One-Year Plan

#1
In a year it will be October, 2012. I was thinking about this the other day, and how different things could be at that point. And that made me think back to October 2010, and what things about me are different since then, and how things then were different than in 2009. A lot changes over the span of a year!

But it's not a series of sudden changes, it's all gradual, everyday changing me a little bit in one way or another. The best runners don't get there by running hard sporadically throughout the year, they gain a little endurance every time they run, and lose a little every time they don't.

Right now, I'm not the best me I can be, by any means. I'm not going to dwell on this because that's not the point of this, but I want to be the best I can be. And like running, and all good things in life, it doesn't happen over night. In order to do this, I'm making a plan. I'm deciding I want to better myself.

There are two major components that I'll need to do this; action and consistency of action. As I said with the runner, just running isn't enough, she has to do it on a regular basis to be a good runner. The exact action I need to take is not as clear as it with the runner, I'm not even exactly sure what I'm trying to accomplish.

That's okay.

The improvements to myself I hope to make are not quantitative, but qualitative. I'm not looking to accomplish specific things like "talk to a stranger" or "go on a date," at least not as a part of my overall goal. I plan on having "mini-goals" on a regular basis, but only as contributors to improving myself.

You may be wondering what the hell I'm trying to accomplish now, and the significance of one year if I don't have any tangible goals that I hope to accomplish by that time.

The one year first.

This is my hope, my motivator. I see how much a can happen over the span of a year, the gradual shifts over a long period of time. That it's not the few big moments that defines me, but the little things I do day in and day out. It gives the little things meaning.

What little things though, what am I even trying to do?

First and foremost it's about me, and being the me I want to be, the best me I can put out. I have a good idea of who this, and I feel I already hold all the qualities to be him, I just need to bring them out. I would hope other positive things happen as I do this, but this is the main goal.

Is this goal of this "idealized me" actually attainable? No, and the perfectionist in me hates that fact. But I can get damn close.

The next question has to be "How?" Here's the plan.

I do not set this in stone for as I have already stated, things change. Two things I am good at is establishing strategies and making plans for getting what I want and modifying them when necessary. One thing I am not good at is keeping to my plans, hence why I am so good at modifications. That is why the first thing is a weekly schedule.

Every week I will develop a schedule that will allow me to follow through on doing things that are good for me. I am aware that self-control and procrastination are two things that have hurt me in the past, so this scheduling will be very strict. I will mark out a time to shower. A time to eat. A time to do homework. A time to go online. I made one for this week and have been doing my best to follow it. I'm still figuring out how to make it effective, so as time goes on I will hope to make the things included more specific, and presented in a way I'll be able to effectively follow.

What goes on my schedule is the next important thing. My intention is to make everything do-able, within my ability. I'm not going to tell myself to study for 12 straight hours without food or sleep or breaks, I know I can't. No dramatic changes to my lifestyle either, easing into new habits is important so I don't feel overwhelmed. Doing things right is more important than quickly. If I tried to run a 6 minute mile today I'd more likely hurt myself than accomplish the feat.

What specifically the things that fill up my schedule are still uncertain. While I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go, how to get their is fuzzier. I have some things I know will help, and some things I know should be lessened, but the exact specific look of my life is still unwritten. That's why I'm making a weekly schedule instead of a monthly, or yearly. Even my weekly schedule, while it should be followed as closely as it can when it comes to some things, can be changed. Life is unpredictable and I never know what obstacles or opportunities will arise.

This is why it's not set in stone. I don't have all the answers, I don't think any of us do. All I can do is try my best to find the ones that are best for me.

I will try to keep you all updated as go through, what I find works and what doesn't, what I am thinking about trying and my brainstream at the moment may be. Once I figure out how to upload text files to the internet I hope to post my weekly schedule and explain it, how it's different from past weeks and why. Thanks for reading my long post if you made it :)
 

Silatuyok

Well-known member
#2
Sounds great! You should just make this thread your journal of sorts, where you update us each week with how you are doing, and what you are discovering about yourself along the way. I know I'd be interested to hear about it!
 

BiWinning

Well-known member
#3
I made it all the way through :D
Sounds awesome Boltie! And it's great you're attempting this ^^
Man, your brain seems so organised XD
Well, uhm, good luck on figuring out how to upload your schedule :)
 

Phoenixx

Well-known member
#5
This is great, vj! :) I've been kinda setting a plan for myself too. It's definitely no where near as detailed and structured as yours, but mine is more for the start of next year, not really now.

Good luck to you! I'm looking forward to seeing updates.
 

