. There were some months that I could do this (especially if I was flying somewhere – seems reading is the best thing I can do on a plane), but for most months, I was averaging 1.5 books a month. I also had this peculiar problem about adding books to the list throughout the year (for example, currently reading Quitter – by Jon Acuff) so the list kept getting larger. Regardless, my pace has varied with the heaviness of the content and my ability to assimilate the information. I feel good about what I’ve been able to do, and since have modified my reading target for the next year in my FinishYear.
2. #2 Lose at least 30 pounds. – First, I am excited that this goal will be accomplished by March. I am so close, it is nerve-wracking. I just want to be able to take a picture of that scale and share with you all here, but it can’t happen till it happens. What I will add to this, is that even when at times the numbers on the scale don’t show what I want, three days at the gym, and movement on other days is changing my body. I feel stronger, more flexible, and well … better.
3. #14 Paint a picture. – This one going down within the next 30 days. We have a local shop here in Clarksville that holds classes where you can paint a picture under the direction/guidance of the instructor. Gonna be done soon!
4. #27 – Launch my professional website. – This is what I have been spending a large amount of time on the last few weeks. In preparation of a launch by the end of the 30 While 30 Project, each day I have built the habit of adding some kind of change to the site. Can I say – I love the process! I am learning a lot about formatting, CSS, html, and the wonderful plugin page on my wordpress.org page.
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On Friday, I mentioned a lie that we (including myself) like to tell about how we view the time that we have each day. It is my contention that we have just enough time each day for what is important to us, but by accident, habit, or on purpose, we fill each day with things that are not linked to what is actually important to us and to our purposes in life. On Friday, I also mentioned some tasks to accomplish to try and re-align our time spent each day.
Jeff Goins ( @JeffGoins on Twitter ) has shared a few posts about the love-hate relationship that people have with making goals and plans. While some of the gripe seems a bit about semantics, something that he mentioned struck me, and is an idea that I am believing more and more each day:
Changing your life, as it turns out, isn’t about setting large, unattainable goals. It’s about small changes over time. That’s how I became a writer — by getting up every day and doing what I needed to do.
Now, we can chit-chat about how you have to have new habits to execute a plan, or how you have to plan to set time for your habit to built it, but the core of the message is this … change is less often one giant step, but instead is found in the small changes we make that allow for us the freedom to be who we need to be. Small moves … for big changes.
This January is about taking inventory. While I don’t espouse the “don’t ever plan” ideal, it’s crucial that I make decisions, that I “do” different things, to allow all the plans the freedom to develop. This is what I was really talking about in the post from Friday. Instead of trying to pour more coffee into an already-filled cup, what do I need to pour out to make room for the things that are really important?
The good news is that this isn’t new. All the time, we don’t give ourselves credit for the small changes present in our lives. January will be a bit of an inventory of the last year. Which habits stuck, which didn’t, and having a discussion on why either was the case.
In honor of The Happiness Project and in participation in my own FinishYear, each month I am going to share habits that I have mastered to free up time and energy from idle time as well as habits focused solely on building disciplines that, by default, will increase my success with the things that really matter.
Feel free to take a look at the #FinishYear 2012 page as this list builds. I haven’t planned out the whole year. Who knows what habits will be important in August? Instead, I will look one month at a time at what freedom-inducing habit I will attempt to master.
Do you think that there a difference between a plan and a habit?
What do you need to take inventory of today, this week, this month to decide on what is worth keeping (stuff, routine, people, vice) and what is essential to remove?