Our August theme on Wit & Delight is about planting seeds—planning and organizing our lives around values we want to foster, goals we want to meet, and experiences we want to prioritize. In that spirit, I wanted to share a look at my own personal goals for the remainder of 2022.
I hope this post encourages you to take a moment for reflection too. What do you want out of the rest of your year?
I have a renewed kind of energy for the work I’m doing on Wit & Delight these days and want to put more of myself into it. My biggest goal is to dive back into work with the same kind of focus I was able to give before I had kids. What this means for me is showing up every day, focusing on priority projects, and removing excess tasks that aren’t as important.
I know myself and my work objectives a lot better than I used to, and time with our kids is a little more flexible now than it once was. We’re hoping to have an after-school sitter for the kids this fall too so I can once again have a true 9-5 schedule dedicated to working.
To help avoid burnout, I want to continue to plan my days around how my brain operates best. I have learned my ADHD brain isn’t typically satisfied with mild or long-term rewards, like checking continuous tasks off a list or working on a lengthy project. Instead, it seeks out quick dopamine hits, which often come in the form of distractions from the work I need to be doing.
Instead of fighting so hard against this reality, I’ve tried to plan my schedule in ways that still stimulate my brain, building in time for variety and creative tasks throughout my days and weeks. Having an inherently creative job helps because I get those dopamine hits from creative challenges, play, and discovery, which are all a part of my job to some extent.
Ultimately, this shift is about focusing less on things I can’t fully control—less “boiling the ocean”—and more on the simple act of making things, sharing things, and finding moments of humor and delight through it all.
I’m realizing that there is so much out there to enjoy when I can differentiate between what’s actually important to me and what’s not.
Looking back at the past few months of the spending freeze, I’ve learned that I have a tendency to try to find quick fixes for problems. Usually, these fixes come in the form of spending money or packing my calendar, often in instances when neither is necessary. When done in excess, both of these things contribute to burnout in my life.
For me, being intentional with time and money means going slower when it comes to making decisions. It also means knowing that saying yes to a task, activity, or purchase won’t feel mentally heavy when it’s “right” and aligned with my values. As I continue this process, there will hopefully be more time and money spent on things that I truly enjoy. I’m realizing that there is so much out there to enjoy when I can differentiate between what’s actually important to me and what’s not.
All of these goals come with one caveat: In times when I don’t follow through on them, I won’t beat myself up for it. I used to think that if I beat myself up for any given “failure,” I’d feel motivated to do better next time. That kind of mindset would only (unsurprisingly, in retrospect) push me further down into a spiral. As it turns out, it’s so much easier to get back on track when I’m not punishing myself for not being perfect.
BY Kate Arends - August 17, 2022
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.