23 September 2014

Now Is My Time #36: Evaluation & Planning

It's been almost a year since I first came up with the idea of 2014 being my Now Is My Time year. You can read about how I came to that point here. Now that we are officially into Fall, my thoughts are turning to evaluating how I've done this year and where I want to go next year.

Obviously there are still things to work on in putting myself first priority in my life. Sometimes life just forces me off the top of the priority list, like when there is a small or large family emergency, a looming deadline, or other situation that requires full attention. There are also the days that just aren't as effective as others.

But as I evaluate things overall I see areas where I can still tighten the belt on doing better. In all honesty that is both encouraging and a little frustrating. But that is life. A friend and I were talking about life balance a couple of weeks ago. She said her dad told her, "There is no such thing as life balance." We both found that comforting. Letting go of that feeling we should somehow be able to control life to make it all balance is surely a load off one's shoulders. It's also a recognition of how little control we have over life.

Life pushes and pulls in different areas at different times and to sit hoping someday that our lives are going to look like a perfectly balanced circle, rather than a hoop that is being pushed and pulled in ever-changing ways is surely a waste of hope and energy. Better to accept the lack of balance, learn to prioritize, enjoy the ebb and flow of life's adventures and find peace and joy in every day.

So I am taking some time over the next few weeks to go back and look at how I've done this year. I'm going to make a list of things I can continue to focus on. Then I want to think about where and how I take Now Is My Time to the next level. Where do I want to continue to grow? Where do I need to push myself to grow?

Will I have a mantra next year? Or will I just have a new or expanded goal? These are things I just don't know right now, but I am excited to explore. I have my new vision board to guide me. I have important needs that need to be acted upon. I have goals I must achieve for myself and our family.

After talking with my coach last week, we decided what would help is for me to make a list of my top priorities going forward and then give those my top focus. Sounds so simple and logical doesn't it. But so often in life we aren't living, using our energies or our time towards our top priorities at all.

It's is far too easy to get knocked off target, lose sight of what we really need and want, and just go through the day robotically, living like we're just trying to survive. Sometimes meals, jobs, laundry and getting enough rest take over the true focus of our time and our lives.

It is beautiful though that if we are really focused on living our best lives that somehow everything falls into place and we absolutely have time for the things that are most important to us as well as the other daily life tasks. Some of those tasks do fall off the list or we realized we can change how we've been going along. That is always a joy and a comfort.

So today I wrote down my five top life priorities...actually, as I'm typing this I just thought of another...and another. So right now I have seven. My next step will probably be to better define those seven goals or foci. (I don't get a lot of opportunities to use the plural form of focus, I had to do it, haha.)

I think these seven goals will help me gain a lot of focus and maybe even come up with a mantra for the next year. I'm excited to flesh them out and define them for myself.

Do you start thinking about goals and New Year's Resolutions in the fall? Do you have a list of hopes and dreams you feel driven to accomplish in the next year? How do you go about planning and evaluating your path? I love learning from you. You readers share some great wisdom.
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