Freshly finished BuJo page days before Santa brought me my Christmas coal cold.I wanted to write a follow up to my post about New Years goals/resolutions but as it would happen I spent the end of 2018 and the start of 2019 being somewhat unsure if I’d ever start feeling like more than an incubator for germs and fluids.
Eight days into 2019 I’m finally a person again, albeit one who needs rest, fluids and still has a sore throat as reminder of worse days. I was actually sick prior to Christmas with a little tickle in my throat, some sneezing and nothing else that would really warn me of how bad things would get. Usually when I get sick I can power through and so I assumed this would be the same so I did. I’m not sure if it was the fact that my body understood that turning thirty-five was some sort of important milestone or if 2018 just wanted a final laugh but in the last six days of the year I spent most of my time unconscious, drinking fluids or trying to find a position which didn’t leave me coughing so hard I thought my eyes would stay bugged out forever.
Before the Pen. My fairly minimalist Bujo bi-weekly spread.Last year I began drawing reflection questions from my regular journal entries. Note I say regular not daily or weekly because although I started journaling in the Artist’s Way school of three pages daily I have found that I prefer a different routine. There is some regularity to my journaling because I consistently finish a journal every four months. The entries follow the general philosophy of the Artist’s Way which is to work through whatever random things are jostling around in order to free your mind to pursue creative projects and prevent creative blocks.
What I used these entries for in 2018 was to draw out reflection questions for myself in order to work on things that continued to crop up as obsessions, rants and problems in my life. Some examples include:
These reflection questions gave me far more opportunity for growth and change than I have achieved through goal setting alone. Interrogating my thought processes, goals and struggles made it possible to articulate larger modes in my life. My perfectionism is something I have understood to be self-destructive but apart from telling myself to stop being such a perfectionist I haven’t been especially motivated to work on it because it is a positive self-destructive trait in that it has always made me work hard without regard to myself. But the by-products of that have tripped me up frequently and often baffled me because I didn’t recognize where they’d come from. Reflecting on the by-products helped me to really look at those perfectionist tendencies in a new light. Additionally, by not just looking critically at problems but also asking — what do I want to replace this with? — made it possible to provide myself with viable alternatives to behaviors that weren’t serving me well.
Despite the fact that I was so sick I couldn’t celebrate New Years in any of the ways I had hoped I entered 2019 with a solid list of priorities:
These expand into specific “goals” that are actionable
But there are also “trail markers” for me
While I was sick I was able to focus on the fact that one of my priorities for 2019 was Health and that this wasn’t just a matter of losing weight, getting in shape or anything like that but was the truly manageable goal of engaging in activities that enhance my general health and well being. So, being the sickest I’ve ever been meant that doing things like drinking tons of water, sleeping when my body felt too tired (even though I’d only been awake for an hour) was in fact helping me meet my goals. As such I was really able to focus on what I was doing. That mental shift was everything.