Last year I wrote about the importance of revising your contracts at the start of the New Year so you can make sure that it reflects your current relationship parameters and hard/soft limits. I’m still a single submissive, and (for the time being) I’m enjoying this journey of self-discovery and self-improvement. One thing that single submissives must always remember is that the time that we spend by ourselves is just as important as the time spent with Dominants and Masters. They will appreciate that we are constantly seeking to improve ourselves, even without guidance; having goals will help to keep you on track.
The most important thing about goals is that you have to balance desires (“I want to lose weight”) with reality (“I only have time to go to the gym X times per week even though I should be going Y times per week”). Does this mean you have to hedge your bets, so to speak? Not at all. In fact, I enjoy pushing myself with my goals. However, I like to set my goals up in such a way that I’m excited to start working on them. I started working on my goals in December 2014, and by the time January came around, I was ready to go. If you have a goal that will require some unpleasant work (quitting a vice, for example) then you need to psych yourself up well in advance so that you don’t get bogged down. You have to want it to work, or else it won’t work at all.
This year I’ve done myself very proud by creating my best goals yet. They’re so organized that I have them listed under three sub-categories (no pun intended…): Personal, Professional, and Fitness. I’ll share a few of my goals with you now and then keep you informed of my progress throughout the year.
As always, I struggle with free time. I rarely have down time. I need to figure this out. I’ll start small, with setting aside 30 minutes each day for writing, reading, or doing something I enjoy. I’m moving my personal blog to a hosted site (Yay!) and I want to grow my followers, schedule interviews with a variety of people and attend events that will provide material to write about. And above all, I need to take time to appreciate everything around me. Smell the roses.
I really want do more writing for my business website. I’m establishing a blogging schedule, and will create posts done well-enough in advance to ensure that I have a little cushion when things get busy. In addition to blogging, I need to finish writing a book I’ve been working on about the work I do, submit it to my agent, and (hopefully) get published by a major publisher. If these things happen, I’ll need to develop ancillary goals to support those efforts.
I had fun with this one. I love running but as I’ve been growing my business and dealing with life, running is the first thing that falls by the wayside. I used to be a big treadmill runner, but I’m trying to transition to outdoor running so I created goals to keep me motivated to run outside. January and part of February will be spent training and getting back to my 30-min 5k shape. Then each month, starting mid-February, I identified 5k events to register for, with three (yes, three…this might be a stretch) half-marathons planned in May, August and November. The closest thing to subspace for me is the feeling I get when I run, so I’m aiming to recapture that natural high with these goals. Since each race has a fee, paying for the events is a great way to ensure that I actually go through with it. Not only that, but running in two Rock and Roll Marathon events will earn me a special medal…and you know how we submissives love our rewards….
Many of these general goals have benchmarks built-in so I can chart my progress as I go. Creating benchmarks is the key to success. The loftier the goal, the more important it is to have it broken down into manageable pieces. That way, you’ll see progress and have the satisfaction of being able to cross something off your list. For example, to produce a book that can be sent to my agent, I need to first craft and perfect the first four chapters. That means having a daily writing goal, a timeline for revision, and a deadline for submission. Waiting until the book is written means seeing a looming target and not feeling any sense of accomplishment.
When it comes to crafting your own goals, think about long-term (year-long) and short-term (monthly) goals. If you want to lose weight, then identify your total weight loss goal as your end of year goal. “By the end of the year I want to weigh X pounds, which means I need to lose Y pounds.” There, you have a long-term goal. The next step is to set up incremental monthly goals, which will help you track your progress. “In order to lose Y pounds by the end of the year, I need to lose Z pounds per month.” Believe me, this helps a lot. Instead of going cold turkey with a goal (i.e. “I want to stop eating chocolate daily”), try reducing your intake incrementally until you reach the end result: “I will only eat chocolate three times per week, and only if I work out on those days.”
It’s also important to note that you might need additional goals, or you might need to revise your goals, throughout the year. Your goals are not set in stone. In my case, if I get sick I won’t be able to run until I’ve recovered. This might impact training for a race, which means I will need to make a change. If I meet a goal ahead of schedule, I might add to it and push myself to do more. If I’m falling behind, a new schedule might need to be created. The most important thing is that you don’t want to set yourself up to fail. If that means tweaking a goal so that you’ll eventually be able to meet it, then so be it. Better to tweak it and get it done than not do it at all.
Setting goals is a great way to improve your lifestyle, whether you’re a single submissive or in a relationship. Either way, you’ll be proud of your accomplishments and you’ll have a fantastic 2015!