What do you do when life overtakes your best intentions? How do you get back on track?
I have had an interesting experience for the past month or so. I seem to remember I spoke on this blog and on my work blog about goals - the importance of them, and about how to set them in a rational and mindful fashion. I also promised that I would follow the example of my marvellous friend Caitlin, and post mine so that I would have a publicly accountable record of what I had decided I wanted to achieve this year.
Well, things went completely arse over tip over this past month. But before I give you the explanation of what happened (with some juicy detail), I am going to share my goals list. Then you can appreciate the full irony of my position. You’ll also understand how heartfelt is my advice about getting back on track.
Okay. So here are the goals I set out, put under headings of different areas of my life in no particular order.
Commit to regular practice.
Do at least two concerts with Pink Noise (my quartet)
Do my first solo in years at the Bristol Eisteddfod
Set up a website and blog for teaching recorder.
Learn a new song for each lesson.
Commit to 10 minutes of actual singing each day, 5 days out of 7.
Finish at least 10 knitting projects
Commit to a regular Bible reading programme
Drop back down one dress size
Revamp my website.
Write an eBook, and accompanying/complementing course on conquering stage fright
Investigate audio blogs and using video.
Begin offering coaching sessions on Skype
Writing Letters in Space daily, one month on, on month off.
Okay. Did you get that last item? Yeah. Well.
So what happened to my fine intentions?
I had intended to write this blog all January, and then take February off. In actuality, nothing has happened. The reason is simple.
Life had other plans.
My son started having real trouble at school. Bullying sort of trouble. Behaviour problems sort of trouble. Being sent home sort of trouble. Temporary exclusion sort of trouble.
And so all my spare time has been spent looking after my son, dealing with teachers, writing letters, investigating home schooling, looking at other schools, and so on. I am planning on writing a few posts about the sorts of stuff I have learned about myself, my son, and education generally through all this trouble in the very near future. But for now I just want to say one thing.
Stuff happens. Stuff that will send you off the track you had intended to follow. You’ll find yourself off course.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay because if you’re dealing with a crisis, the last thing you need is you beating yourself up because you can’t be a superhero and do everything at once. Instead, try following these steps that I’ve been trying out:
1. Deal with the crisis
2. Rest a bit. You’ll need it.
3. Reshuffle your goals and your expectations. Take out anything that is unreasonable, and change timescales on everything else.
If you do this, you will have given yourself the opportunity of being effective both in the crisis and the aftermath. At least, that’s what I’m hoping…
Let me know how it goes for you. :)