The season of beaches and BBQs, of summer Fridays, Fourth of July, and my favorite month of the year. Yes, ThreadDetectives. It’s “summer, summer, summertime / time to sit back and unwind.”
Not to interrupt your serious summer pursuits (hikes, camping, boating, brunch), but it’s officially the second half of the year. How is your year going so far? What are you focusing on in the coming months?
I’m always curious. There’s an such intense focus on these life-changing things around the new year. But why? Wouldn’t it be better to live your best life… in every moment possible? Instead of embracing that masochistic ritual of January 1st (a guilt-motivated, total-life renovation that lasts weeks, if even that), let’s build change as a habit.
(And by “let’s,” I mean “I need to do this. Would you like to join me?”)
I forgot how I discovered this, but I’m on Week 2, Day 2 of my BestSelf Journal, and I’m really, really enjoying it. It’s focused on goal-setting. I find this important because I can have too many goals, too many things I want to do. This journal helps me concentrate my focus.
Tl;dr – I need to find the habits, practices, and goals that lead to the life I want to be living, and build them into my day-to-day experience — to create methods and systems for making the most out of my day. So far, my BestSelf journal is helping me do that.
How to become your BestSelf:
- Aim for the unrealistic – what would it take to change your life? Choose three, 13-week “result” goals. These will be three, high-level things you want to accomplish over the next three months. What do you want to accomplish? And why are these things important to you? Think carefully. It’s said that “what you fear doing most is what you most need to do.” Find out what that is, and then get to work.
- Break it down – the next step is breaking down your big, exciting, possibly scary goals into manageable progress milestones. These are very clear, very well-defined objectives to measure your progress towards whatever you’re working to accomplish. Completing your progress goals lets you know that your results are within reach. I find progress goals similar to a “done” list that I sometimes keep. Tracking my wins helps me realize how far I’ve come, especially in creative fields, where a lot of work occurs under the surface.
- Eat the frog – last, break down your progress goals into actions and tasks. These are bite-size, doable actions that will turn your progress goals into “yes, I did that” realities. They’ll be the items you’ll fill your daily planner with; they’ll help you “be disciplined, and take strong, consistent action” in the direction of your dreams.
What are my goals? For the next thirteen weeks, I’m focused on:
- Blogging – writing regularly is a muscle, and my writing muscle has grown weak and lazy. Additionally, blogging is like working out; it’s easy to get discouraged in the early days, before the results have become evident. It’s easy to get discouraged (I know I do) when you have to make a living and have other goals (family, fitness, work, art, etc.) which you may be focusing on. But I miss the sense of accomplish that writing regularly gives me. I’m learning a lot in my adventures in Los Angeles. I love sharing what I’ve found, and I’m excited to get back to it.
- Publishing – I’ve been working on something for going on eight years now (!) (not the whole time; it’s sat dormant a lot, but it’s a good piece, and I need to get it out there. It’s not directly relevant to ThreadDetectives, but it’s an interesting read (if a bit academic); I’ll link to it eventually). What’s important is that I get this out of my system and into the world so I can be happy with it, share what I’ve come up with, and make space in my life for other written endeavors.
- Building a team – I’m an actor finishing up drama school. I’ve gotten myself a good bit of work, but it’s time to add a manager and an agent to my team. The third (and most important) goal of my summer is doing exactly that.
In addition to starting work on these three goals, I’ve listed some cool vintage finds (and a few new pieces that don’t fit me, unfortunately) in the ThreadDetectives’ eBay store. I’ve also started running again, and I’ve re-committed to practicing yoga. A new studio opened up in my neighborhood, and while I love YogaWithAdriene, I find a regular, in-person class does a better job of keeping me motivated.
What are you goals, ThreadDetectives? What are you working on this summer? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below. Happy Fourth of July!