I have a confession: I am a bit obsessed with goal setting. I get so excited about the first of the month not simply because it’s pay day, but because a new month means a new set of goals.
My goals keep me motivated. It’s because of my goals that I’m able to get up at 4 a.m. every weekday to work on my writing, my blog, and my business before I head out to teach. It’s because of my goals that I’m able to exercise every evening, even after a long day of lecturing.
Despite my drive and determination, however, I don’t always accomplish all of my goals every month. August was such a month. I didn’t accomplish ANY of my August goals. NOT. A. SINGLE. ONE.
So what do I do when I don’t accomplish my goals for the month?
I have a coffee mug that reads “Teacher by day, Blogger by night” and that’s a pretty accurate description of who I am and what I do. By day I teach English at a local school for kids gifted in the arts and sciences. By night I blog about writing, wellness, and women’s empowerment, I run See Jane Write, and I freelance for a number of local and national media outlets.
For years I worked to keep these two worlds of mine — writer and teacher — separate. I never talked about my blog at work and since I often shared my blog posts via social media, I never accepted Facebook friend requests from students and I kept my Twitter account locked so I could control who followed me. But then one day a student came up to my desk and said to me the words I never wanted to hear: “Mrs. Bowser, you know I read your blog.”
I wanted to hide under my desk.
You know you need to schedule a photo shoot. On more than one occasion you’ve been asked for a headshot and you’ve had to send an embarrassing selfie instead of a professional portrait. The Welcome, About, and FAQ pages of your website all have stock photos or no images at all. And you don’t even have a picture of yourself in the sidebar of your blog!
You know need to schedule a photo shoot, but you just can’t build the courage to do so. Trust me, I understand. (more…)
I had no idea I’d lost 20 pounds.
My pants were easier to button, my dresses easier to zip. But since I usually only step on a scale when a medical professional forces me to do so, I had no idea I’d lost 20 pounds.
Then I went to a wellness screening mandated by my health insurance provider, stepped on the scale, looked down and saw a number 20 pounds less than the number I saw the last time I’d weighed myself.
“Your scale is broken,” I declared to the nice nurse practitioner filling out my paperwork. She just laughed and assured me it was not. I didn’t believe her. When I got home I weighed myself again and those 20 pounds were still nowhere to be found. “Maybe my scale is broken, too,” I thought.
Last week my fellow teachers and I returned to work after a two and a half month summer break and that’s when I realized those scales must have been right.
“Oh my gosh! Javacia, you look great!” one co-worker exclaimed. “Wow! You got so skinny!” said another. “Girl, what did you do?” a colleague asked.
Good question. What did I do? And how can I use the same principles I used to lose weight to help me with my writing and blogging goals?
I’ve realized that there are four things that helped me lose weight: mindset, movement, motivation, and momentum.
During my first year of teaching, my classroom looked as if it belonged to a 40-something-year-old white man. Why? Because before I was hired it did belong to a 40-something-year-old white man and when his classroom became my classroom I didn’t bother to change anything.