Thursday, May 3, 2012

the simplistic, mindful life

I received an article from a coworker the other day and it made me stop and think. Why do I tend to overplan when it comes to list-making and goal-setting without taking into consideration how much time it actually takes? ...Great examples that immediately come to mind would be the family recipe book that took a little over two years to actually finish, the family crest for Sean's birthday that I gave to him two years late (and still want to make changes to), the many books I've started and never finished, and multiple other projects that are still stuck in some sort of limbo.  Would it be better to plan nothing at all?  In one of the other posts by the same author, she wrote about eliminating goals because that doesn't stop us from achieving things and only serves to limit what we can do. I don't really agree with this logic. I think that the more I push myself to achieve goals, the more I keep track of what I'm doing, and the more I end up accomplishing in the end. Without planning, I tend to accomplish little to nothing and go day to day watching too much tv, sleeping too much, and having little motivation to accomplish anything. I am a listmaker and I love crossing off things. What I’ve learned is it’s best to understand I likely won’t accomplish everything, but I can at least try...and know not to get down on myself about it. Somehow, (probably because I've grown accustomed to it) I don't get discouraged when I don't achieve everything I set out to do in the timeframe that I give myself, because sometimes the important things just deserve a little extra time and finesse. For certain tasks (like artwork for family), I realize that the reason I've put off completing is because I want it to be perfect and to have enough time to dedicate to making it just that. In the real world, large chunks of time like that don't come around very often. That said, I like the quote that Leo Babauta opened with:
"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." ~Lao Tzu 
I like having the ability to go about my day as I choose, the flexibility to accomplish a lot on some days and little on others, leaving room for new experiences and opportunities that I may not have otherwise dreamed of. I think there is a balance between planning and just enjoying.

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