MikeyC

Well-known member
#7
Every week I will develop a schedule that will allow me to follow through on doing things that are good for me. I am aware that self-control and procrastination are two things that have hurt me in the past, so this scheduling will be very strict. I will mark out a time to shower. A time to eat. A time to do homework. A time to go online. I made one for this week and have been doing my best to follow it. I'm still figuring out how to make it effective, so as time goes on I will hope to make the things included more specific, and presented in a way I'll be able to effectively follow.
I tried to follow a schedule a couple of times in my past and they all failed spectacularly. I simply can't do it and I find I dislike having too much of a set routine.

However, I hope this works for you, vj. It's great that you have a specific vision in mind and a realistic time frame to change who you are. You still won't be perfect in October, 2012 - nobody can be "perfect" - but if you're keen to stick to your guns, you will look back to now and realise how much progress you've made. And that will be its own reward.

We all go through subconscious growths throughout our lifetime. I, for one, look back to, say, 2009 and realise I know more now than I did then. I look back to 2003 - the year I graduated high school - and see I've grown a lot, and I mean a lot. You will do the same, and your growths will be highlighted even more because you want to change. You have a goal to be the best person you can be, and that is wonderful. I wish you so much luck in achieving whatever it is you want to achieve.

Keep us all informed of your progress. We'll all be here for moral support if you ever need it!
 
#9
Thanks all, updates will definitely come when I have time.

I tried to follow a schedule a couple of times in my past and they all failed spectacularly. I simply can't do it and I find I dislike having too much of a set routine.
Yeah this is my greatest fear about doing this, but I'm trying a few things to make it work. Writing it down period helps so I can see it and makes it feel more official, like it's not on idea or outline but what needs to be done.

I'm a planner, I'm always trying to figure things out, come up with solutions and things like that. Results in a lot of potential courses of action, I'm usually not able to execute them in the long run due to forgetting what the initial plan was/getting distracted, or by hitting a bump in road and blowing it out of proportion.

So I'm going to have to be constantly reminding myself of what I'm doing and why I am, so it don't forget. Also, that things won't be perfect and if one thing goes wrong it's not the end of the world. If this were an exam, and there was one question I did not know the answer too, I would not give up trying to answer the rest. Also, if something great happens I'll also need to remind myself to stay down to earth, getting one question perfect on an exam doesn't mean I can glide through the rest effortlessly. Basically I need reminders to keep my brain in it and grounded, which I think I can accomplish.
 

MikeyC

Well-known member
#10
Also, that things won't be perfect and if one thing goes wrong it's not the end of the world. If this were an exam, and there was one question I did not know the answer too, I would not give up trying to answer the rest. Also, if something great happens I'll also need to remind myself to stay down to earth, getting one question perfect on an exam doesn't mean I can glide through the rest effortlessly. Basically I need reminders to keep my brain in it and grounded, which I think I can accomplish.
That is an excellent way of looking at it. Well done, vj! I hope everything works out and you can make it happen the way you want to. :D

I'm terrible at routines, but you seem like you'll flourish!
 
#12
Here's a link to my schedule for the last week. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MhK8uWmM2HppbCgzj1T9Rj6K3Gr91Hl8gPyM-smhGFg/edit I think it should work.

Anyone looking at this can see there's not much to it. All that it really consists of is eating, sleeping, classes, schoolwork, and "whatever time." This week I was trying to get in the habit of following a schedule, and not as focused with the events on it.

This was easy to do, considering how far behind in my schoolwork I am, and how much time I had to devote to working on that.

I did a much better job following the schedule at the beginning of the week than the end. I did not follow it to a T, I did not plan to. Specifically I found myself working on my schoolwork at a slower pace than I had hoped. In the future I think I will block off time for schoolwork and prioritize it, rather than giving each assignment a specific time frame. Also give myself more time than needed is also something I will do in the future, as eating took longer than expected often. Finding things to fill in these extra minutes will be important as well, as I don't want them going to unproductive things. I did switch times on the fly as well, but tried to keep the time amounts the same. Like today, I ate 2 hours earlier than planned, but still studied for the same amount I would have. Also if I go over 15 minutes on my free time, I just add 15 minutes to my study time (this week at least).

And a note on my "Whatever Time," this is my free time, and this week not very specific. I spent a majority of it either sleeping, or on the internet. I have distinguished a Chat free-time and a No-chat free time, as chats tend to eat up my time and are harder for me to manage. As I free up more time I hope to fill this time up with a greater variety of activities, sometimes scheduling a specific time to do something, or just having a list available for me to reference and look for things to do.
 
