Over the long weekend I was trying to squeeze in time to ponder my larger goals in the shift from the first to the second quarter. In all the rush I was struggling to pin down the things that mattered most (something I’ve had an issue with in general since taking on so many goals at the start of the year) but I did have a moment of clarity in which I made up a little postcard-sized kind of vision-board cheat-sheet – my top five wants in life or rather five things I will have to really FOCUS on and fight for if I want them. I figured that even on my disorganised days it would help with motivation to see these goals and their related images around me, so I printed off several copies and put them in different places around the flat, in journals, next to the bed, etc. The goals are:
1) Lose weight
2) Have a music career
3) A house
4) A car
5) Be able to work full-time again.
Goals 3 and 4 are basically money-related – there are lots of things I would like money for besides this but these are the two we talk about most at home. The top two goals are the ones I’m endlessly talking about here and probably get the most of my attention – they’re the ones my lifestyle is hung on at the moment.
Today I wanted to talk about goal 5. It might seem a contradiction given goal 2 but the idea behind the goal is just to get to the point where I would be confident that I could cope with working full-time again, not a commitment to actually taking a full-time job. I’m not sure I want to do that yet but I am sure that I want to have the option available, in case the ideal job happens to appear. Financially, it would appear to be a quicker route than goal number 2 to increasing our household income by a significant percentage, which is going to be important over the next 2-5 years as we save for Goal number 3. Also, I think, from a self-esteem perspective, it would be nice to feel able to cope with the extra hours at work and also would mean I had more chance of getting a job I could potentially find really interesting. 4-day jobs are hard to come by! When I left my old full-time job it was because I wanted to spend more time doing music and it’s not at all the case that I want to give that up and go back to working full time, I have every intention of pursuing music with all the time and energy I have available. But I guess part of me has wondered whether I gave up working full-time because I just couldn’t hack it, I had severe anxiety in my last months of working there and other stresses and things to focus on. I would like to think that I can work my way back to being strong enough, emotionally and psychologically, to go back to work full time without having a nervous breakdown. A lot of that depends on the job itself of course, and the rest is down to attitude, coping strategies, and lifestyle management – things I’ve been gradually improving over the past 6 months.
So to start me off, here’s just a little list of things I think I will need to do in order to consider myself ready to make space in my life for a full-time job:
- Lose weight (hello goal number 1!) once and for all. Extra weight carries extra stress, both in terms of physical tiredness and confidence, feeling self-conscious, and admittedly the problem of dealing with other people’s expectations and assumptions. If I had the job of my dreams I would want to have the work wardrobe of my dreams too 😉 Having the extra day off allows me more rest than I would get otherwise.
- Maintain goal weight for a significant amount of time. If I can lose weight while working 4 days, I’m sure I can maintain and work 5 – but I wouldn’t want to risk going back to old habits in reaction to new stresses and the stress of change in general.
- Find and maintain a regular exercise schedule that works for me. I am much better at work if I’ve had a workout beforehand and to do that five days a week would take plenty of organisation and motivation but I’m almost there with four days so I think this is doable.
- Normalise my sleep schedule. Don’t want to spend my precious weekends sleeping!
- Be able to deal with any kind of stress without resorting to destructive behaviours.
- Be able to get on with practically any kind of person.
- Be able to take constructive criticism without having to spend a week recovering from it!
- Be able to see the good in each situation as much as the bad/worrying.
- Be able to market myself based on my linguistic skills – there are certain things I need to do here with my Japanese, French and possibly Germany in particular.
- Get part-qualified in ACCA at least, if not further.
- Get to a point with music that I can maintain the development of that as a side-line as well as work. Naturally the more time spent the better, and the learning always continues, but this year is going to be crucial in meeting certain milestones from which I hope I can jump into proper gigging and song sales. This breaks down into:
- Working on my vocal and instrumental techniques so I get to the stage where I can sing and play the ways I want to be able to.
- Learn enough songs to have plenty to choose from (100? Ideally)
- Write enough songs for the third album, get it recorded and mastered so it’s something I can be completely proud of.
If I can get to that stage then theoretically I could be gigging, practicing and writing around work more easily if I had to.
So… some things to work on then…