2013 SMART GOALS
I don't do resolutions; I do SMART Goals.
After struggling with SparkJourney goals during the month of January, and having some significant calendar dates and occurrences, I came to realize something.
I am in survival mode.
Now, yes, I already KNEW that, DUH - at least on one, or several, levels. I knew I was homeless this summer for 3 months living in my car, and had stayed at 2 places prior. And I know the home I'm staying in now I'm going on my 4th month of being in, Jan 24th was my 3 month anniversary, which is too long, I've overstayed, and I feel the time bomb ticking. Not only in housing, but in car maintenance. 3 1/2 years of unemployment will do that to you; it will put you in hard times.
These are hard times. And I am in survival mode, which has gone on for way too long now.
Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. I realized I was looking through the forest, looking at particular, individual trees I wanted to tackle, scale to the top, and saw down, and have grand plans for making them into furniture.
HELLO. I am Lost.In.The.Forest. I've been wandering in the Wilderness of Unemployment for almost 4 years. HELLO, my full focus, effort, and goal at this time should be getting OUT of the forest. Not how much dumbell weight I can increase lifting in 2013, nor how much BMI I can go down, nor how much weight I can drop.
Those are perfectly fine, legitimate, healthy goals. But in struggling in focusing on SMART goals this year, I realized right now that's not my focus.
Furthermore, it took me the whole month of January to realize the following: Not only is it NOT my focus, it also SHOULDN'T BE my focus. I am in survival mode. I need to focus on fixing the income problem and focus on renting a room. Not that I haven't been doing that, because I've been doing that every day. The point is to arrive at meeting that goal, before taking on others.
Yes, I STILL have to take care of myself. Yes, I STILL have to brush my teeth, eat right, and exercise, NO MATTER WHAT. Absolutely. Every.Single.Day. Yep; I absolutely agree.
But regarding GOALS, I have to put first things first. Have you ever met someone who is going on a diet, starting a new job, quitting smoking, going back to school, and signing up at the gym all on the same day? Meanwhile their personal life is a wreck; their marriage is on the rocks and they have bad credit. Don't you shake your head and wonder, HELLO, how it is they completely lost touch with reality? We've all done that to one degree or another, at one time or another, haven't we?
I can still learn, grow, and take care of myself. But my SMART Goal for 2013 is this: to find enough sources of income and employment to be self-sufficient. To provide housing and car maintenance for myself. To put first things first. To PRIORITIZE CORRECTLY, what my Intentional Living SMART Goals should be. If you're in survival mode, then your first priority is to Arrange Survival, i.e. enough income to provide food, transportation, shelter, and clothing required for work. HELLO, if you're not there yet, don't go on to other goals until you are.
So I'm canceling 2013 SMART Goals until further notice. The first time I thought about making that statement, I gasped outloud. Now however, I have a sense of rightness, of relief!, of recognizing First Priorities, and honoring them and their place in my life.
Survival mode is . . . surviving. Meeting my First Priorities, will help me get out of the wilderness of survival mode. I'll still have Intentional Living SMART Goals, but not in so far as the SparkJourney. Putting First Things First has given me a sense of rightness amidst the madness of my extended hardship situation. And NOW I feel fully focused again. That's the power of correctly prioritizing.
So now I've switched gears, as a secondary priority, to have One Day At A Time Intentional Living Goals. These will be more like FlyLady baby step routines of healthily taking care of myself, done several times a day (which is completely different from a SMART Goal). But my overiding, #1 Priority Big Goal, will be employment. Not that it hasn't been already; but I'm just ending the mental nonsense and ridiculousness of not adhering to the principle of First Things First.
This has been very freeing to me and has brought a huge sense of relief that I'm doing the right thing. That I'm exercising the good sense God gave little green apples.
In fact, Proverbs 24:27 has always been my life verse. Here it is in the Amplified:
[Put first things first.] Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home.
Are you metaphorically "going on a diet (or setting new health goals), starting a new job, quitting smoking, going back to school, and signing up at the gym all on the same day?" Meanwhile your personal life is a wreck; your relationship(s) and /or health are on life support from all the stress, and collectors are calling because you have bad credit? (Or similar scenarios; everyone is different, just fill in the blanks as to what crisises apply to you.) If so, STOP that! Stop DOING that to yourself. Now is not the time to set new goals. Now is a time to put First Things First, PRIORITIZE CORRECTLY, put out fires, get out of the water, forest, or wilderness that you're drowning in, and get your life back on track. Still take care of yourself in the meantime, YES absolutely Every.Single.Day. without equivocation; but as far as goals, put First Things First. Surviving is First right now; not Smart Goals. Befriend yourself by recognizing and responding to the truth, and befriend yourself by not fabricating and heaping additional unneeded stress on yourself.
A true friend would not do that to their friend.
And neither should you do it to you.
So . . . for me, 2013 is the Year of the NON-Smart Goals.
For me, 2013 is the year of The God Watch (see previous God Watch Blog), and the year of prioritizing correctly, and Putting First Things First. I'll get back to Smart Goaling, AFTER the First Things are taken care of.