Plans in sand.

Lindsay Recknell Hope, Workplace Mental Health Leave a Comment

September is my favourite time of year. It’s usually still warm during the day but getting cooler for sleeping at night. The leaves start slowly but surely changing color, starting their colorful descent into fall. And the campgrounds empty out, leaving lots of space for us fall campers!

It also kind of feels like New Years Eve.

Without the ball dropping and midnight kissing, of course.

I feel like it’s a chance to start fresh, try something new, but without the pressure of having to make a resolution or grand public statement or something like that.

I usually set my annual goals at this time, the things I’d like to accomplish both professionally and personally. Sometimes my husband and I set them together but mostly I do them for myself, the dreams I have for myself and my family. Dad taught me this back when I was a kid and it’s still one of his best lessons.

There’s that old adage that says “what gets measured gets managed” and I really find that if I spend time writing my goals down, they’re always in the back of my mind as I go through the next 12 months. My favourite part is re-reading goals from past years to see what I accomplished, review how my goals and dreams have changed over the years as well as my varied expectations of myself.

One of my father-in-laws tells me, “plans in sand…goals in concrete.” What he means by this is the idea that you set out your goal and make your plans, realizing that life is bound to get in the way and the plans you set today are totally subject to change. As long as you’re still committed to the goal itself, change the plans to suit circumstances, changing timelines, resources, whatever. Continue to make decisions and revise your plans so they will get you closer to your goal but be okay with the crooked path to the goal.

I love this quote.

Helps me not to get discouraged if my plans change or I have to revise a deadline I’d set for myself. If a decision doesn’t turn out exactly how I’d planned, but still gets me to my concrete goal, this quote helps me remember it’s all okay.

That’s how I spend the first few days of September – setting goals in concrete. It’s a great chance to reflect on all the things I’m thankful for – the opportunities I’ve been given and created, the things I’ve accomplished with the support of my family, my colleagues and my community and most especially the people I get to surround myself with. There’s so much hope for the new “year” at this time and the motivation I feel when setting my goals truly motivates me to get started on these fresh ideas.

It’s a feeling I love and can’t get enough of.

And if I celebrate with a little champagne toast to kick off the new year, so be it! 🙂

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