Happy New Year!
Over the weekend I was reflecting on what I’ve accomplished over the past year and on how to continue to build my dream over the coming year. Lingering under all this reflection was a deep sense of impatience. How do I make it go faster? I hesitate to write you often out of a concern that there is not enough to report on – that I have not accomplished enough – that I’m not far enough along at this point.
Indeed I identified the goal of making 100 blouses to women’s measurements in the summer of 2019, not realizing that it would take me a year to get the pattern ready, to learn the pattern adaptation software and that in January of 2021 I would be updating the formulas for the first test client’s measurements. How can I explain how challenging it is to program the pattern to fit the first test client? How many hours and still we are not quite there. With full recognition of how time intensive the work has been, I spent the weekend reflecting on the best way to continue to build my dream over the coming year, staring down the goal of making 100 blouses, alongside the tailor and local sewing instructor, Lisa Lambert and wondering how I was going to accomplish it with my full time job.
In a virtual yoga class over the weekend, my wise teacher, Bex Urban (link to her fabulous yoga classes) posed the question to us that gets at the heart of what I was seeking: “What are you willing to reach for without overstretching?” I still work a full-time day job. That day job will be necessary while I work through this process. So how do I reach for this big goal without overstretching, without overscheduling, forgoing rest, opportunities to recharge or spend time with friends and loved ones? My intention at the heart of this is to set goals over the coming year that are reasonable, to break the goals down into action items that are reasonable, and then to let that be enough. Before Covid it seemed something of a dirty little secret that we are all human, that we need rest, that we have obligations outside of work and that we have limits. But it is true. So then – how do I set out goals for the year to keep reaching for my dreams without overstretching?
As I talked it through with my partner, and reflected over the weekend I landed on one key point – Develop an action plan for your dreams that works with your life as it is in this month, this year, take those actions, and let that be enough. Reflect, revisit and update your plan. And let THAT be enough. Building our dreams means getting real with what we can accomplish given our life circumstances and accepting that. Once you’ve determined the actions that can reasonably be accomplished in a given day or week, and you’ve taken them – let that be enough. If you couldn’t get to it all, revisit your plan – take some stuff off the list for the next week and let that be enough.
Here are the strategies I’m trying out for this work:
- Break down larger goals into manageable weekly action items and don’t overstretch – have those items be 100% enough
- Revisit progress on these action items and goals to make sure that I am biting off the right amount each week and that I’m putting the right effort into the right things. I am trying out a pretty neat paper agenda made by a woman in Portland to break goals down into actions(gettoworkbook.com), to identify 3 priorities a week and take time for reflection. There are pages to really think through bigger projects and make sure that you identify the right actions to take to be successful with them.
- Determine what work I must do and find other people to do the rest. Keep checking in on what I want and need to be doing – the role I want to continue to build for myself. I have to keep up with a strong clear pitch for my business, I have to drive the vision, keep track of the pieces. I don’t have to do all the dying, sewing or pattern making and can ask for help where I need it. 2021 for me is going to be about working with other people to make something great.
In the end, I am fascinated by the idea of setting out clear weekly actions for my dream and letting that be enough. Continuing to get real on what I can and can’t accomplish in any given week or month. What happens if you remove the feeling of not doing enough from the equation entirely? You did enough because you knew that it was all you could do and this is enough for you to achieve your goal because you were reasonable. Period. Does this sound basic to you? Am I the only one for whom this feels totally revolutionary? Well for those of you who are similarly intrigued by this idea and similarly plagued by the idea of falling short, I will report back. If you care to join me in a 2021 of 100% Enough on our path to make the world more awesome, you are welcome. I am cheering you on.
Happy 2021. Thank you so much for all your support over the years.
Go, fight, win.
Please Note – I will be on vacation with my family from January 8-January 18th. I will resume the Weekly Letters once I return.