Goals and dreams and planning and my kids and our team

I thought I'd check in about how it's going with the 2013 Your Incredible Year Life Workbook that I talked about getting and using back in December. This is not that linear, but bear with me.

It's been an interesting experience, and totally worth it. First of all, I finally finished fillling out all the sections in the Life workbook (except the tarot thing at the end because I'm not into tarot) Monday, January 28. (I'm going to start the Business version of the workbook tomorrow, and take it slow and easy like I did the Life version.) The way it's structured, I don't feel like I'm behind at all.

Even with only a few sections "complete" (and I put that in quotes because I've left a lot of room in all the sections for me to add things if they come up later), I've still started seeing results. I posted this in the Facebook group I started for Ask Moxie readers who are doing the workbooks:

I feel like some progress toward my goals is happening almost as if by magic. But I've figured out what's really going on:

1. When I wrote out the steps in my little to-do book, that put them in my brain. Not in the front part, but sort of hanging off to the side quietly.
2. When I come to a thought or decision or possible action that relates to one of those steps, I notice.
3. Then I can make the decision or write down or develop the thought or whatever. And it's not a big deal, because I was going to take SOME kind of action right that minute anyway, right? Only now I know which thing to do because it hits on a goal step.
4. I'm not expending more energy than I would have, but I'm making progress on my goals.

Then someone else in the group said:

5. Making progress on your goals gives a shot of additional energy which fuels the process over and over again.

YES. It's cool, because I'm feeling like this is much less effort than I thought it was going to be, but stuff is cooking anyway. Before I just had these vague thoughts of what I wanted to do, but only the things that were truly survival mode ever got operationalized. Now, I've stepped out all the steps for the stuff on my list, even the seemingly frivolous stuff. Evidence of that is that I'm going to Punxsatawney on Friday to see Groundhog Day on Saturday morning. Also, I'm more than 10% of the way to my goal of going to 100 barre classes this year, and we're not even out of January. I'm just having an easier time prioritizing, even when the things I'm prioritizing are "optional."

Also, I printed out another copy of the Life workbook to do with my kids. I thought it would help us be a team, to close out what we accomplished last year and make some Goals and a list of Things To Do in 2013. They were so intrigued by the idea of assessing what happened last year and then making lists of what we wanted to have happen this year, what we wanted to learn, what we wanted more of and less of in our lives together.

One of the things we decided was that we wanted to take advantage of living so close to Detroit by going in once a month. So we used our day off school yesterday (it was an inservice day for teachers) to go into the city. We planned to tour the Renaissance Center and ride the People Mover and eat lunch downtown. Part of that was going to be going up to the 72nd floor of the Ren Cen to see all of Detroit and Windsor, Canada. But the weather yesterday was crazy foggy, like a big cloud over all the region, so the Ren Cen wasn't going to be so much fun. We called an audible and went to the Detroit Institute of Arts instead, and it was fantastic. The kids loved the hall with the suits of armor (and discussed the logistics of groin protection in suits of armor), we spent a lot of time looking at the Diego Rivera murals, my older one spent a ton of time in the Greek and Roman room, we watched a freaky video about a combustable Rube Goldberg contraption, I saw the excellent photography exhibit of Detroit "then and now," and we pretended we were 18th century French aristocrats up on the third floor. It was an easy, fun trip (although I did get completely lost in Detroit on the way home for a bit), and now the kids know how close we are to Detroit. We're trying to decide what to see in February.

But back to the just-me aspect of the workbook. One of the ideas that we're exploring in the Facebook group is giving ourselves permission to have goals that are outside our usual spheres of influence, and noticing when we hit stuck spots that feel like too much resistance. One of the things I've noticed is that now, if I'm feeling resistance in one area I can flip the page and work on another area until it untangles itself in my mind.

So, my assessment: It's not magic, and it requires solid thought, but there's a real structure there that sets the stage for action. And it's not too late to work on 2013 at all (see my plan to start the Business workbook this week). A bargain at $10. What do you have to lose?

Link to buy and download the workbook(s)

Link to the FB group for people working on the workbook(s).

Links to my Goals and Mottos boards on Pinterest.

If anyone who's been doing the workbooks wants to report in on how it's going for you (like, say, Julie), please do!