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Feathers

Well-known member
#13
Wow, vj, you are inspiring! :)

I did weekly plans and then didn't keep up in the past, thing is, I needed to make a weekly plan for the whole family basically, and things could change daily.. it'll probably be better now in the winter...

I was wondering if any of you here read GTD (Getting thing done by David Allen) and what you thought about it?
 
#14
My schedule for this week https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mHIX24d5o7ztQal_ha0AhD_mr-4FulMIbVPKx1xeSSs/edit

A quick reflection on last week, overall went okay. It wasn't perfect, about what I expected for the first week, my slightly less effective than I hoped but I'm still working out the kinks.

I find that I am already falling into a healthy sleeping pattern, which is good. At night I'm tired and fall asleep faster and wake up easier in the morning. I have trouble sleeping through the night but I don't really know what to do about that right now.

Mentally at the end of the week I crashed a little, probably due to too much homework. I got everything done I wanted to this weekend but not efficiently or according to my schedule at all.

I've found some ways to making studying more effective throughout the week, one way is doing it without music, as it distracts me more than I thought. The other is reading things outloud to myself, I was never able to do this with a roommate but now that I'm living alone I can take advantage. Doing this really forces me to pay attention.



Okay, now about this week. I found while making my schedule finding things to fill it up with to be a difficulty. "Fortunately" I'm still quite a bit behind in my homework, so my days are still filled much with working on that, not as much as last week. I've also given myself more time to eat, so I don't feel rushed, or as likely to compromise on what I take the time away from.

One thing I've done is made a board, on my wall, for things that I want/need/can do with my time to help me schedule. I have four columns,titled "DAILY", "Regularly (During week, weekly, Bi-Weekly, overtime)", "SHORT-TERM/ONE TIME/RARELY" and "Bored? Random stuff." Right now all the columns are pretty bare, under "Daily" I have Shower, Eat, Homework, stretch, Jobs, and vtrm(specific homework). For regularly there's "shave, Vtrm (online class monday), laundry, and Lyrics. Short-term is empty and bored has just juggling underneath.

I didn't put SPW, Email, Chatrooms, online comics, online games, or youtube on there because those are things I already go to when I am bored, and I'm trying to do less of.

Three thing I added are Jobs, stretch, and lyrics. I've added jobs because I need one, so every day I'll check craigslist for any new listings and apply for them. Stretching is something I want to do to start my day, I like doing it. I think I'll do it after my shower instead of before though, as I am too stiff beforehand to get anything out of it.

The final thing is lyrics. This is something I did in high school that I found helped me in many ways, and will start doing again. It's simple in nature, just copying down lyrics to a notebook I have titled "lyrics." All that's in there now are Fiona Apple songs.

The first thing is it helps my handwriting, which is poor. It requires me to take the time to write neatly and practice. Second, it helps me learn the song lyrics, and look at the structure of the words. This will help my writing a bit, as well as think about the songs a little more than I usually do when just listening. The music is one part, the lyrics are a whole other.

Another part of this is all the words I don't really know the definitions to I'll underline, and then define. I used to put the definitions in the back of the notebook, but I think I'll open a new notebook now. I'll do this for words I recognize and "sort-of" of know the meanings to, but not really. These are actually the most important, as I use them on a regular basis probably without knowing what I'm saying!

That's all I added to the week, I'm going to be looking to add more things, maybe do some research about activities I can do in my free time. When did I get so dull! Oh well, I'll find things. If(when!) I find a job that should eat up some time, but I'll still have a lot of free time and well, doing many different things that are productive and/or entertaining. Time to go, if you look at my schedule you'll see I've gone over 15 minutes making this post :eek:
 

Phoenixx

Well-known member
#15
This schedule is so nice, vj. :) I really need to start motivating myself to do more too. I think I'll get back to making to-do lists again. Towards the end of the summer, I started making to-do lists everyday, just to get myself motivated, prepare for college, try and do something other than sit at the computer. I hate my current lack of motivation and I need to do something about it.

Writing down lyrics in a notebook and practicing vocab and writing that way, never would've thought of doing something like that. Very cool. Glad you're making such progress! Keep it up! :)
 
#16
Writing down lyrics in a notebook and practicing vocab and writing that way, never would've thought of doing something like that. Very cool. Glad you're making such progress! Keep it up! :)
Thanks. To be fair though, I didn't really see the results of this until after I did it years ago. Back then I was obsessed with Fiona Apple (if you think I am now you should have seen me then) and was just moved to write down all the lyrics in a notebook one day. I went real slow because it was important to me and I wanted it to be legible. I also wanted to really understand the lyrics and what she was saying, and looking up words I didn't know was needed to do that. And there were many, as Fiona likes words and uses ones like "Desideratum" and "Adagio." Looking back I see all the positive (unintended) ramification of the actions.

