Lazy Sunday afternoons are great. Until you start feeling guilty that you aren’t doing anything. But, really, a good sluggish Sunday can be rejuvenating and even fun. I was up at 6:30 so that must count for some level of activity? Right? We did go for a long up upriver this morning (late morning really), so maybe “lazy” isn’t quite accurate. Following my general process of writing something or at least doing something related to writing every single day has been eye-opening. The more you do something, and discover you’re actually pretty good at it (or at least don’t suck at it, as is my case), the more fun it gets and the more time you want to spend on it. Okay, so maybe cleaning the bathroom doesn’t fall into that category, but I wasn’t thinking about odious chores. I was thinking more along the lines of ‘things I like to do or want to do’.
We had a long conversation about process vs. goals on our walk. I’ve talked about this before, but it is so relevant to my life these days that I keep coming back to it. Writing isn’t a goal. It’s a process. Through the process of writing and revising and editing, I will have a completed book. And, it will be good. I have bought into this notion that life improves when you look at a process for getting and staying healthy, getting and staying financially comfortable (however you define that), getting and staying happy (not just content, but happy). Mike just sent me a link to an interview with Nick Saban (winningest college football coach). And he talked about how he impressed on his players that their job is to run the route, know what they’re supposed to be doing each play, and do that. If everybody on the entire team does their job every play, they will win football games. It’s that simple What’s not simple is keeping everyone doing their jobs. Quarterbacks get rattled and step out of the box a few counts before their supposed to, wide receivers think they see a chance to play the hero and miss the catch instead. Saban said his goal isn’t winning football games, it’s making sure that everybody is doing their job and doing it correctly. After that, the game will take care of itself.
Process not goals.
Process means that if you hit a snag or bump in the road, or fall down or whatever, you simply get up, figure out what happened, and keep following your process. Part of the process is learning from your mistakes and failures. What went wrong there? Why? How can I avoid having that happen in the future? Or if unavoidable, how can I mitigate the effects? What makes me happy? What do I need to do to get there? At the very least, what is making me unhappy and how can I eliminate that thorn from my life.
It’s not all going to happen at once, but if you take things one issue at a time, you will be surprised at how success there will generate good feelings and keep you moving through your process towards even greater success in all things. Above all, be sure to acknowledge gratitude for those things or areas in life that are doing just peachy. I can say from experience that expressing gratitude leads to more things to be grateful for. A virtuous circle is created.
One of the ways I’ve managed to make my life happier and less stressed is to stop watching or reading or obsessively following the news. It simply stresses me out and for about 99.999% of it, there’s nothing I can do to change the situation. So, why stress about it. One of the best ways to stop obsessing over the news and/or politics, for me, is to stay off of Facebook. I allow myself 2 days a week to go on to FB. I keep in touch with a number of people I know in real life and with whom I want to stay connected. Twice a week allows me to see what they’re doing, respond, chat, etc. Then bail out until the next FB day. This has reduced my procrastination significantly and lowered my stress levels as well. I can highly recommend it!
So, a lazy Sunday afternoon is not a bad thing. I will read Janice Hardy’s book on writing conflict and continue editing my own book. It’s all part of the process of working at something writing related every day.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!