Creating Realistic Goals

I have a bad habit of setting up unrealistic goals for myself. 

There’s nothing wrong with setting goals that stretch you, but be careful to not beat yourself up during the stretching process. 

I am working on a writing project that is definitely stretching me!

The project is helping a phD candidate in an electrical engineering program turn his research into a written dissertation. 

Reading the material and translating the data takes time–which means that setting realistic goals is important. 

I’ve been working on this project less than a week and I’ve already logged in 5 hours. 

Setting realistic goals keeps you and your project collaborators on the same page. 

There’s also no shame in being honest about your limitations and potential time constraints. 

I already know that having this proposal completely finished by Friday (what we agreed upon last Saturday) will not happen. 

I am working diligently to get as much done as possible, but I have also communicated this fact to my employer, the student. 

What I am learning as I begin this journey is that you can never go wrong in planning and goal setting by telling the truth. 

Trouble on Aisle 9

Ever have to make a guess about an item on a shopping list? 

It can be tough….

Sliced olives or whole olives???? The note only says olives!!!!

Shopping for someone else, especially someone you don’t know very well, is tough. I struggle with second guessing and even resort to asking random shoppers for advice.

Excuse me. Can I ask  you a quick question? If you saw olives on the grocery list, (here’s what we’re making)do you think the olives would need to be whole or sliced? 

I’ve been known to call someone 3 times from the grocery store.

This is why I prefer a list that has ALL of the specifics. Buy that kind and this brand and in that color if they have it. The more details I’m given the better. 

If there’s any way I can snap a picture of the item, that’s even better.

Yes, I am the girl in Aisle 9 holding up a picture of the thing you’re looking at on the shelf. Don’t judge me! 

I realize this is a trivial matter. Buying the wrong kind of olives will not result in fatality. The only thing that can go wrong is your recipe is messed up.

But going back to the store….that just stinks, okay? Having to return an item requires a long walk of shame or, even worse, you hear this: 

Well, that’s not what I wanted, but I can just take it back next week. Thanks for trying. 

Thanks for trying sounds like this to me: 

How could you mess this up?!?

This week alone I’ve run to the store 3-5 times to pick up supplies at work.

Now you know the battle I’ve been facing.

Grocery store angst is a real thing.




Practicing Contentment

Part of settling into a new job is organizing your work space. 

When I first started working for Storage Depot, I spent 2 days organizing my office. The work space would simply not do!

Of course, you would never throw things away without asking a supervisor. My boss was very supportive of my reorganization, which was encouraging. 

I don’t have much organized in my new office because I just moved in today. My antsy, get-things-fixed-now nature wants things to speed up.

I’m trying something new though….

It’s called waiting.

Okay, okay waiting is not a new concept, but I’m not one to wait around for long. 

I’ve been so busy with various projects that getting my office situated is the last thing on my mind. Plus, my training involves 5 people, which means I have to work around their schedules.

All of these factors are forcing me to see what’s really important: Getting the work done. 

Moving from a temporary work space to a messy work space has not bothered me. Too much is happening to care!

How does this crazy glimpse into my mind help you?

This whole experience has me thinking that impatience causes us to miss out on good things.

When this room is cleaned…

When this job is finished…

When I get back from vacation…

…then I will be satisfied.  

The only problem with completing one “when” is that the next “when” is right around the corner.

How about being content now? 

Your current situation won’t stay unresolved for long.

Move on! Get happy! 

Maybe there would be greater job satisfaction if more people thought this way. I have no proof to support my theory, but it makes sense to me.




Mission Accomplished

 We did it!!!!
Our garage is cleaned up.
Well, one side of the garage is cleaned up, but this is a noteworthy accomplishment. 

All of us worked together to tackle this monster of a project that’s been hanging over our heads for a year. 

Tomorrow dad and I will go to the dump and to Goodwill and to pick up a new dryer (our friends Chad and Megan are giving us their old one).

I’m calling this weekend a success.

It was long and tiring, but that’s okay. Not every weekend is supposed to be like a beach vacation. 

Sunday Funday!

This Sunday was very busy. I helped my aunt with an organizational project. We’re nowhere close to done, but I’m proud of what we accomplished.

Plus, it was really nice to visit with her and my cousins. Baby Illyana even came over (my cousin’s little girl) and I got some pictures with her.

My weekend was pretty good overall. Not super restful but it reminds me of a verse from an old hymn:

In our joys and in our sorrows,

Days of toil and hours of ease,

Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,

“Christian, love me more than these.”

We all have seasons of busyness and seasons of rest. Both are necessary and both require us to trust the Lord.

What did you do this weekend? Leave me a comment below.

The Art of Effective Planning

I love to create lists and plans, organizing my life into manageable sections of activity. Not to mention that marking things off a to-do list is absolutely empowering.

If you think I’m a bit strange, there have been entire books devoted to planning, organization, and lists. Most experts agree that creating a good plan or list is an art. It’s all about finding what works for you.

This is no joke. I’ve pinpointed several good strategies that have really worked. My overall productivity has increased dramatically as a result.

It’s always a good idea to begin with the ideal conditions in mind. If the weather is perfect, everyone shows up, and you ordered the right amount of food…this is the basis of a good plan. Always plan for the ideal, but be prepared for the unexpected. The worst thing you can do is have no plan if something goes wrong.

Don’t make it harder on yourself—you haven’t even included the people yet.

Not everyone sees the benefit of following your well-crafted, ingenious plan. Not everyone gets the memo or likes what you have lined up. Some people won’t understand what you’re asking them to do no matter how you explain it. Like I said, implementing the execution of a plan is a lot harder than creating it. Be prepared to factor in these obstacles as well.

And who knows? Maybe someone has a better idea of how to get something done. Don’t be a jerk. A good plan can only become better.

This advice has been tested. I used to be horrible about either not planning or freaking out when things didn’t go my way. True balance lies somewhere in the middle. Maybe what I’ve suggested won’t work for you. That’s okay too. Find something that does and go for it.

Here’s what you cannot afford to do any longer: To sit around and wonder why nothing is getting done. 

Question: What strategies have worked best for you when you’re planning something?