January Goal Review

At the beginning of each month, I will be reviewing my progress on my goals for 2018.  In order to keep myself accountable and to better work through strategies to stay on track or help me to improve in areas where I am struggling, I have decided to post a version of my goal review on this blog.  I will not be covering everything, as some of my goals were a little too personal to write about in public, but I think it might be useful for others to see how I do things.  I’ve found that reading about the progress of others and the strategies that they use to stay on track can be super helpful and I’m often able to glean a lot of good ideas.

1. Survive chemotherapy

I would say that all of my other goals are in service of this.  Overall, I think that I have been making satisfactory progress on my goals for 2018.  I have been very successful in some areas and I have been struggling in others, which is to be expected.

2. Write as much as possible

This is the area where I have been the most successful.  I have posted in my blog three times per week and most of my posts have been well thought out.  There have been a few posts that I would say aren’t my best work, but I’m mostly proud of what I’ve written so far.  I’ve also been mostly keeping up with writing one week ahead to ensure that I have posts ready to go for when I’m not feeling well.

Ideas for improvement: brainstorm more often for topics and inspiration to make it easier to get excited about what to write each week.  I may schedule a particular time or evening to spend an hour or so doing this once per week.

3. Develop a healthy nighttime routine

This has been one of the areas where I have struggled the most.  Going to bed at a regular time is always difficult for me when I’m not working and I typically stay up as late as I can and then skip my self care routine in favour of going directly to sleep.  I have some strategies in mind that I think will help with this.  I will try those for the month of February and, if I don’t see a significant improvement, I have another idea in mind that I will try in March.

Ideas for improvement: schedule a time each night when I will stop what I’m doing and start on my bedtime routine.  Use an alarm on my cell phone that will annoy me so that I will actually stop what I’m doing to prepare for bed.

4. Be financially responsible

As I discussed a few weeks ago, my spending was way out of control in December and the beginning of January.  In order to assist with getting back on track, I am doing a spending freeze.  The spending freeze is necessary now as my EI will be running out next week and my long-term disability won’t kick in for some time due to some administrative hassles.  The freeze has been fairly successful so far, but I have spent a bit too much on takeout.

5. Take care of myself physically

In some areas this has been going very well.  I’ve been drinking loads of water every day and I have been walking a little bit (I hope to work up to a minimum of 150 minutes of walking each week).  Where I am struggling is with personal hygiene.  This is mostly due to depression and not structuring my bedtime routine.  The last two weeks have been especially tough, as I had some personal issues come up that put me completely off track.

Ideas for improvement: see #3.  I think if I can get into a good bedtime routine, that will help immensely.  I see how things go next month and re-evaluate from there.

6. Take care of myself mentally

Overall, I have mostly been able to maintain a neutral outlook.   I went for my first counseling session at the BC Cancer Agency and I like the social worker that I’m working with.  The second half of January was difficult for me and I have slipped into some of my depression behaviours, such as neglecting my personal hygiene and not cleaning up after myself.

Ideas for improvement: I will schedule time at least once per week to work through my CBT workbook.  I also think that #3 will assist me in getting back on track with my journaling practice.

7. Learn something new

In January I didn’t make enough time to try out new things or start working on taking some courses that will help me along what I hope to be my new career path.  I did do some research on online learning services such as Skillshare and fortunately, a YouTube channel I like had a promotion with Skillshare and I was able to get three months of premium service for less than $2.00.

Ideas for improvement: I will schedule time at least once per week to take a webinar course on a topic that I think will be useful to my carer development.

8. Keep things tidier and work on de-cluttering

In January, I managed to tackle a few small de-cluttering projects and I am very happy with my progress in that area.  I hope that I will be able to complete a few small projects every month so that when I return to working full time, my spaces will be tidier and easier to keep clean.  I have also been moderately successful at keeping my spaces tidier on a day to day basis.  As I said earlier, I had a bit of a setback over the last two weeks in January, but I’ve still seen significant improvement.  I just want to keep this up!

9. Work outside the house at least once per week

I have done well with this, but I have been going not quite every week.  Some weeks I feel better than others and chemo side effects can make it a challenge to haul a bunch of my stuff around.  I haven’t been feeling too cooped up, though, so I am okay with how this has been going and don’t feel like I need to be doing anything differently.

I think that making better use of my planner could aid me in some areas where I’m not seeing as much success.  It can be difficult to schedule your time when you don’t feel well, but I think it will help me to be more productive and make better use of my time off.  I think I can also use my planner to help track my physical self care and try to motivate keeping up those habits with stickers and positive self-reinforcement.  As I said above, overall I’m pleased with my progress so far.  I’ve made some significant improvements and have good strategies in place to work on areas that aren’t going as well.

Are you making good progress on your goals for 2018?  Let me know what you’re doing to stay on track!

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