Think about the simplicity of a dog’s life. He’s in command of his own tail. Never does his tail control him – or his schedule.
I had to ask myself an honest question: Do I manage my own schedule or does my schedule manage me?
Oy! Where’s the DISLIKE button? I am not at all happy with my honest answer. I considered lying to myself. I tried to fudge my answer. But, that wasn’t going to accomplish much.
Like millions of others, I set out in January with all the best intentions. I didn’t just make New Year’s Resolutions. I meticulously metered out my daytime responsibilities. I purged unnecessary activities (and a few people) from my life. I prioritized my goals for the year and analyzed what it would take to accomplish them. Then, using all the tools and techniques gained from my Six Sigma and Project Management training, I set a realistic schedule. This dog was waggin’ her tail.
The first few weeks were great! I worked out with a vengeance every morning. Well, almost every morning. I wrote every day. My page count was up and my weight was going down. Even my house was reasonably clean. If you saw my house, you’d know what a big deal that is.
Then bam! It all disappeared like a fart in the wind.
I have no real excuse. I’m not a soccer mom with little tykes to get from school to practice. No midnight feedings and diapers to change in my house. My life is pretty modest. I have a day job, a pretty self-sufficient spouse and a couple fairly well-behaved pets.
So, where did I go wrong?
I didn’t give myself any wiggle room. I left no space in my “realistic schedule” for contingencies. There was no back-up plan. When the day job had a crisis that required me to work oodles of overtime it zapped my writing time and killed my muse. When my knees revolted from too many Insanity-inspired plyometric power jumps, I stopped working out altogether. And, when the flu bug decided to visit, my housework bugged out. Yes, the tail wagged the dog.
The beautiful goal chart I designed to track my awesome progress has tons of empty boxes. The word count is way down and the weight is back up. No gold stars for me.
I decided that it’s time to stop wallowing over progress lost. It’s time to concentrate on the days ahead.
Have you ever seen a dog fuss over the car he didn’t catch yesterday? No! He’s back out there chasing it again today. And, he’ll chase after it again tomorrow with as much vigor and pep as he had the first day. Dogs live in the moment. Dogs wag their own tails. Time for me to get back to wagging my own, instead of letting the tail wag this dog!