Welcome back to another installment of our 31 Days to an Intentional Life series! In this series we have been focusing putting solid habits and routines into place so that our day revolves around our priorities rather than handling whatever pressing thing demands our attention at the moment. We’ve talked a lot about goals and habits and time management and structure. It’s easy to look at these types of posts and think, “Yes! If I only do these things, make these lists, I will have it all together! Life will be good!” And while I do think having goals and making lists can be extremely helpful, I also know that sometimes life happens.
No matter how detailed our plans are, no matter how dedicated we are to our routines or schedules, sometimes we get thrown a curve ball. Someone gets sick. A project takes way longer than we think it’s going to. Someone needs our help, so we drop what we’re doing and pitch in. And sometimes we just decide to have some impromptu fun and throw our schedule to the wind. And that’s okay.
You see, as much as I’m a proponent of scheduling and goals and lists, I’m also a proponent of life, and life can’t always be scheduled, no matter how hard we try. For the past few weeks, for example, I’ve been working to update my eBook for bloggers, Building a Framework. I had been keeping a list since we first published it of updates and improvements I thought we could incorporate, so I was counting on it being a fairly simple process. I knew what I wanted to write, and writing comes fairly naturally to me and doesn’t usually take long, so I thought it would be quick and painless. Well, I got about 75% of the way through the revisions before I realized that I had been updating an older copy of my manuscript rather than the most recent one that we had published in June. What that meant was that I now had one copy of the book with all of the correct links and formatting and another copy with my updated edits. In order to be able to release the second version, I would have to merge the two. It took hours of sitting in front of my computer, looking at the two documents side by side, comparing and revising. It was a huge mess. So much for quick and painless.
There was no smiling sweetly at my computer. I felt like throwing it across the room. 😀
Since I am a die-hard “do what you say you’re going to do” type of person, and I had already announced a release date for the second edition, I ended up staying up way too late too many nights working on the revisions when I should have been doing other things, sliding everything else further and further down my priority list.
When life gets busy and I’m feeling the pressure, there is definitely an order in which things start to fall by the wayside. Cleaning my house is usually the first thing to go. I may be organized, but I don’t enjoy cleaning, so everything seems to be a bigger priority and our house looks like a tornado went through. Exercise is usually the next thing to go, followed by responding to emails and blog comments. I can tell that I’m starting to fall back into the same old rut of bad priorities and habits, but I do it anyway. Ugh!
Truth: Sometimes my Fabulously Feminine Home Office looks like this.
All this to say, if you’re feeling discouraged because it feels like everyone else has it all together and you feel like you’re struggling to stay afloat, you’re not alone. Bloggers are not superheroes. Those people with the perfect Facebook statuses or that live in the beautiful, seemingly perfect homes you see on Pinterest are not without stress and chaos and disappointment. Even the best laid plans fall by the wayside.
The thing is, though, that tomorrow is another day, a new opportunity to get back to our priorities and start accomplishing those goals once more. Just because we got off track doesn’t mean we’re incapable or that something is wrong with us. We live, learn, and try again.
I keep comparing the process of improving our goals and habits to the process of losing weight. When you first determine that you want to lose weight, you set up a plan for exercise and eating right, and the first day or two, you follow your plan to a “T.” As you get further and further along in the plan, you may start cheating with your meals every once in a while and then you begin skipping a workout here and a workout there, and if you don’t make the decision to rededicate yourself to your plan, eventually you will be right back where you started. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get organized, manage your time, etc., it’s tempting to want to slip back into our old bad habits, but that doesn’t mean we have to allow that to happen!
It’s Monday. It’s a fresh start, a clean slate. Yes, we may have gotten off track (and we probably will do so again at some point), but today is a new day and anything is possible. Let’s remind ourselves of our goals and priorities, the reasons why we started down the path to change in the first place. Those things are in reach– let’s go get them!
In case you’re wondering, I did end up finishing the second edition of Building a Framework and got it out on Saturday as planned. Life happened. But today I’m still on my quest to build an intentional life, and while I may have to schedule in some extra time to clean my house and answer my blog comments, I’m pretty sure it’s all going to be okay. 🙂 What are you going to accomplish this week?
Have a great Monday, friends!