How I’m Achieving My Goals

The number 1 way I’m keeping my sanity while actively making progress on my goals:

I’m lowering my standards.

I know, I know. “Lower your standards” is not advice one would typically expect to find in an article about achieving goals, but here I am. Saying it.

Two of my goals are getting my architecture license and living a healthy lifestyle. The actual work of studying, working out, eating healthy food takes huge amounts of time and effort. It isn’t realistic to give each activity the time I’d like to. Add in those days I feel like doing nothing, and reaching any finish line seems impossible.

It’s taken me years, but I’ve realized that temporary sacrifices can and should be made for greater future gain. For example, every workout doesn’t have to be at least 6o minutes, done at the gym, or 4 times a week. Yes, I want to be #thicc, but I want to be licensed more. For the next 3-4 months, as long as I get some movement in my life, I’ll be fine. That means settling for 15-minute Nike Training Club sessions, or a 30-minute yoga video on YouTube is okay!

I burned out after my first two exams because studying was the only thing I did. I thought I had to eliminate everything that wasn’t “the goal” to reach the goal. Granted, that worked for a little while, and I passed those two tests, but what a shitty thing: to feel guilt anytime I did anything other than study.

Recently, I’ve tried to “do it all” in the name of balance. Progress made with this method: minimal. I needed a compromise and here it is. I’ve given myself permission to temporarily lower my standards.

Let’s see how this goes!

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Accountability

I finally found my 2019 theme word!

Accountability

How am I going to get my license? By holding myself accountable and studying.

How am I going to pay off my debt? By holding myself accountable and not spending my money on eating out.

How are my relationships going to flourish? By holding myself accountable and admitting when I’m not putting in enough effort, or I’m burnt out.

It applies to everything, it fosters growth. I’m excited 🙂

Emotional Morning

It’s 8 am and an inspector has already made me cry.

That project I had an on-site meeting for last week is a mess. He basically told me that the drawing I provided was really shitty and he can’t believe my boss signed her name to it.

He also told me it’s not the mechanical engineer’s job to design mechanical systems and layout ductwork. (It is, though.)

Finally, every time he mentioned “the architect” he said “he” before correcting himself to say “or she, you.”

So, I guess everything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.

No more crying for me.

P.S. If I knew for a fact we would never work with this inspector again, I would have been way less polite.

Fears

Some of my biggest fears with work are looking stupid, unqualified, and/or inexperienced. To be fair, sometimes I don’t know things, I’m not licensed, and I’ve only been working for 2.5 years. So… my fears aren’t totally unfounded?

alicia silverstone shrug GIF

But, you know what happens when I center those fears in my brain? I actually come across as stupid, unqualified, and/or inexperienced. That doubt will likely never leave completely, but I am consoled with the knowledge that I’m only getting better at my job as time goes on.

Tomorrow I am meeting a client, her general contractor, and a mechanical engineer on site to discuss a ventilation issue without my boss. I have a basic understanding of mechanical systems, but this project is unique in that it’s a nail salon in a basement, and the fresh air intake location is unclear to say the least. My plan is to be clear about what I do know, ask questions, and look at the whole meeting as a learning opportunity!

Yay new challenges! Wish me luck and confidence 🙂

❤ Severn

2019

This year, I’m letting go of the idea that I can’t work towards multiple large goals at once. It’s a limiting belief, and I’m tired of telling myself that story.

This is the year of action.

I’m pretty amazing.

You know what’s truly amazing? There are times when I feel absolutely no desire to do anything, but I still complete everything on my to do list (typically studying, cooking, working out), and then there are times when I give in to that feeling. Polar opposite behaviors.

When I give in and do nothing, I have convinced myself that [insert task here] is impossible to complete. But why? Obviously that’s not the case. I could fill a book with all the times I’ve sucked it up and gotten shit done. 

There is so much discipline in me, and willpower, but for whatever reason, I sometimes behave as if those muscles have atrophied. No more! 

Today was hella productive. I finished 2.5 projects at work, deposited my paycheck, got my tire fixed (and paid half price for the labor!), studied for the full two hours I planned to, cooked and ate actual food for dinner, prepped lunch for tomorrow, AND still had time for a little Gilmore Girls. 

You know what’s truly amazing? Me.

G’night!

❤ Severn

P.S. Everyday doesn’t have to be like today, but it’s nice when they are. 🙂

What I am willing to give up.

“The most important decision about your goals is not what you’re willing to do to achieve them, but what you are willing to give up.”  


– Dave Ramsey (by way of Beau)

Normally, I would respond to this quote with a list of the “physical” things I’m going to give up. No more Netflix! No Twitter, Instagram, chips, eating out, etc. I’ve learned, though, that while those types of restrictions are effective at first, they never last. My social media use is not significant enough to be blamed for my stagnancy. Netflix is definitely a time-waster, but again, not detrimentally so. 

The problem is ME.

