Deadlines and Goals (Set, Met, and Missed. Or Reached.)

My week is a chaotic mix of To Do Lists and Deadlines. I know, everyones’ lives are like that in their own ways (which is why I thought I’d mention it).

In spite of the chaos, I’m realizing a few things about how I’ve changed over time. I don’t start my workdays in a frenzy anymore, just trying to work as fast as I can so I can be done. Instead, I just make my To Do List each morning and plug away at it.

Yesterday, I worked from 6am till 11pm (with a gym break and a dinner break and a short TV/blog-reading break in there). Some of the things I worked on were not due yet, and one thing (my yoga teacher training final exam) was past its deadline. In fact, I’m still not done with that, but I will be tomorrow. I didn’t have to work so much yesterday, but as a result of doing it, I can take Friday off (if I keep being productive until then)!

What I’ve decided about primarily working at home now is that I have to provide myself with some structure or one of two things will happen: (1) I’ll never get anything done or (2) I’ll work all the time and never stop.

I need to find a balance between that determination I was talking about a few days ago and just doing the everyday work tasks and maintaining my current status quo—I have to consciously have the intention to be determined, or I default into letting life happen to me. 

After the holidays, I found myself sleeping till 7:30, meandering around drinking coffee and perusing the Internet for a while every morning…and then starting my work around 10am. Granted, I had winter break for a few classes I was teaching, so I could afford to do that, but I realized that even without teaching face-to-face classes this semester, I could easily fill up all that “free” time and end up with nothing to show for it.

I tend to be an All or Nothing person.

Two years ago, I got determined—I had a full-time wellness coaching job, and I was also teaching online… There were two goals in mind: 1. I wanted to pay off my student loans. 2. I wanted to be able to quit my full-time job and work from home. First, I paid off the loans, and Second, I quit the job–it happened in less than a year, because I was determined. I woke up every morning at 4:30 to work online, and then I worked all day, went home and worked some more. I didn’t mind, but it probably wasn’t so balanced.

My schedule made me value maintaining healthy lifestyle habits—I knew I’d have to have energy and feel good in order to do all that work. I also loved making payments on my loans as the money rolled in–it was really satisfying. My regimen allowed me to be super productive and not have it wear me down (too much). I had a defined purpose, and a defined path by which to get there.

I WANT to get that determination and direction back—and I’m 90% there.

It won’t happen by me sleeping in till 7:30 every morning. Or by saying Yes to things that don’t get me closer to my goals (so my grandpa pressuring me into getting a “normal” job won’t work this time).

I don’t have a New Year’s resolution this year, but I am working as hard as I can to amp my determination back up. I love the feeling of making things happen in my life. It’s time to make more things happen!

In a little while, I’ll share with you what the project is that I’m working on.

For the next two days, I’m working on finishing all the tasks on my To Do list for this week. Then, I will define my Next Steps–so I am planning to make a plan, I suppose. (I’m not a multi-tasker—I used to think I was, but I’m not. Therefore, I can’t work on my plan until my plate is clean, but I want to schedule in the planning or I might put it off).

I’m really interested in hearing about how other people get themselves to feel “determined” and then how they turn that determination into action and results.

How do you make things happen in your life? Do you just do it? Make plans and stick to them (or have trouble sticking to them)?

Have you ever set goals and made a plan, and worked your butt off to get what you want? 

p.s. I’ve been trying to use the Thrive Style facebook page more effectively lately–I know a lot of people who “Like” it don’t come to the blog, so I decided to try and make that a place where I share info too (smaller bits and pics at a time). I do plan to blog more than I did last semester (I had no plan and not much determination in the fall based on many new things in my schedule), so I’ll be covering a lot of topics that I’ve been asked about and haven’t followed through on yet (anxiety and food is at the top of the list).

20 thoughts on “Deadlines and Goals (Set, Met, and Missed. Or Reached.)”

  1. I love this post because I totally resonate with you. I am an all or nothing person. Last year I dropped 20 lbs just because I was determined to do it but my determanation has diminished a bit since then I need to get back on track and I know its not going to happen by sleeping in either. I guess that means when I wake up an 6 AM for my morning run I’ll think  that you are up and tired like me to but as long as I can think there is someone else determined like me out there maybe it will really get me back on track again! 🙂 thanks! 

  2. Gosh you sound like me right now. Really Tony and I. We work far too much, but we do so with the intent to make things better on us later. I have to make lists and that is a new thing for me. It I don’t make a list and mark things off, I get overwhelmed and then nothing gets done. I’m ready for the day I can quit my day job too and just work with clients directly. I hope that day comes sooner rather than later…

    Thank you for you kind words and offer for assistance with getting things going. I’m definitely emailing you in the next week! I’m getting my CPR/AED certification on Monday and then I can start really focusing on my plan…baby steps. 

  3. I really need to do that too. As you know, we are incredibly similar in many ways. One of them being our work ethic. Seriously, it’s always all-or-nothing with me. I’m either chillin hard or doing all of my work at once for the next week. I need to work on being diligent EVERY day, and I’ve been getting better at that, knowing that I am getting more serious about blogging.

  4. Lori and I struggle with balance all the time. Actually we are trying to find some boundaries and what not to help keep us focused. We will work and work, just keep going sometimes not even eating, which is never good because then we just splurge all at once. So we are working hard to get back into a routine and sticking with it!! we are getting there, some days are better than others.

