I failed my goal for October.
For years, failure has been my greatest fear, so to admit to you that I did not succeed in reading two books last month is not easy for me. A few years ago, I probably would’ve just lied and written this post about how satisfying it was to improve myself by reaching my goal. Instead, I’m writing a post about why failure is ok and how I learned more about improving myself from not succeeding this past month.
This October, I learned that reading is not my top priority and it doesn’t have to be. Why should I force myself to prioritize something that just doesn’t bring me as much joy as other activities? I spent so much time crocheting last month, and I probably finished more projects in one month than I ever have. I felt so inspired by patterns and yarns that I found that I hardly wanted to snuff out that spark and do something that I was less excited about instead.
I realized that my intentions for this series were pretty narrow-minded. I had envisioned writing a success story every month to bolster myself and others, and I had given literally no thought to what might happen if I didn’t achieve one of my goals. It’s kind of funny! And it’s certainly telling of my fear of failure.
When I told one of my coworkers that I hadn’t reached my reading goal, she said, “Well, it’s a work in progress.” (Thanks, Hannah!) If you could have seen inside my head at that moment, it would have been that “mind blown” gif with the fireworks going off. DUH, a work in progress! Something I’m working at, not something I’m adopting for a month and then probably abandoning as soon as there’s no public risk attached to it anymore.
I did finish one book last month, which is more than I can say for the past 6 months or so. So I did make some of the improvement that I had originally intended, but I’m so glad that things turned out this way instead. This series is not about checking off an item on a list, it’s about really exploring myself and ways that I think I could improve. When I choose an actionable goal for the month, I need to realize that its effects may have ripples that aren’t necessarily attached to the action itself–and that is wonderful!
I do want reading to be a bigger part of my life, but I need to realize that this time of year is probably not the right time. Since I only crochet for part of the year and that is something that I love more than pretty much anything else I do, I can’t expect something else to compete with it. I always get more reading done in the four days I spend at the beach in August than I do in several months, so maybe I’ll revisit this later in 2019. Until then, I’ll read as much as I please and not feel guilty about how slowly I’m moving through the books on my shelf.
My Goal for November 2018
This new perspective on what a work in progress really is in mind, I want to focus on gratitude this November. November is the month of Thanksgiving, and if I’m perfectly honest, I don’t make it part of my mindset enough. If I spend all of December thinking about kindness and family and tradition in preparation for Christmas, why can’t I spend November trying to be more grateful?
I bought a gratitude journal to serve as a guiding tool through the month, but I’m not going to say that I’ll write in it every day and try to create 30 days of forced routine. I want gratitude to be my mindset for November. What this will bring I don’t know, but I am so excited to see how this month goes. Perhaps it will teach me more than I expect to learn, just like October did! I’ll tell you how I did on the first Wednesday in December, so stay tuned.