The last two days I have posted; I think this might be a world record if I post today as well. I read the second chapter in Grace for the Good Girl this morning, and I started thinking about Goals, so I thought I’d post a little something here about why I am NOT going to make anymore Goals about blogging more consistently etcetera…
I have always loved goals; Big-Goals. They are the kind of dreams that seem so beautifully deceptively achievable…”If I just follow x, y, z steps I will arrive at such-and-such-a point of excellence. All my life I think I have enjoyed setting Goals. The problem is, when the deadline goes by, when the project lies unfinished at the top of the closet, when the plans fail…I feel an even greater sense of despair. That is because I am a “recovering perfectionist”. Many people can handle the presence of Big-Goals in their life, and they are generally considered positive things. But for the perfectionist, Goals may be the death sentence of all joy and creativity. I have this weird thing about finishing projects…if I want to write one day lets say, but I haven’t finished the last thing I started, and I don’t feel particularly inspired to begin writing on it now, then I just don’t write anything because I really should be writing the thing I already started. See how counterproductive/destructive that is? I am frozen; writing NOTHING because the something I want to write is not the something that I already started and I have a mental dialogue telling me that I should not start “yet another project that will likely go unfinished/unedited/unpublished forever.”
Big-Goals to the recovering perfectionist may just be like the presence of strong drink to the recovering alcoholic; it is not an evil in and of itself, but it can lead to disaster very, very quickly.
That is why, as much as I want to set some grandiose Goal for writing consistently, spending time blogging, etcetera etcetera…I’m not going to because the second I do that is probably the second I will stop writing all together. I am learning to have grace for myself. To set a pace that is slow and easy, and then when I have time in my crazy life, or a thought strikes me as a good idea, then I can write in freedom knowing that if it doesn’t work out I have not laid this obscene pressure on myself to perform a certain way as a writer. I think I’ll probably actually get more writing done this way. 😉
Now for all of you Big-Goal setters: Congratulations! If it helps you be productive, I take my hat off to you! But for me, I must set my sights lower and lower so that creativity can happen in it’s own space without the busted pressure cooker of my perfectionism which seems to be working great…until food explodes all over the place.
Old habits die hard. I’m still a list maker, and I’m still probably going to set goals. But I think it is time for me to set some “little ‘g’ goals. I will make goals that are beautifully simple, easy and totally attainable. And because I like the number, here are seven of my goals for my life right now.
Seven Totally Attainable Goals (because that’s the number of perfection right? )
1. Write when you want to, what you want to, how you want to, where you want to, when you have a spare moment.
2. Blog if the thought strikes you and nothing is about to boil over on the stove.
3. Let the house be a little bit messy. (It’s okay that I still haven’t unpacked our suitcase from this weekend right?)
4. Spend a little time with Jesus. He’s the most important thing and he will help you get all the other things done.
5. Enjoy playing with Ellie. If she wants to be held, then hold her. (She won’t want to be held forever.)
6. Be present in the present moment. “Wherever you are, be all there.” Jim Elliot
7. Be yourself. “To live like an artist means to be fully yourself in the presence of others, no matter where you are, how you feel, or what’s gone wrong.” Emily P. Freeman A Million Little Ways
Have a happy Wednesday and be gentle with yourself today okay? God is.