April has been a very successful month for me. I set a goal for myself to read 6 books this month- and I did it! I also started reading the NY Times and cut down on my Facebook time. I'm going to set a slightly less ambitious goal for myself in May- after all, part of April was spent on spring break, and a lot of May will be spent gearing up for concert season- but I'm still going to set a goal. Since reading 168 Hours, I've become much more conscious of my use of time. I used to over-schedule myself. Now I just set modest goals for exercise and writing, sometimes reading, every week or every month. I write them on the whiteboard on my office and keep track of them throughout the month. At the end of the month, I have the satisfaction of looking back and seeing what I've accomplished in my spare time. This is what my whiteboard looks like today:
You may be thinking, "Yes, Leanne, this is all well and good, but when that baby comes, you won't have time for any of that." I disagree. I've read about plenty of women who have children but still keep their sanity and sense of self. Will I have to scale down on my goals? Absolutely. Will I find it more difficult to keep up with my own ambition? No question. But will I give up doing things that make me happy? No. A child deserves a happy mother, and a husband deserves a wife with a sense of herself. During my first trimester, when I didn't feel well enough to exercise, and didn't have the emotional capacity to write, I was miserable. I'm not going to put myself through that again unless it's absolutely necessary. I'm sure my whiteboard will look different in the fall- a lot more scaled-down, a little less crowded- but I'm also sure that I'll be doubly proud, at the end of the month, of the things I accomplished despite late-night feedings and hundreds of diaper changes.
Do any of you set goals for yourself? If so, when do you set them- weekly, monthly, yearly? Do you write them down, or just keep them to yourself? Are your goals overly ambitious, or perhaps not ambitious enough? Do you usually accomplish them in the way you intended, or do the goals change along the way?