How is the Great Check-In Experiment Working?

This July, I thought I’d let you all in on my monthly goal setting and the weekly check-ins I do to see if I’m on track. I wasn’t sure if this would be kind of boring or kind of interesting, an experiment or a long-standing ritual. I’m trying things out rather than waiting til I have them perfected.

What worked? Regular attention to the blog inspired other posts and writing. I learned some new lessons by taking the extra effort to write about this publicly rather than just notes to myself. I’m even more impressed than normal with everything that went on this month.

What didn’t work? Tracking 6 goals publicly feels like a lot. I couldn’t explain things as in detail as I would have liked to for the rest of you who don’t live inside my head. I felt like my posts got a little repetitious.

The month in review

1. Be pro-active about negotiating job & housing. Feel great about my future story.

I started the month by talking to my regular job about moving some new responsibilities with me to San Francisco. Even if that was all I did this month, that was a huge deal!

I spent much of the month realizing how boring my story can get when I start to feel busy. I’m trying out new stories about exploring new frontiers. I’m a pioneer woman, an astronaut, a pirate, and Amelia Earhart. I also remembered how hard it is right before all these new ways of being really land, when I am in the no-man’s land where neither the old pattern nor the new pattern feels comfortable.

2. Focus on closing up past gigs, and only taking on new gigs that PAY WELL.

I learned some lessons in freelancing: Pay attention to the energy of the gig early on. Drop projects where I’m not feeling fully excited about how the interaction is going. Even if I care about the larger project. Even if I think I can help people learn how to do this differently. It’s just not worth the energy suck.

I also am learning that “closing up past gigs” is kind of laughable. Things linger, they “may” turn into something more, they “may” get serious about wrapping things up. The gigs that I want to close up are some of the ones where the energy is wonky. I may need to be more forceful than I want to be about wrangling them to a close.

3. Get blogging services online

It seems like my Community Resource Center blog post on Rural Philanthropy Days was eons ago, but that was just at the start of this month! I also did update my services page, so this was a complete check-off-the-list success. I realized this month that with all my other projects I’m juggling, I just don’t have the space to also pay attention to the creative energy of blogging. I need more room to be bored.

4. Pay attention to Fiscal Reform Committee regularly – get very focused on the next right steps

I think I did very well on getting focused here. I made a lot of phone calls this month to get folks oriented toward starting advocacy in earnest, and we have officially made the decision to move forward with that. I also took the initiative to make the contacts with the business community that needed to be made, got the campaign down here, and got the presentation moving forward again. A lot here for one month, even if it always feels like there is more to do. Part of getting focused on only the most essential steps is being willing to let go of the non-essential steps. I need to stop pretending I’m going to get back to those other steps.

5. Make $900/week

I got over some of my awkwardness of “It’s gauche to talk about how much money you make. Much less in a public forum!” But it still feels a little awkward, and while I may continue to track this goal on my own, I might not include it in my regular check-ins in this forum. It was good to see that over the 5 weeks of July, I averaged $925/week! More good information that one down week didn’t bust my goal.

6. Find a balance of movement, meditation, friendship, art, & laughter that supports my busy life

So much going on here, I don’t know how I feel that I work all the time? Trips to Silverton, Boulder, Chaco Canyon. Meditation classes and energy work. Connecting with new and old friends, over laughter and hard stuff. Writing, music, reading fiction. Some movement in walking, hiking and Dance of Shiva – a good amount even though my body craves more.

I do weekly check-ins rather than just at the end of the month because my pattern is that I literally forget what I did earlier this month. It feels like 3 months ago to me, perhaps because I have so much packed in! It settles me down to see that “Yes, I am living a full and balanced life. Yes, I am setting and reaching my goals.” It helps me remember to be satisfied.

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