Last week I celebrated one year of sobriety. As I committed to, I not only attended an AA meeting and collected my one year token, but I also publicly “outed” myself on Facebook. It was an extremely difficult thing to do – mostly because once it’s out there, there’s really no going back. I think it took me about 45 minutes to construct the post (which was fairly short) and then another 15 minutes of hemming and hawing before I actually hit the button and sent it out into the cyber-sphere. And then I waited…
I’m not sure why I was so surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response. I mean, I have great friends. I don’t tend to hang out with assholes. But the sheer force of the messages rolling in, all loving, all supportive, really bowled me over. I admit, I cringed a little when I heard from some of my extended family, and I had one acquaintance throw out a slightly patronizing “good for you!” but without a doubt, I absolutely have no regrets about my decision to come clean (pun totally intended). So now the cat’s out of the bag and I feel, for the first time, as if all the different pieces of me are in sync. I can be myself, fully, without partitioning off the “work” me or the “mom” me or the “wife” me. I’m just me… In all my successes and failures. And that feels so amazing.
So now what?
Last December, I created a list of goals for 2017. Since I come from the corporate world of performance evaluations, now seems like a great time for a mid-year review of my progress towards those goals, dontcha think?
My Super-Hero SMART Goals for 2017 (Super Hero Goals, 12.9.16)
- Build upon my existing meditation practice in order to maintain 6 days of practice out of 7 days in a week, with a minimum of 15 minutes per day, increasing to 30 minutes per day by June, 2017.
I’ve got some work to do on this one. I probably hit four out of seven days consistently, and usually for 15 minutes. I’m not ready to throw in the towel on this goal, however. I’d like to see if I can recommit myself and make some progress over the next six months. Based on everything I’ve read and heard (and experienced for myself) meditation is way too valuable not to continue to work on.
- Ensure a minimum of 7.5 hours of sleep per night while increasing weekly average to 8 hours of sleep per night by June 2017.
I know I’ve made progress towards this, just based on how I feel, but to be sure, I checked my Garmin Vivoactive sleep tracker. Over the past 6 weeks, I’ve averaged between seven hours and forty-five minutes and eight and a half hours of sleep per night, each week. So I call this one good. From here on out, I will maintain this.
- Incorporate a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio, 3 times a week by March, 2017, building to 5 times a week by June 2017.
This is a goal I’ve done well on. I do at least 30 minutes of cardio at minimum five times a week, usually six. I’ve made the gym part of my normal routine during the week, devoting at least 45 minutes to cardio and another 30 to strength training, in addition to bike riding and walking the dogs a couple of times a week. This is another goal I feel I’ve accomplished and will continue to maintain.
- Minimum of 30 minutes of yoga once a week, beginning when I quit my job, increasing to twice a week minimum by June 2017.
I am not quite there with this one – I do a weekly beginner’s class at the gym which I hit 90% of the time (schedule permitting). For a while, I was doing yoga every morning at home but I kind of fell out of that practice. I’ll stick with once per week for now. As I continue to get stronger, I will try to incorporate another (intermediate) class into my routine.
- Continue to abstain from alcohol and cigarettes.
- Maintain “vegan-ish” diet while continuing to cut out processed foods with a target of 90% or more whole foods.
I’m doing pretty well with this one. I continue to struggle a bit with cheese and will occasionally incorporate eggs into my diet but overall, my diet is pretty good. Combined with the regular exercise and no booze, I’ve managed to lost about ten pounds since April.
- Take at least one class or read one book per quarter to learn something new – completing master’s coursework counts!
I completed my Master’s in April and have read several books (many of which I’ve reviewed on this blog). This is a great way continue to grow and I plan to continue this activity, including book reviews when it makes sense.
- Make at least 5 new business conducts per quarter
This is where I’ve not done a great job and I really need to recommit myself. I’ve made a few business contacts, one with pretty successful results – I’m partnering with another consultant on a program in a few weeks. But I have not done a great job of marketing my business, which means my business is still somewhat theoretical at this point. I need to do some work here. Interestingly, this is something I was just discussing with someone – how hard it is for me to put myself out there in this way. Clearly, I need to step up.
All in all, I feel pretty good with my mid-year review. I’ve made some solid progress towards many of my goals and I’ve identified areas where I need to refocus my efforts. Every single goal is still relevant today and reviewing them is a great way to keep myself on track. Recently, I read (or heard) that the difference between goals and dreams is that goals are something you work towards while dreams are something you wish for. That’s why setting goals (with specific targets) and reviewing them on occasion is so important.
For the remainder of this year, I’ll double down on my efforts – maintaining the goals I’ve been able to meet and concentrating on the areas where I need some improvement. I’ll do a year-end review sometime in December. For now, though, I feel great about my progress.