Getting Focused

Have you ever found yourself faced with so many options that you just didn't know how to choose? That is how I have been experiencing personal development lately, and I don’t mind telling you that it has been a struggle.

When I first began to focus on self improvement last year it was easy to see the areas of my life that needed the most work. Giving up drinking, saying goodbye to cigarettes, and improving my employment situation were all clear goals that I could knock down one at a time, and so I did. Ten months later I am a sober non-smoker working in an industry I feel good about at a company where there is a ton of room for me to grow. It was a lot of hard work to get here from where I was even a short year ago, but the path I took was relatively straightforward and my priorities somewhat easy to set.

Things are a bit trickier now.

I have begun working on an IDP (individual development plan) at work, plotting out where I want my career to go and what steps I need to take to get there. There are so many things I want to learn that I find myself struggling to focus my energy on the ones that will help me push forward in my career while simultaneously continuing to develop myself as a person. In short, I need to choose the goals I will focus on now and which should wait for the future. So far this is my intention for the next year or so:

School will be my biggest area of focus over the next year and a half (I start my first class tomorrow!). My degree plan includes two classes per term over the next four terms (including Summer 2015), with studies in communications, marketing, management, and workplace safety & health. I plan to finish in December of next year.

Wellness is of equal importance to working on my degree. Specifically, I need to bring my sleep schedule back on track (this is an area of struggle for me, and a topic for another post), and continue to make eating well and exercise/active transportation a priority.

Staying social becomes more important as winter approaches. The less light there is outside, the less light there is inside for me, and I struggle to stay positive and willing to interact with others during winter’s short, cold days. It is far too easy for me to play the hermit over the chilly months, which leads to nothing but anxiety and loneliness, even for someone as introverted as I am. To combat this tendency I have joined a bowling league starting this fall (because bowling = awesome) and begun playing board/card games that are best enjoyed with others.

This blog has become a wonderful way for me to document my progress as I continue to “level up” in life. I have been blogging for about twelve years now in one form or another and it is not only dear to my heart, but a great way to develop my voice and practice writing. There are so many things I want to do with this space, including moving back to Wordpress and spending some time learning to design my own layout, but those tasks are probably best left until after I finish my degree. For now I will focus on creating content and maintaining a regular posting schedule.

There are so many more areas that I would like to become skilled in and no way to focus on them all at once. However, as Jackson likes to remind me, I am young and before I know it I will be finished my degree and on to learning the next thing. For now I need to stay in the present, tackle the tasks at hand, and trust that I am taking the right steps to guide my life in the direction I want it to go.