Half-way through September and so another update. I did a lot of thinking at the end of August about the future so some changes!
Health matters: Know your superpowers and focus on feeling good
This replaces the previous goal to manage my health. There are two main themes: knowing the weapons I have to fight the battle against my chronic illnesses, and doing what makes me look and feel good.
In many respects, this is a simplification of everything which was in the previous goal. I’m still doing many of the things, just thinking about it in a different way.
Firstly, I am acknowledging that my illness needs managing. I’ve brought myself off the medication which means I have to find other ways to manage the pain, the energy issues and the emotional swings I have without the medication. I’m investing in massage therapy, reintroducing proper ‘rest’ time and looking at mindfulness and meditation as a way to balance my emotional landscape.
Secondly, I am focused on good weight management, taking care of my personal hygiene and appearance, mental health, and getting the proper amount of nutrition and rest. That said, I’m giving myself permission not to focus on exercise. It causes pain and I don’t enjoy it.
Overall, it’s still difficult but I’m committed to making this work because this enables everything this.
Money makes the world go round
This is the second enabler because without money we don’t get very far. Essentially, there are two very specific goals with the aim overall of having a good lifestyle – one which allows me to be comfortable, not to have to worry, and able to do what I want.
The first goal is to get mortgage and debt free by the time I’m fifty. I want to free up that part of my earnings. The second goal is then related to that which is to invest in my pension. I want to ensure my old age has options. So, there’s that.
There are two immediate outcomes of both of these decisions. Firstly, I’m not moving anywhere. It’s sensible to stay at the house, pay off the mortgage and then downsize, moving somewhere I can pay off straight away. Secondly, I need stable employment so I’m intending to stay as long as I can at the University. I like it there, I like the people. I just need to ensure I factor in a good work/life balance so I don’t start to resent it.
Family and friends who matter; be the best I can be
This is the first outcome from the enablers: I want to be healthy and wealthy enough to spend time with the people I love.
This replaces the goal of spending time with friends and family. My aim here rather is to focus efforts on spending the time on the people who matter the most to me in small ways too and always ensuring that what I’m doing is also the best I can do given my own issues. I shouldn’t put myself under pressure to meet up with people if I’m tired and in pain. That said, just like during the last month, I want to enjoy my time with my friends as I have done.
Choice not chore
This works on a couple of levels (no pun intended).
Firstly, work is a chore. I’m a good project manager, a good people manager (and I like to hope that I’m more importantly I’m a good person), but I didn’t set out to be either. I love writing and I enjoy teaching and learning; that’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Be a teacher. Write. So, I’m going to focus on developing both of those aspects outside of my day job which I need to pay the bills, which I need to be good enough at to pay the bills. Right now, work is a chore but that’s a choice for right now.
Secondly, I don’t want my professional aims to become a chore; I want to enjoy working towards them. So. I’ll write what I want to write when I want to write.
Thirdly, I’ve taken the step to continue to work on my MSc for Psychology with the aim of getting my Doctorate. I want that professional kudos. Again, it’s a choice albeit one which I can see becoming a chore if deadlines and studying come under pressure.
Make it happen
This is the last of the new strategies I’m putting in place. None of the above is going to happen unless I commit to doing this and seeing it through.
It’s the ultimate enabler and the one I need to keep in my head. Who knows better than a change manager how difficult it is to truly change. But it can be done, and I can achieve what I’ve set out to achieve.