January was a bit of a rough month. It seems I've been saying that a little too often: how this month was hard, or this month was rough, or next month will be better, really. But January really was rough.
Which, it turns out, was a good thing.
A couple months ago, I was doing the obligatory goal review, and I commented on a passage I had read in a book. It essentially went like this: "Are your goals vehicles to a better you, or are they merely something to keep you busy so that you can avoid the real issues you should be focusing on?" That really stuck with me. And in January, it hit home.
As I was plowing along through the month, trying to food journal, trying to run outside every day, trying to exercise every day, trying to drink more water and eat better, I found myself failing at every endeavor. All for the same reason; as my 12 hour work days morphed into 13 hours, into 14 hours, into 14 hours with me coming in on the weekends trying to catch up yet somehow falling further and further behind every day, I also found myself saying "I need to change things." "This is not how I want my life to be." "I should leave." "I should find a new job." "I should start traveling again." "That would solve all of my problems."
The problem with that logic is that this isn't the first job that this has happened. This is actually, just the latest in a long series of jobs that I found myself working longer and harder and more and more while becoming less and less happy. Until I left and found a new job. Where the process would start all over again. And then I'd leave and go somewhere else. And the process would start all over once again.
The problem wasn't my job. The problem was me.
So this month, instead of chalking up my unmet goals to my long work hours, I stopped focusing on the goals and started focusing on me.
Why the heck to I turn into an workaholic? Why do I caffeinate myself and scarf down junk food to make it through the ridiculously long days? Why do I come in on my days off and then resent everyone else who went away to Vermont or New York or Maine for the weekend? Why the heck is my life like this?
No matter how I've tried to change this pattern in the past, I've been unsuccessful. So this January, I did something kind of radical.
I asked for help. (Which is HUGE for a control freak like myself)
I found a little community ed class in assertiveness. I signed up for a session with a nutritionist. I'm taking advantage of a free fitness assessment at the gym. And I finally sat down and talked to my supervisor at work about the workload.
Not meeting my goals has never been so productive.
And while I'm sure I'll be writing some goals for February, it won't be today.
For now, I'll just be appreciative of the chance to make a REAL change and see what happens from here.