Writing is going absolutely terrible this week. I blame the lack of sleep. I arrived back in San Francisco from LA (CrossFit Games 2013) at 4:30AM after driving through the night. It completely screwed my sleep schedule and has left me a little cross-eyed. That being said, it’s the lack of planning and commitment on my end that is really holding me back. I have written multiple paragraphs about the definition of strength (somewhat in line with the theme of the Games), but can’t bring myself to post it. It feels like trying on a dress that doesn’t fit right and not wanting to go into the hallway of the dressing room to look in the mirror. I hate that feeling.
But where did this blog start anyway? I am defaulting to writing about the goals that I have left before my birthday, in order to sort out where I need to focus in the next 60 days. Though I may not have written about each specifically, it has become a goal of mine to write more consistently and publish these rants and raves as a way of getting my voice out into the world. So with 60 days left, I have a list of 8 things that are important to me that I am going to attempt to accomplish:
Visit Friends in WA
Time my Handstand
Get a massage.
Take a Vacation.
Lose 10 lbs. Explore your ideal weight.
Purge your Crap.
Blog your 27 X 27.
I am a strong believer in the rule of 1. I should pick 1 thing to focus on at a time. That’s it. If I choose more than one thing, my rate of success will plummet drastically. The beauty of a few of these things is that if I attempt it once, I can cross it off the list: get a massage, go surfing, and time my handstand. The other items take more planning and daily practice. As I mentioned in my last post, this August I am focusing on my diet to lose weight. For support in accomplishing this goal, I have signed up for the Get It Done In 30 Challenge with Maneesh Sethi and James Swanick and I am planning a Paleo Challenge with a friend at San Francisco CrossFit (interested? Details coming soon)!
Though I could easily write on and on about all the components of this goal and the others, I’m leaving it at that. Focus. Simplicity. August: Diet/lose weight. If more happens, awesome, if not, c’est la vie. Tomorrow is August 1st and I am already overwhelmed. August 2013, here we go.
You have done it before and you will do it again.
What the hell am I talking about? Success. You’ve been successful before in your lifetime, if you’ve made it this far. Maybe you would consider that your only win, but either way, it’s something. And you will be successful again. Have you heard that lately? It feels oddly good to say it: You WILL be successful again. The purpose of this post is to review the context of some of my goals to see where I have been successful so we can recreate that context down the line.
I have completed many of my 27 x 27 goals. 17 to be exact. There is a sense of completion, of follow through, a feeling of “done-ness” with these items. It is immensely satisfying to review it and say “Yea, I did that!” (High Five). Check. Goal setting builds a system for resolution and habit creation by breaking a larger value into measurable and attainable steps. Stevo, the sport psychologists’ mantra echoes in my ears: “Have the courage to start small”. Hell yes. One step at a time, next thing you know, you’re holding a handstand, kicking it at your new job, and attending the CrossFit Games for free.
I have 10 goals left to accomplish in 2 months. The other day I signed up for Maneesh Sethi and James Swanwick’s Get It Done in 30 challenge. I wasn’t going to sign up, but once I watched their videos and realized there was still space I decided “What the hell! This is exactly what I have been experimenting with all year!” Get your ass in gear for 21 to 30 day challenges to explore habit change. I am hoping that the Get It Done in 30 challenge will help me accomplish something on this list, specifically, losing weight. This is a goal I seem to really struggle with. As I have explored in the past with Stevo, I have some trouble asking for help. Well: “I NEED HELP!” I need some sort of support.
Another reason for this review is to see where I have been successful and where I have failed. In Maneesh Sethi’s Hack the System Ebook, he explains that recreating the context in which you have been successful before sets you up for success in the future. He also shares a graph demonstrating morale and enthusiasm over the course of a project showing the importance of expecting failure. Applying these concepts is an important step in recognizing my blind spots and how I can accomplish the rest of my list (or at least the goals that are most important to me).
While Maneesh writes about setting yourself up for success and how to accomplish your goals, Danielle LaPorte explores the difference between motivation and inspiration. She explains that motivation is often driven by fear of consequences, whereas inspiration is a deep desire to accomplish something regardless of the cost. Thinking about these concepts has really put a new spin on some of my goals. So let’s get started.