Actually writing down lyrics have been the highlights of my last two days, I feel like I'm doing something productive and love being able to see my neat ("neat") handwriting, I'm definitely going to keep this up!




I've been a little down lately though, ever since I made this weeks schedule. I was trying to think up activities, interests or things I want to do with my time and I had a hard time, and still am. It makes me feel like a very dull an uninteresting person, which arguably I am. I don't so anything and I don't really like anything, that's seems to fit the definition well.

This makes it hard for me to look to the future with much hope, but I'm trying my best to stay positive. I've been having some trouble focusing later in the day, and with motivation that comes and goes. At the moment I'm feeling okay, but I skipped my homework block and have been distracting myself with the internet. I'll find things to do and look forward to and to do with my time, I will.
 

MikeyC

Well-known member
#17
I've been a little down lately though, ever since I made this weeks schedule. I was trying to think up activities, interests or things I want to do with my time and I had a hard time, and still am. It makes me feel like a very dull an uninteresting person, which arguably I am. I don't so anything and I don't really like anything, that's seems to fit the definition well.
Don't give up! You'll be okay. It's definitely difficult to plan activities a week in advance, especially if your mood is likely to change once the day approaches.

Keep at it, though! Pretty soon making a schedule will be easy as pie. :)
 
#18
Don't give up! You'll be okay. It's definitely difficult to plan activities a week in advance, especially if your mood is likely to change once the day approaches.

Keep at it, though! Pretty soon making a schedule will be easy as pie. :)
Thanks, I don't plan on giving up, it's just bumming me out lately. I have no problem making the schedule, it's finding things I like or am interested in to spend my time doing. I just don't want to do anything, it just feels like I'm a really dull boring person. I don't want to force myself to do things I don't enjoy because I want to enjoy them. Might just be a phase, maybe next week I'll think of a million things to do.
 

MikeyC

Well-known member
#19
Thanks, I don't plan on giving up, it's just bumming me out lately. I have no problem making the schedule, it's finding things I like or am interested in to spend my time doing. I just don't want to do anything, it just feels like I'm a really dull boring person. I don't want to force myself to do things I don't enjoy because I want to enjoy them. Might just be a phase, maybe next week I'll think of a million things to do.
It might be a phase, and I hope it actually is. Don't force yourself to like things because you'll probably just resent them even more.

For myself, music will always be enjoyed. It doesn't matter how I'm feeling. I could be on top of the world or as low as you can get before death, music will always be top priority. Maybe you've got some kind of "default" pastime like that? If so, definitely keep that in your schedule regularly. :)
 

Phoenixx

Well-known member
#20
Thanks. To be fair though, I didn't really see the results of this until after I did it years ago. Back then I was obsessed with Fiona Apple (if you think I am now you should have seen me then) and was just moved to write down all the lyrics in a notebook one day. I went real slow because it was important to me and I wanted it to be legible. I also wanted to really understand the lyrics and what she was saying, and looking up words I didn't know was needed to do that. And there were many, as Fiona likes words and uses ones like "Desideratum" and "Adagio." Looking back I see all the positive (unintended) ramification of the actions.

Actually writing down lyrics have been the highlights of my last two days, I feel like I'm doing something productive and love being able to see my neat ("neat") handwriting, I'm definitely going to keep this up!
^ More obsessed with Fiona Apple? I didn't think that was possible! ::p: That's awesome though that it helps you. I think I might actually try that, just to try and expand my vocabulary. It would also be good practice to read more in between the lines with literature, try to find the meanings in things.

I've been a little down lately though, ever since I made this weeks schedule. I was trying to think up activities, interests or things I want to do with my time and I had a hard time, and still am. It makes me feel like a very dull an uninteresting person, which arguably I am. I don't so anything and I don't really like anything, that's seems to fit the definition well.

This makes it hard for me to look to the future with much hope, but I'm trying my best to stay positive. I've been having some trouble focusing later in the day, and with motivation that comes and goes. At the moment I'm feeling okay, but I skipped my homework block and have been distracting myself with the internet. I'll find things to do and look forward to and to do with my time, I will.
^ Hang in there, vj. This schedule is going really well for you, I can see that. You might be having a bit of a slump now, but that's okay. I think that's expected when you try to get yourself more into a routine/schedule and try to get motivated. Give it a couple weeks, you'll probably find tons of things/other interests to get into by then.
 
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