139. Planning For The Future
Goal setting means putting down the Christmas Cookie
Officially, April is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month, but whoever made that declaration got it wrong. It definitely should be December.
After all, it’s in December when the emotions run pretty high, what with the stress of the holidays, the family, and the host of unachievable expectations.
Spending increases in December, potentially leading to financial discomfort. Eat. December also brings increased demands in both our professional and personal lives. Eat. Eat.
Just writing this is making me want to inhale a whole bag of chips. Which, incidentally, I just did.
Because sometimes it gets really challenging to find the bottom of the hole you’re trying to fill. Feeling all the feelings is hard to do. I know. I’ve been there. I have the -ism.
Maybe your thing isn’t about food. Maybe it’s alcohol or biting your fingernails or isolating yourself. I don’t know how you manifest your stress, but I guarantee that you’re doing something.
The Benefits of Time Travel
Leadership - and humanness - isn’t about being perfect. Far from it. It’s about understanding and accepting your imperfections. It’s about knowing that when you’ve been digging yourself into a hole, the best thing to do is to put down the damn shovel and ask for help to climb back out.
About 15 years ago, I started a practice that helps a lot this time of year. Every December I set my goals for the next year. I write them down and print them out and keep them on my desk.
But goals aren’t just about business. In fact, most of my goals are personal.
I create goals to better my relationship with my partner. Goals to strengthen the bond with my daughter and goals to pursue the hobbies that bring me joy.
Specifically, my goal setting focuses on these six areas:
But simply making the list and reminding myself to focus on it throughout the year is not the end of the practice. I also do a little time traveling.
There’s a site called futureme.org that allows you to send emails to yourself (or others) at any date in the future.
Every year, I send an email to myself five years in the future. I talk about my life today, my happiness and struggles, and my goals for the future.
And every year I’m given the gift of receiving an email from the me who was five years younger. It continues to ground me, helps me appreciate who I am and how I’ve developed. It’s pretty cool to communicate with the younger you and recognize how you’ve grown.
Betwixt the emotional indulgences, it’s important that we take stock of who we are and all we’ve accomplished. Especially at this time of year, when gravity’s pull leads to devouring a tray full of holiday brownies.
So here we are, just a small snow flurry short of the new year. Do you know your plans? Have you verbalized your goals and desires?
I challenge you to do it. Right now.
“There are seven days in a week and Someday isn’t one of them."