Sunday, May 16, 2004

Gold stars.

I'm sitting on my back patio right now, sipping a glass of wine, bundled up in a wrap because it's windy and a bit chilly. I've been back here working for about three and a half hours now, and it's been really nice, although I've been busy now and then doing other things like playing tug-o-war with a sock and my dog, and rescuing a moth who got tangled up in my hair. You'll be glad to know I didn't even scream, nor did I scream when a bee decided to park it on my boob while back here on Saturday. I was wearing a t-shirt with little flowers on it, so maybe he was confused. Or maybe he wanted a thrill.

Anyway, tonight I mapped out my whole schedule for the week, and I fixed my damn template, because I can't stand things being all half-assed and unorganized. If it disappears on me again? That will be the end of The New Jan Brady.

I know I've been whining a lot about having too much going on right now, but these are crazy times, people. Thing is, I created all this craziness myself, so I can't be all blaming other people and shit. Although I'd like to. It's all your fault! See?

Last summer a girlfriend gave me this journaly-type book called "The Book of Goals" for my birthday. In it, there is a page for you to list a goal, and then a ladder below it to list the steps needed to take to reach said goal - that you mark off with dates of completion. On the reverse page, you can write notes about what it's taken you to get to that goal. And little star stickers to place at the top next to the goal when you've reached it.

I thought it was pretty cute, but then of course I set it up on a bookshelf and didn't remember it again until a couple of months ago when I stumbled across it.

I decided to give it a shot. I started out with some tiny, realistic goals, such as business ideas I wanted to implement but never got around to, and things I wanted to do around the house. And you know what? I've really learned a lot about what my whole thought/strategy process is in reaching a goal.

It's kind of silly when you think about it, but I LOVE getting those damn stickers when the goal is reached. I've always been that way - I guess I'm a recognition junkie. When I was in school, if my name was up on a board somewhere, I'd do whatever it took to have as many stickers or checkmarks next to my name and every day I'd come to class and count them. If any other kid had more than me or was getting closer, I'd kick it up a knotch until I had the most again. I guess that sort of thing worked for me. I don't really understand why, but it did.

The more stickers I place in my book though, the more I'm seeing what I can really accomplish when I put my mind to it. Sometimes I'm going through so many motions during the day, and so many different directions, that it's kind of nice every once in a while to say, "hey, you wanted to get this thing done, and you did".

I guess it also helps because technically I don't have a boss, and I really only have my clients to answer to. Sure, they give me kudos when an event goes well, or I get things done in a timely manner, but do they care about my overall business, or what my client retention/new client numbers are? No. So, I guess this helps me to just be proud of one accomplishment at a time, and to inspire me to get the job done.

The bottom line is that things are getting done, and I'm feeling pretty satisfied. It gets hairy at times, and there are times when I have to realize I can't do absolutely everything I'd like to, but I can do what makes me happy. Even if it's putting a damn star sticker on a project that might have gotten put on the back burner time and time again.