Thursday, November 19, 2015

Goals, To Do Lists, and Fatigue

my to-do list on a good day.
Every month I sit down and make a calendar/to-do list for myself. It's based on the bullet journal method and I really like it.

First I start by setting the month up and writing down any of the goals I have for that month.

Many of these goals are based on the goals I set up for the whole year - just broken down into small bits.

Of course, there are always new things coming up, new events to add, different things that need to happen - like birthdays, parties to plan, etc.

After I set things up on a month level, I go through and break things down by day.

Do I need to edit three months worth of pictures? Well, I'll throw it on the calendar for 30 minutes a few times a week.

Each day I list the things on my to-do list for that day, I write down any appointments I need to be at, or classes for the kids, or special events (birthdays, holidays, etc).

As things come up, I shuffle things around. If I have a day where I'm going to be out of the house almost all day, I will put fewer things on the to-do list.

This method mostly works for me. Things are broken down. I can split things up each week as needed according to other things going on. And at a glance, I can see all the things for the day.

The problem is, as almost always, even when I pull back to the necessities, I'm so dang tired.

Too many days hardly any boxes get checked off as accomplished. A few days, nothing gets checked off.

Same old story. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The fatigue and exhaustion I feel are sometimes crushing. Combine this with chronic pain issues? on those days, I'd kill to feel crushing exhaustion.

It's hard to get to the end of the day and not see things get done. It's hard to know that my husband has to come home from work and pick up the slack that I couldn't do (side note: he does this without complaint. I still feel bad).

Because it seems like every day I fall a bit farther behind. But that little bit builds and builds and suddenly it's November and my to-do list for the year seems quite lacking. And it's not like December is a quiet month that will give me a lot of time to catch up! In an ideal world, I'd reach my yearly goals this month and have December to focus on holidays and birthdays.

So here I sit, knowing things will be unfinished come December 31.

But I also sit her knowing things did get done. And that next year, it will be better to set the bar lower.

That's what I have to remind myself a lot of these days. Patience with myself. Kindness to myself. Knowing that any step forward - even if it wasn't as far as I wanted it to be - is a good thing. I may not have finished many of my goals, but I did make a lot of progress.

I know this isn't the first time I've written similar thoughts. It's probably not even the second or the third time.

Honestly, I'm still trying to convince myself that what I can get done is enough. If I type it enough. If I read it enough. I'll start to believe it.

Or so I'm told.

I hope that starts to happen soon. I often end the day feeling like a sloth and feeling badly about all I didn't do - instead of happy for the things I did do.

But I keep trying.

And next year, I'll set smaller goals for the year, while still trying to push myself to get things done. It's a fine line, right? Because I don't want goals that are too easy or don't require effort. But I don't want goals set so high that there just isn't a chance.

It's kind of how I try to educate my kids - there's a band where things are not quite easy, but not too hard. It's just in that sweet spot of learning, getting things done, and feeling good about it because it required just the right amount of work.

It all just comes down to balance.

Someday I will figure the balance puzzle out. And I will come here and share my wisdom with you!

But for now, I'm here scratching my head, trying to figure out the best way to get close to proper balance all while not feeling too bad when I don't achieve it.

1 comment:

  1. I feel your pain. Before RA and fibromyalgia (I sound like a TV commercial for some fancy medication), I could be very productive. Now I just don't get everything done that I want to. When diagnosed, I couldn't get through my routine at the gym. We had to sit down and make it more manageable for the new me. Now my life is full of 'time to sit down and take a break' followed by a little bit more and then early to bed. I had to learn to adapt the way I used to get through my life to my new capabilities/capacity.


Seeing your comments makes me smile! Thank you so much =)