The number one thing I HAVE to be willing to give up to achieve my goals is my limiting beliefs

I’ve made significant progress this year with my mental well-being. Overall, I have less feelings of guilt and anxiety in my daily life but I know that I still struggle with limiting beliefs. 

These annoying thoughts are why I didn’t pass my last architecture exam, why I stopped pursuing my writing career so soon after starting, and why I give in to most of my unhealthy food cravings.

There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks, but the reason my breaks have been so long is deep down, I don’t believe I’m capable of succeeding. I don’t know when or why this idea burrowed its way into my psyche. It’s silly, really. I’ve proven to myself (twice) that I can pass a test, that I have the discipline to work out consistently and make healthy food choices. I don’t exactly have evidence that I’ll “make it” as a freelance writer, but so the fuck what?

I succeed at everything I put actual effort into, so why would this be any different? Answer: It won’t be. 

My approach moving forward is simple: believe in myself

This will look like constantly challenging myself to do what I say I can’t, consciously stopping myself from literally saying the words “I can’t…”, pushing back against the negative thoughts that pop up, and leaning into my fears.

I’ll enlist help, of course. I’ve got a solid, loving support network in my family and partnership, so why not utilize that? (You read that, Beau? You can push me a little when it seems like I’m not pushing myself enough. I won’t get mad 😉 )

Until next time!

❤ Severn

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Featured image source

I’m too ambitious for my own good.

I’m a freaking writer who has stopped writing anywhere that isn’t my journal. That’s better than no writing at all, but just barely!

I have goals, I have dreams, I want to BE a writer, but I’m stuck. Well, maybe I’m not actually stuck, but I feel stuck. I got really excited and dedicated one night, and I signed up for a freelancer website. I started a new blog intended to be my professional writing portfolio. I even got an editing gig to gain a little experience! Granted, I volunteered to do it without pay, and the blogger I’m working with has been busy with her full-time job, so there haven’t been any new posts. Still, though, I made moves.

And then I stopped. 

I’ve realized I’m in a similar place to the one I was in around this time last year–I have too many goals! Thankfully, I’m not in exactly the same place. I’ve passed two of my architecture exams, I managed to move into my own apartment, I’ve paid off a much bigger portion of my debt than I expected to. I’m making progress, but it’s like watching those cartoon races up on the jumbo screen at baseball games. 

Part of me knows that I have to just pick one thing and focus on it–it worked before. But, another part of me is frustrated that that seems to be the only way to accomplish anything. I want to build a writing career, pass my last three architecture exams, become debt-free. I want the body of a goddess and the energy of a six year old. 

I’ll figure out a way to get it all done; I’m good at figuring things out. Really I just wanted to write something again. To publish a post with no pressure to make it perfect, and no intentions of adding it to my portfolio. Building the habit again can only help, right?

Until next time,

❤ Severn

featured image: Getty Images

I’m Out!

I’ve been stuck in my head for the past week or so, but I’m finally out! A combination of reading The Untethered Soul, talking to and sharing my feelings with Beau (after holding them in for no good reason), and getting an extremely good night’s sleep has me feeling on top of the world.

I don’t feel slave to my thoughts or to my experiences. I feel secure, centered. All those things I was worrying about last week–if I should be studying again already, if I give Beau too much space will he decide not to come back, what the hell do I do about not liking my job–all of that seems so… extra.

The reality of life is that you live it and then you die. Sometimes that thought freaks me out, but mostly it makes me want to do things I love and spend time with people important to me. I do NOT want to waste time worrying about shit I can’t control; I do NOT want to waste time on things that don’t matter; and I DO want to spend time figuring out what is important to me, what I want to do with my life, and how I want to make that happen.

I’ve been pretty mentally tame/calm for the past couple months in that I’ve been generally less anxious–I’ve grown a lot. But, this past week was just a reminder that there’s still work to do, and that’s okay! Growth excites me. I’m constantly evolving, and that keeps life interesting. If you don’t share that perspective, if we don’t vibrate on the same or similar frequencies? You can go on an get out of my way.

So, in summary: Go me!

Until next time,

Severn

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!

My weekend was equal parts productive and relaxing. I know they seem like counter-productive activities, but they really balanced each other out and allowed me to keep my sanity. I was starting to have flashbacks of pulling all-nighters in architecture school and decided that’s what I was NOT going to do.

I will admit that I did not gain allll the knowledge, but I made really solid progress, and feel really good about what I do know! Also, I’m not sure if it’s because the weather is changing and Autumn is pushing its way in, but I am in such an invincible mood.

Crisp air makes me feel awake, alive, motivated, excited, and generally happy to be living this blessed life. I get to wear sweaters and fuzzy socks, and cuddling can happen for longer periods of time without the discomfort of sweating. In fact, sweating rarely happens at all unless its intentional, haha.

Yep, Autumn is here, my test is Friday and I don’t feel completely unprepared. Yay life!

Okie, gotta get ready for work. I pray you have a productive week with adequate amounts of sleep and proper sustenance to fuel your days.

Baiiii

-S