Well that didn’t take long!
Because I never posted Week 2’s update, I’m combining it here with Week 3.
Let’s go in order.
Week 2 went better on paper than it felt. I met each of my goals (except for I missed one day of reading for thirty minutes), but it was excruciatingly exhausting. Not necessarily because of the goals themselves, but because I had obligations after work every single day, save Monday and Sunday. It meant having to accomplish all of my goals early in the morning, or working on them late at night. I made the time for it, but it honestly didn’t feel productive. I felt like I was forcing anything I tried to write, and I didn’t have any time to run, which is my main source of mental energy. I ate a bunch of junk food, drank to some extent almost every day (sad tummy is sad), and just generally felt busy while also feeling lonely. Maybe this is something that’s more common than I realize, but when I spend excessive amounts of time with other people and not enough time to myself, I feel more lonely than I do energized by the companionship. Or maybe the loneliness is just the lack of energy. I’ll bring it up with my therapist.
Given that, I probably could have predicted how Week 3 would go.
Week 3, as you can see, did not go well. I held on to meditation, because I knew if there was one habit I couldn’t let myself slip on, it was that. I could have made myself sit down to write for five hours this week; I had the time. But I was still trying to recharge after the activities of Week 2 (and you can see I still had a good number of commitments in Week 3, too), and just couldn’t find motivation to do much of anything at all. So I slept in in the mornings, and played video games in the afternoons after work. It was nice, but I also felt guilty for abandoning my goals. We’ll save that for the therapist, too.
But, I did realize that I had already achieved one of my overall goals for the quarter–write five new poems. So, I figured, I could give myself permission to fail. For a week, just a week. I’d revise my goals and get it back together next week. This, for the record, is not a good idea. I stopped adhering to my morning and evening routines, didn’t run hardly at all, and spent a lot of time playing video games. I didn’t think about writing; I stopped doing my quick fires, and I barely read (I did listen a good bit of podcasts, though). Granted, it’s good to take a break and relax, but I don’t feel good or like myself when I’m not doing the work I want to be, and especially so when I’m not running. But really, I didn’t feel like I was doing work I wanted to do. And the heat index was kill-people hot, so I couldn’t run (we’re ignoring the fact that I have access to a treadmill).
I think there’s value in dialing back, in resting, and in revising goals when you reach them early or realize that they’re unrealistic. But I also know there’s value to repetition, and to routine. You don’t get better at skill by letting yourself get too out of practice. I can feel that when I go five days or more without running. I maybe didn’t need to write for an hour every week day this week (and I certainly didn’t do that), but I should have kept up with my quick fires, and I certainly should have continued following my routines (which aren’t reflected in these weekly logs). I should have gone on more runs. But, each week is a learning opportunity. And hey–I still met that overall goal!
I did revise my goals, and I’m working on getting back on track in Week 4. I’ll be back to let you know how that goes.