Goals are good
|September 24, 2015||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
I learned 3 things this week.
1. I will only prescribe QID medication to clients when I want poor compliance. Because if I can’t do it – a reasonably competent and informed medical professional – how the HECK can I expect my clients and patients with busier lives then me to remember to take a medication every 6 hours? Even with a pill organizer I’m regularly late or behind on doses and I’m really trying.
2. It *is* possible to motivate Farley, a horse that would much prefer to watch me trudge to the far side of turnout to retrieve her, to instead amble (very slowly) over to me and the waiting halter. It has involved cookies. Figured if just 3 cookies convinced ML to become an avid fan of the bit, it was worth a try with the one who while never outrageously disobedient, but can on some days follow the letter of the law without actually putting forth any effort to meet any expectations if she finds the activity stupid. So far retraining Farley is taking far more cookies then it ever took ML to learn ANYTHING.
3. Goals, specifically ones that hold you accountable with other people are the way to get things done.
On Sep 13th Nikki suggested that we make a date to drive Farley out of the arena for the first time and combine it with lunch at an Indian restaurant (<3 Indian food, don’t get to eat it often because my husband hates it. Which is a shame because I live in an East Indian populated town with some really good Indian food).
Of course I agreed and we set a date about 1 1/2 weeks away. Enough time I thought I could drive Farley enough times we would be ready and I could solve the last few nagging questions I had about my driving set up.
Nothing like a deadline to find some motivation.
Suddenly my off days, so easily frittered away on housework and errands, became foremost driving days and I got my a$$ over to the stable. Details I couldn’t be bothered to research (like what I wrote about in my previous driving post) suddenly became priorities and I nailed down the what and the how and even learned the proper names of the strap-y things and loops on my shafts (footmans loop or hold back strap fittings, hold back straps/breeching straps , wrap straps/shaft hold down straps ).
On the night before the trail drive was scheduled my sister came to visit and I convinced her to come out to the stable after I got off work and go driving with me as one last shake out before the big event. Which is how I found myself driving after dusk, on a less then perfect day (windy), at a less then perfect time (feeding time). First time driving at night under the arena lights – CHECK, first time carrying a passenger – CHECK. First time not driving under “ideal” circumstances – CHECK.
It’s been a LONG time since I’ve managed to drag myself out to the stable after work and dinner. The stable isn’t on my way home any more (it’s a mere 6 miles from my house the other direction), there’s four days a week I DON’T work, and there’s a very cozy chair and a husband to talk to. But with my deadline looming I managed to drag myself out the door.
The pay off yesterday was a trail drive that went flawlessly.
And so I was reminded of what I already knew. Goals are good. The right goals can help me make the right small every day choices.
Yes there are *four days I don’t work, but on the flip side, that’s 4 days I don’t have to be gone in the evenings in order to do what I want to do and can be home in the evenings enjoying that chair, book, or family time. A simple change in perspective, not circumstance
Right now going out on a work evening can help establish a habit and a schedule rather then squishing all “self care” activities into non-work days. Often my off days and weekends are already committed to other duties and relying on only the off days to participate in my hobbies actually results in less of the 4 R’s – Riding, Reading, wRiting, and Running.
*Right now I’m off more like 3 days a week since I’ve been picking up contract work at least one day a week.
The how and when I do things like my 4 R’s will change once Baby Newton is here (any day now), but the lesson remains the same. Simple, achievable goals, especially if they involve another person, and a change in perspectiverather then circumstance are the keys to being able to make the right choice in the moment.
Know thyself. I’m a comfort loving creature and I’m really bad about making the right choice in the now, especially if it involves giving up what is the easiest choice or the most comfortable choice.
I have no problem getting up early for work. I had a 3am wake up time for a couple of years for a dairy job, and being on call and woken up multiple times a night during my 18 months of clinics wasn’t a problem. This also is true of travel to a race. Up at 2:30a to get to an early 6am race start a 100 miles away? No problem!
However without a job, event, or human/animal need I cannot drag myself out of bed one second earlier then I have to. Even with no sleep deficit, the snooze wins every time whether it’s 4am or 9am. In that split second of decision making before hitting the snooze, I justify how important getting enough sleep is. Whatever optional thing I have planned before work comes second to sleep because as the experts tell us, SLEEP is the most important thing of all. I then do some very fancy all-in-my-head math where complicated equations are solved in a nano-second calculating exactly how I will still be able to do whatever I want to do in the mornings AND sleep more.
Which is not true.
And never happens.
The calculations are not as focused and the justifications not quite as blatant when I choose sitting at home in the evenings or doing housework and errands on my day off and decide that’s a better idea then spending 30 min in a self care “R”, but the root of the problem is the same.
Without accountable (and reasonable) goals to motivate me, I will never consistently do the harder thing in the moment even if the payoff is only a little delayed from RIGHT NOW.
The comfort-loving reptile brain is strong within me…
I could go into the connection of Goals and Motivation and how it drives Auto-Decisions and ties into Willpower, but regular readers of my blog have heard that spiel a million times in the last 1-2 years, so instead I’ll leave you with a final picture from a drive a couple days ago.
driving: still on my list of skills to learn!
Oh yeah, I am all too familiar with these complicated morning equations… Goals, even particularly arbitrary ones, are strangely powerful. Thank goodness.
So pleased the driving is going well! 🙂
Hell yeah, Farley! Mel, that’s a helluva mare you’ve got.