Monday, July 14, 2008

Mid year review, pt2

I have been reading over my Be-Do-Have lists that I posted in 2008 Outlook: focusing. Be-Do-Have is a concept Christine Kane writes about frequently on her blog but particularly in Resolution Revolution.

The premise of Be-Do-Have is that if you focus first on “being,” as in who are you going to be, and being present as that person then you will discover what you want to do in your heart of hearts. While that does not guarantee it will be easy or issue-free the doing should be in alignment with one’s core values instead of at cross-purposes to them.

Later on, after the being and doing are settled, there is the freedom to explore having because a person who is filled from the inside with who they are and what they want to be doing will chose things to have that harmonize and enhance their life not fill them artificially from the outside in.

Doing a mid-year review can be fraught with frustration though. It’s typical for people who do work at their goals, or intentions, or resolutions to feel they should be doing better at mid-year than a review might reveal they are doing. But is it really as bad as it looks on the surface?

We think that after six months we should have more to show for our efforts and that we should be halfway to our objective; whatever that may be. But is it really a realistic view that the half year should equal halfway to the goal? I am reaching the conclusion that is not how it works and there are a couple of reasons why.

1) Has it really been six months of working on these goals or objectives? Occasionally an individual, a very experienced individual, will have created the lists and the program and be ready to start on January 1st but that person is typically an exception. Even for those ready to start on the first of January there is the post holiday and or travel recovery so the early work is often not very productive.

2) Is progress a straight line or is it dynamic? We tend to think of goal-setting as creating linear benchmarks through the year which we tend to visualize as a timeline. That’s how it’s portrayed in history books, and it is easy to superimpose that image used to illustrate the past as a picture of the future. Progress in reality should more readily resemble a wedge, but it will have undulations where sometimes it reflects moving forward and others it reflects regressing. It takes time and discipline to build a new way of thinking, a new habit, and to have that new thinking and habit create a different life perspective and direction.

So with these in mind I tried to take a balanced look at where I stand with my lists so far. In my quests to BE, I must say that I have found that I can be happy in the midst of some rather chaotic personal storms. That alone is remarkable because my old view was that happiness meant an absence of fear, sadness, or instability. Happiness is not dependent on those things; it can exist in spite of less than optimum external circumstances. But being happy and being present create the foundation which allows all the other BEs I aspire to become possibilities.

As for my DO and HAVE lists, those are moving more slowly and really if the premise is that real change comes from this inside out then being must be well established before it is possible to expand the DOs and HAVEs in a healthy way. Sure, I could fill up my frustration with not having made more progress on my BE list by forcing some DOs or HAVEs but that would be an external bandaid covering up the real problem instead of working the problems of BE-ing.

So how are your goals, resolutions or intentions for your personal growth coming along this year?

Mid year review, pt1

1 comment:

Melissa Donovan said...

This is brilliant! I hadn't thought of looking at my mid-year progress this way, but you're right. Even though we're halfway through the year, that doesn't mean we should be exactly halfway to reaching our objectives. There could be a big spike in productivity during late summer or fall.

Also, I agree. First we must focus on being. The rest will follow :)