  5. i work from home as well and it does take structure! i make a list, and try to keep to it each day but i tell you what, its not so strict here in NZ. but i think thats a good thing for now.

  6. thanks so much for sharing what you’ve done, where you’re at right now and what you want to do in the future, lisa! i really can relate to what you say here in terms of being an all or nothing person, and finding balance. first off, congrats on paying off your loan and on working from home – that is awesome that you made those goals happen. so many people SAY that want to do x, but just never seem to make it happen. i love making goals, setting plans, going after what i want – very motivating. if something is important enough to you, just one day you will have that a-ha and get the ball rolling. you may need to hit a ‘rock bottom’ or have someone make a comment to spur you into action but if you want it badly enough, you’ll initiate the process. sometimes our long term plans do not work as we had thought at the beginning – and that’s ok! life is a journey and a learning process! se can be DETERMINED to give our best energy…and remain open-minded (tough!). thanks for the thought-provoking post, lisa! can’t wait to read more about your future projects!

  7. I’m totally a goal person too. It may seem a little nutso, but I have my to do pad for the week. Each day I list what I think I’m making for dinner and everything I want to get done that day. Its just how I function. And yes, working at home can be a total challenge!

  8. The way I started my baby steps (toward individual clients) was to just put the word out through friends, and just got one—-this is a good time since people are still on the New Year’s Resolution wagon!
    I also did some workshops (smoothie/nutrition workshops) at places like the Library (that have an audience who like to come to programs). You don’t make a lot of money doing those…but you are exposed to lots and lots of people you can hand out business cards too! I’m excited for you!

  9. Okay, I completely relate to your post today!!  I work from home too, so I really understand that finding balance is key…I’m not always there, but am also determined to make it happen 🙂

  10. I think I’m an all or nothing kind of person. Once I get started on something I go crazy and never stop. Kind of like when I organized my whole house the other week, when I only meant to organize one drawer….. Then, when I’m feeling lazy I find it impossible to peal myself off the couch.
    I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately because I’m always trying to do too much and underestimating the time it’ll take. I need to get better at that so I can allow more down time!

  11. I’m usually good at getting things done and sticking to a schedule, but I think we all fall off track sometimes and get behind. I try to focus on always getting the important stuff done right away and then little by little get other things done!

  12. I love where you said you’re planning to make a plan =)  So organized!
    To Do lists are so effective.  I used to be better at being organized then I had 3 kids.
    I REALLY need to get back to making lists.  I was so much more productive!!

  13. Hmmm…I don’t think that 7:30 is sleeping in.  I need a solid eight-plus hours of sleep, so in the perfect world I got to bed around 11 and wake up at 7:30!  But I can DEFINITELY relate to spending the entire morning on the internet.  I was really gung-ho about working from home, but it just wasn’t working for me.  I didn’t start “working” until 11 AM a lot of days.  I’m hoping that now that I have a part-time job, I’ll actually spend more time focused on the work that I really want to do – which is still and will always be writing.

    I can also relate to either doing nothing or just focusing on work, work, work.  Some days – when I’m really into whatever it is that I’m doing – it’s like I don’t even notice the time flying by as I work.  Except that if I spend too much time in front of a computer screen, I start getting irritable and short-tempered.

    Finding balance is definitely an ongoing struggle!  I’m looking forward to hearing more about the schedule that you end up settling into.

  14. I like to go to bed at 9:30 🙂 Which means, I really should be getting up at 6…I’m most productive in the morning (which I proved today—I was thrilled to hit 4pm and feel completely comfortable with not doing any more work).

    I think I’m motivated to keep improving my balancing habits—it’s worth it. Maybe like anything else, it’s most important to have a “get back on the wagon” strategy…as I seem to have the most trouble getting started with a good routine when I’ve stopped it. Hmmmmm.

  15. I LIVE at “90% there.” It’s OK, too. The trick is not feeling you should be managing that other 10%.

    Yep, I decided to become a soap opera writer and did that by age 23. Took a lot of focus and work during my “free time.”

    I also competed in bodybuilding many years later, which also took focus and planning to get both muscular and down to such low body fat.

    I have goals now, but they’re much different from my old goals. One goal is to get a closer relationship with my son. That means taking the time and making the effort to stay in touch — and not waiting for HIM to call or write me.  It’s worth it–especially when I get a call or email from him. So special!

    Another goal is to get in better financial shape. That takes consistency and determination. And not buying “fun” stuff when you need to pay off debt or put money in savings. Ugh. But it makes me feel better to see my situation turning around.

  16. I totally hear you on the all or nothing aspect of working from home.  I worked from home as a medical transcriptionist for 7 years, and there were days when I would literally be working from sun up to sun down, and some days where I’d find myself lost in some crap on the internet for hours at a time.  I appreciate the self-discipline I was able to most attain though, and I look forward to the day when I can quit my day job and be a massage therapist full time.  I think I’ll be able to manage my time well!  🙂

  17. I’ve let my determination slide lately too… honestly for me, so much of it has been moving to a small town (which I did a year ago). It’s so easy to brush things off because “it doesn’t matter” “no one here cares” “there’s no one here to judge me”. I’m moving back to the city in 2 weeks and I think it will be just the jumpstart I needed!!

  18. That’s big news!!!! Well, to me it is—what city?? A lot happens in a year (and even in a month), doesn’t it? I hope you do stay in touch, even if you’re not blogging!

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