Starting with my new tradition: My new annual ritual is to do some kind of activity (5 mile run/CrossFit WOD/get sweaty) and then get into a body of water on my birthday. These are 2 definable activities that don’t require much in the way of habit change throughout the year to accomplish. It was basically an accident that this became my new tradition. I was visiting Netarts Bay in Oregon with some of my best friends and we decided to do a run on the beach on the morning of my birthday. We ran for a long time and despite the frigid water conditions, knew that it was a special opportunity to get into the ocean. In we went! Year 2 of this ritual approaches. I was successful here because I had a friend who joined me for the activity and we were having fun. I doubt I would have gone on the run or jumped into the ocean solo. Either way I wouldn’t have done them for as long as I did. This September: I would like to do another workout on the beach and go for a swim. Care to join me?
My goal of making a reading list is about inspiring myself to read. Getting myself back into the habit of reading is super challenging. It comes and goes in spurts all the time. I have been getting better, but I hardly ever read at the same time of day, which seems to be a major component to creating this habit. I am successful if I read before I go to bed, take public transportation, or take a break at work and sit at a cafe. I was extremely successful with The Fire Starter Sessions because Maria and I had a book club and would meet to discuss the chapters. AH! Maneesh Sethi is right again! Accountability always wins!
I completed Interchange, the counseling program. Paying money and attending an organized class where other people care about your attendance is a strong motivator. I know people cared about whether I showed up or not because when I arrived, we took attendance in our home group and talked about where the people who were not present were. How did we know where the missing people were? Well, the first couple of times people didn’t show, members of the group got upset and made it known! After that we hardly ever had an unexplained absence. Group accountability strikes again! Note: Your action or inaction in a group always speaks. Your participation in life or lack thereof does not go unnoticed, so do things with intention.
Goals that I accomplished because I had support and/or accountability:
- A new tradition
- Read a book
- CrossFit Open
- Armory Tour
- New Jobs
I submitted mail art to people around the world. I work well with deadlines. Having a final date and knowing that it is quickly approaching gets me going. I often leave things till the last minute because then I get nervy about them and set aside the time to accomplish the task. Sure, it can feel like poor planning, but otherwise the urgency just isn’t there. Having a finite timeline in the near future is by far the best way to get me to do something. Accountability to the clock!
Goals that I accomplished because they were time-bound:
- Job Applications/Interviews
- CrossFit Level 1 Certificate
- Submitted mail to mail art show
My sharable “explore something sexy” goal is that I read an erotic novel and attended a book talk by the author of the Boudoir Bible. Lightning struck on this one. I had a conversation with a friend about the Claiming of Sleeping Beauty and was so intrigued by the premise of the book that I went out and bought it. Reading erotic fiction was exciting, as you can imagine, so I got through it in a reasonable time frame. However, there was no accountability here, only fodder for my own ideas. Reading the novel inspired me to look up erotic literature events in San Francisco, which lead me to Betony Vernon’s talk about the Boudoir Bible that was being hosted the day after I discovered it. I blindly jumped at the opportunity (having no idea who she was) and showed up. Lightning and the magical cosmos inspired action? I’m so glad I attended.
Goals I accomplished because I was inspired/magic happened:
- Reading/Book List
- Expressing my feelings
- Writing my 12 commandments
- New Jobs
- Went to yoga for a week after not having been in 1 year
- CrossFit Gear
- Attending Betony Vernon’s Boudoir Bible talk
These are all the goals that I have completed and that make me feel successful. What context have I been most successful in? By far, the things that I am most proud of and seem to have influenced me the most are where I have community involved. I am super inspired to accomplish all the things on my list, so combining it with a defined time line and the support of others makes for a potent combination. Any goal that I have not yet accomplished is directly related to not having a buddy and/or a due date. Of course my birthday is a deadline, in theory, but that is not enough for all goals.
In short, I intend to quickly weed out the things that I am not inspired by out of my life and replace them with things that do. The goals that have not yet been completed, I am rededicating myself to them and enlisting support for the next 2 months. What the fuck is this list for if not for fun and a little challenge? GSD.