90 Day Transition: Week 3 Report

90_Day_Transition(Read the overview for the basics of this 90 day push.)

Momentum Stalled

Not my best showing, the fact that I succeeded with my goals this week has more to do with not giving up than being effective. I did almost everything I could to sabotage my efforts, and only a late Saturday rally got me across the finish line.

But that’s kind of the point – when you have goals, even a bad week has a context, and a formal end (the moment I write-up these reports). I’ve had bad weeks in my life that stretched into months, there was nothing to alert me to pay attention to whatever weird mind mojo was piloting my experience. I was hours into my Saturday, a defeatist dialog running in my subconscious along the lines of “it’s too late – no way to accomplish anything now – you can give up and start fresh tomorrow – wouldn’t you rather just chill out” and on and on.

The only thing that saved me was a habit I’ve been drilling into myself, whenever I’m feeling anything other than happy (and a good indicator of that is when I’m watching TV with defeatist loops playing in my noggin), I run through a checklist:

  1. Do you believe your decisions matter? (If no, figure out why)
  2. Do you have any goals? (If no, choose some and start now)
  3. Are you taking action or being passive? (If passive, take action)

This may sound simplistic, I don’t care, it works. Taking action is always better than being passive – we always feel better when we make the decision to take action. I’m not 100% out of the woods, there’s something dogging me I can’t put my finger on (I think it has something to do with wanting to be further down the road with my writing projects, impatience is not a virtue), whatever it is, I need to embrace the discipline of making decisions more rapidly (simple things like “get out of bed, yes it’s warm and comfortable, it’ll be comfortable the next time, let’s go!” and sticking to my schedules).

The 90 Day Goals

Black Nouveau Edits – Success
Edit a minimum of 25 pages per week. Start page: 130 End page: 273 – Total: 143

Weight Loss – Success
Lose a minimum of 1 pound per week. Week start: 282.4 Week end: 281.6
(Stickk goal: 283)

Blog posts – Success
Write and post a minimum of 3 posts per week.
Noodling: What’s So Funny ‘Bout…
Journal – 3/25/15: Healing, A Kiss, Dreams and Socks
90 Day Transition: Week 2 Report

Key Learnings:

  1. Procrastination held sway: I watched it happen, and put myself in a big hole.
  2. Not having long-term deadlines hurts: The reason I started this particular set of goals was to get off my ass after a lazy winter – all well and good but the mechanics of goals requires the end target to make the current targets meaningful. I think this hurt me this week.
  3. I’m not being creative: Creativity is a state of mind as well as action taken. When I can’t think creatively about things like my commute or grocery shopping, it’s harder to think creatively about “creative” things.

Things to watch:

  1. Take Action: Pay attention when I procrastinate – nip it in the bud, the reward is a Saturday free of stress.
  2. Get clear on long-term goals: I don’t have a deadline for releasing my first novel – I will decide that this week. I’ll also step back and look/revise my other short, medium and long-term life goals.
  3. Up intensity of workouts: I’m doing the minimum, I’ve been kidding myself that it’s enough, time to go deeper into my physical self. Been too focused on getting smaller, need to get stronger.
  4. Think Creatively: Things like work, commuting and relaxation need to be more fun – and that’s something I can make happen.

In summary, terrible week reclaimed from the rubbish heap by a last-minute decision to (at minimum) have a quality fail by taking action late Saturday. If I had no goals, it would’ve just been a week of “feeling at sea” likely dragging into the next week. With my goals, I had a reason to pay attention, and that alone makes this a worthwhile process.

“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca