9 Questions to Address a Setback

So I fell off the wagon. I didn’t write a post last night. It’s not that I wasn’t being productive — in fact, I didn’t stop doing stuff until 10 p.m. — it’s that I wanted to get “just one more thing done” before I moved on to writing my post for the night.

— After I got off work at 5:30 p.m., I went to the store and got a couple items and quarters for our apartment’s laundry room.

— By the time I got home, it was a little after 6 p.m., and I was determined to get my short run in, which I did manage to do, and even added a couple of hill sprints in at the end to kick up my metabolism.

— When I got home from my run, it was a little after 6:30 p.m., and I knew I had a phone date with a friend who lives on the East Coast that I’d been playing phone tag with for more than a couple weeks. Before I called her, I threw in a load of laundry. We talked for about an hour. (Note: Although I could have multi-tasked while talking to her, I chose not to because multi-tasking detracts from genuinely paying attention to and enjoying conversations. I’ll rant more about my disdain for multi-tasking at another time.)

— After I got off the phone, I realized it was almost 8 p.m., and I hadn’t started dinner or showered. So I switched over the laundry to the dryer, Cremini Mushroom Pasta With Wilted Arugula and Goat Cheese (I substituted fresh baby spinach for the arugula). Fortunately, this healthy recipe is super fast and easy to make, which is exactly why I chose it.

— Sometime during the dinner process, Mr. Man came home, and so we talked about our days over dinner. His had been a rough one. He wasn’t much up for talking, so I asked if he could clean up a little while I showered.

— By this time, it was a little after 9 p.m. I showered and got ready for bed, brought up the laundry from downstairs, and finished cleaning up the kitchen.

It was around this point that I realized I was completely exhausted and had no mental energy left to write a post. I decided I would tackle one more project and stop at 10 p.m. no matter what and crawl into bed to cuddle with Mr. Man.

Although he plays out the typical male stereotype of not talking about his feelings most of the time, I know he appreciates extra love and attention after a long day. (Who doesn’t?) So I decided to put away laundry, and I stuck to my self-imposed 10 p.m. chore curfew.

Now why did I give a detailed account of my evening?

Well, for one, it looks more impressive this way, and for two, it’s to show that distractions are always around us.

Writing daily posts (except Fridays) is not only a habit I’m trying to develop, but also an important goal. It’s that little something I look forward to every day. But if I don’t keep it at the top of my priority list, as the above shows, it’s extremely easy to let it fall by the wayside. When I make my three most important things for each day, really it’s the implicit No. 1, but that would get boring to see repeatedly.

For a moment last night, I started to get upset that I was too tired to write. But when I looked at the things I put ahead of writing, I was pleased with the choices I made: Friends and family always come first.

When you fall off the wagon, whether it’s dieting, reducing debt, starting an exercise routine, etc., stop and answer the following questions to get yourself back on track:

  • Why am I striving toward this goal?
    (So that my experiences may help others.)
  • Am I still passionate about this goal?
    (Yes.)
  • Is my goal realistic?
    (Yes.)
  • Do I need to lower my expectations?
    (No.)
  • What were my setbacks or distractions?
    (Putting too much on my plate, not having enough time.)
  • Were these setbacks or distractions more important than working on my goal?
    (Yes, I wanted to catch up with my friend and spend quality time with my fiancé.)
  • Were these setbacks or distractions temporary?
    (Yes.)
  • If not, what can I do to make my schedule more flexible?
    (Not applicable in this case.)
  • Can I get back on track tomorrow?
    (Yes.)

Sometimes stuff is going to come up. That’s just life. And if you can’t roll with it, you’re taking your goal way too seriously. In fact, Leo Babauta writes in “How to Deal With Major Disruptions to Your Routine” post on his blog Zen Habits, “Expect the disruptions and accept them as part of life.” In fact, check out this post because it’s an excellent complimentary piece to this post.

Goals Update:
I’ve been limiting myself to two important things per day until I get my Cat Fancy freelance article finished. Today I accomplished my two most important things:

  • I worked on my Cat Fancy freelance article.
  • I went to my co-worker’s Arbonne party. (If you haven’t heard of Arbonne, it’s a European-based all-natural skincare line. My skin still feels amazing from earlier tonight.)

Tomorrow’s 2 Most Important Things:

  • Help Mr. Man start designing our wedding invitations.
  • Work on the Cat Fancy freelance article.
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This entry was posted in Diet and Nutrition Goals, Financial Goals, Fitness and Exercise Goals, Freelance Work Goals, Goals, Habits, Happiness Goals, Productivity Goals, Wedding Goals and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 9 Questions to Address a Setback

  1. jennifer says:

    how do you manage to get all that stuff done AND get into bed by 10 p.m.?! i swear, if i get in bed by 1 a.m. i consider myself lucky! and i’m so not a “get up early” person… 😦

  2. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Haha, that’s why I said I was so exhausted — normally I don’t get that much finished. I made the mistake of putting too much on my plate that night and then expecting to get it all accomplished.

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