Goals and meaning

I had an epiphany today.

In Passion Planners, there’s a section at the end of every month that asks you to review the month and detail the highlights, the lowlights and how you can build off of both. It wants to know what you learned and how you can use this lessons going forward. This is just my second attempt, but I’m getting the hang of it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the month of February over the last few day, probably because it wasn’t my best month. It wasn’t the worst and there certainly weren’t any major negatives, but when I reflected on the month as a whole, I wasn’t left feeling much satisfaction. Sure, we ran into a lot of complications related to events being postponed and/or cancelled, but I didn’t feel really accomplished at anything. As I told the friend who recommended the Passion Planner and texted to compare month in review notes yesterday, I feel like I just stood still for the month. As I drilled deeper into that today, I feel like I got to the bottom of why and this was the epiphany: that I need to make goals that matter to me.

To explain, I’ll need to work backwards. The one big project I committed myself to in February was the Minimalism Challenge. (I know, I’m overdue for an update on that, but it’s coming, I promise.) It starts off easy and it get gradually more time consuming until it becomes, frankly, a real headache. The early days of getting rid of one and five and eight and eleven items are easy, but when you get into the later days of the month, trying to find twenty-five, then twenty-six and twenty-seven items a day becomes a lot of work. For the most part, I learned that as much as I feel like I have a lot of stuff, I want most of the stuff that I have. We are regularly culling our wardrobes and household items and sending the proceeds to work with Kevin. That doesn’t leave a lot of fat to trim in the easiest of places – bathroom cupboards, closets, etc. For the latter half of the month, it became really hard for me and while I don’t mind the rewards of that work (I did a lot of cleaning and reorganizing around the decluttering) I don’t really value having a sparklingly clean house. It actually doesn’t matter to me at all. Now, looking back on the month, I feel like I spent it working towards a goal that provided me with no real feelings of satisfaction, no accomplishments, no gratification. Sure, I’m glad I did it, but the most important result of the challenge is to realize that I should focus on taking on goals that are meaningful to me and not just to others. Or at least set up something that will contribute to my happiness alongside a challenge that is good for my overall wellbeing, but that isn’t likely to make me feel good.

Thankfully, after a month of focusing on out of body goals, I’m going to focus on personal ones this month instead.

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