Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Setting Goals

I had the opportunity to hear a presentation on goal setting last week – not once but twice.  And while the speaker’s audience was young girls who were either pregnant or already had babies, I felt like her comments were addressed directly at me.  Sure, it was the same stuff I had heard throughout my career, by different inspirational speakers projecting different PowerPoint templates.  But this time it meant something.

This time I don’t have a supervisor, a performance review, or a pending deadline driving my need to set and accomplish goals.  It’s just me now.  Just because I’m retired doesn’t mean I don’t have goals.  And since I do have goals, why wouldn’t I use these time honored techniques to work toward achieving them? 

Here are some of my key takeaways on goal setting:

1.  Don’t settle for less than what you want.
2.  Make your goals specific and measurable.  Know the difference between a good idea and a goal.
3.  Break your goals down into “baby steps.”  What will you do in one week toward your goal?  One month?  One year?  Five years?
4.  Write it down.  Keep a journal of your successes toward your goal. 
5.  Reward yourself for steps toward your goal – even if it’s as simple as checking it off the list. 
6.  There will be fear – if you’re not a little bit afraid you’re probably not reaching far enough. 
7.  There will be negative thoughts – control them.
8.  Use affirmations.  An affirmation is a positive statement that describes a goal in its already completed state. 

I wrote my affirmation in my journal:  “I am a published author, signing copies of my book in a bookstore in Minneapolis, in the summer of 2017.”  Here we go!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Finishing the Unfinished

I posted about overcoming inertia back on November 21.  In that post, I promised myself – and everyone else who might have been reading – that I would practice finishing what I start.  I pulled out the sewing box that’s been sitting at the top of the closet in my husband’s office for 19 years and started at the top.  Here’s how I've done so far…

I have no idea what possessed me to make a sundress out of red and white striped fabric.  It can’t have been a senior moment – this was nearly 30 years ago.  I think maybe the inertia factor here was some good old fashioned common sense.  There would have been no way I would ever have worn this dress.  I plan to give it to Goodwill.  I understand lots of people shop there for Halloween costumes.

The baby dress I found in the box is baffling me.  I found the body of the dress, with the collar on and the zipper in.  I found one completed sleeve.  I found another sleeve that looked like someone took the scissors to it and absconded with the bottom half.  Gremlins?  Could this be the reason I didn't finish the dress?  Thankfully the pattern offered an option to make the dress sleeveless.  It turned out pretty cute.  This one went to the granddaughter of a dear friend.  She’s about 18 months, and the dress is a size 4, so we’ll have to blink twice before it will fit her.

I found a cut-out chair pad in the pattern we had at the old house.  (We moved 19 ½ years ago…) There was enough fabric there to turn it into a two toaster covers and two matching oven mitts, which I’ll give to next year’s Breakfast with Santa.   

The box also contains:
•             A brand-new pattern and the fabric to make a dress.  Fabric looks OK.  Dress is outdated.  Maybe I’ll buy a new pattern after I finish all this old stuff.
•             Lots and lots of scrap fabric.  I asked one of my friends if she knew any quilters, and quickly found a home for it.

My friend Adrian, author of Adrian’s Crazy Life will be proud of me for de-cluttering.  I’m feeling good about finishing projects.  Bring on those endorphins!