Deadlines and Goals

There is never enough time to do everything. We think that these organised people around us somehow make new time to do all things they love. They don’t. They just have their priorities straight. For effective time management – every book on that subject will tell you so – you need to set your goals. You need to see where you want to go, how you will get there, and when you will do so. That would be all fine if there wasn’t that nagging voice in the back of your head: Does it really matter RIGHT NOW? Couldn’t you just do it in two weeks time? Nobody will care anyway. Watch one more episode. Meet with your friends for dinner.

We put our tasks off until we can’t anymore because we have reached the ultimate deadline. Resulting in stress and bad outcomes. Why not invest more time in realistic planning before hand and then getting the job done? (Hint: we are lazy)

For all this wonderful planning (that I by the way adore) you need to know your goals in life. And then hustle. I just read Lilly Singh’s “How to be a Bawse” and it is awesome. So much practical advice on how to a) be a decent human being b) get shit done c) set your goals and d) grow and climb the ladders of life. You should really check it out. This book is a kick in your booty that was located lazily on the sofa. My booty has been in a very comfortable position lately. I told myself to write daily for this whole year. I made it until the middle of April. Then I stopped. Too much to do, I told myself. My dream – becoming a writer – seemed too far away. I had writer’s block on my latest book project and I just couldn’t get myself to add any more words. The mere thought was ridiculous. How could I write anything every anyway?

Instead I told myself that there was too much to do for uni and then ate my body weight in peanuts and watched youtube videos. Congratulations.

Goal setting for my blog hasn’t worked out that well in the past (look at the hundred’s of posts where I told you I was going to upload regularly. That went so well…) But it doesn’t help to complain about that. Let’s try again. Only talking doesn’t bring me anywhere. I need to do what I preach.

To kick myself in the booty, get away from all this “I am so stressed” nonsense, striving towards my goal of being a writer, I will post once a week. Please hold me accountable for that. Write me angry emails or comments if I do not provide a post every Friday.

Do you have a project you need to get done? Set yourself a deadline and tell your friends to check if you achieved it. Write me in the comments! Tell people about your goals and you are more likely to succeed. Let’s beat the monster of procrastination together!


New Year, New Page

Happy New Year!!!

The start of a new year always feels quite special to me. It’s a fresh start, the possibility to improve, to become better, to reflect. In the fading days of 2016 I read “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. It changed my perception a lot. Until this point I have always been quite a reactive person who never really knew what to do, where to go with life. Those habits taught me this: I need to manage my life all by myself but I can rely on other people to help me. I am the responsible and it is my choice to live the life I want to. I need to set up principles and a mission for myself to always have a goal in mind. It gives life a structure and it makes it a lot easier to prioritise. The book gave me a lot, it also taught me about human interactions. How we need to listen to others, how we should respond.

Here are some of the resolutions I have set up for myself:

More books, less social media. I deleted all social media apps from my phone and suddenly, I’m not scrolling away my time anymore. I have already finished reading one book this year (Home by Toni Morrison). Every time I feel the urge to check my social media, I read instead. It’s wonderful having that much time. (I will still be posting here, though. Just like last year, at least once a week on Friday.)

As I am implementing those principles I also get a lot better at time management. I distinguish important and urgent, leave the unimportant stuff out and instead focus on what is important but not urgent. Those are the ones we benefit from long-term. Which leads us to goal 2:

Writing every day. When I set up my mission statement, it became clear to me that writing is an essential part of my life and I really want it to be. Nanowrimo last year also taught me that. What do writers do? Read and write. Every single day. I have a lot of drafts sitting on my computer and every night I will sit down for an hour and write a bit, put some words on the paper, create a habit. It leaves me relaxed, inspired, hopeful and happy. I don’t need to write towards a specific goal, I just love the process itself.

Learn to love yourself. That’s a difficult one. I am so good at self-doubt. It’s the one discipline I could go to the olympics with. By acting on my principles, by being proactive and choosing my own path, I will probably achieve some kind of self-love in the end. Because I learned that true happiness can only come out of myself and that nobody else is responsible for my wellbeing.

Get out more, laugh more. My favourite memory of 2016 was a road trip with my girls. It was fantastic, even though everything went wrong. It was an adventure. With a lot of laughter. That’s what I should go for this year. Say yes to opportunities.

Listen more attentively. Be a better person. Now, that sounds cheesy, doesn’t it? When I wrote down what is important to me, I listed Honesty and Empathy first. I need to work a lot on this. I want to be a better friend, a better human. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”. Habit 5.

Eat healthier, eat consciously. I’ve been a vegan for 3 months now. I still have a lot to learn. A lot of new things to try. I’m excited to be cooking more, exploring more.

Learn how to meditate and how to do nothing. I can’t do these things. I’m so bad at just sitting around. I constantly need to make something, say something, think something. I have to stop, give myself some rest.

Take good care of myself, accept help. We don’t need to beat through life alone. There are lovely people along the way who will offer a helping hand. The trick is to accept it.

What about you? Which goals have you set for 2017? Do you believe in resolutions? What has influenced you last year?