I was really excited to start October. I love fall, and I find something so inspiring about the color-changing trees this time of year. The Jewish holidays are over, and that means consistency with my schedule because my kids are actually in school, and I don’t have any big meals to cook or structures to build in my backyard. And it’s the start of Q4, and, as a planner, I LOVE new beginnings and a chance to delve into a new set of goals.
And then Israel was attacked.
And then I was sicker than I remember ever being in my life.
And then it was the last full week of October, and I had made virtually no progress on my October goals, and I still wasn’t great physically, and my heart was still consumed with Israel mentally and emotionally.
And the tasks from one day just rolled over to the next. And my goals from one week just added onto the goals for the next week. And the projects that I had intended to focus on for an entire month hadn’t been touched. And that is overwhelming.
I set those goals in September with the best intentions.
But the fact is, we do the best we can with what we have, whether it be resources or bandwidth or knowledge…but “what we have” can change any minute for any reason, both good and bad.
We may come into some money and have more financial resources. We may read a book that changes our thinking on something. We may have an unexpected gift of time. And so “what we have” grows.
Alternatively, we may get sick and not be able to physically function. Someone we love may need us, and that changes our bandwidth elsewhere. We may have an unexpected schedule change that means we no longer have the time we thought. And so “what we have” lessens.
And in those cases, it’s essential to lean into our values and priorities and regroup,
The world is a different place right now than it was a month ago when I created that plan.
It does not serve me to stubbornly hold onto the plan that I set a month ago and think that I can, magically, get everything meant for 31 days done in a week. That leads to frustration and guilt and shame and disappointment.
It does not serve me to sacrifice my well-being and punish myself in order to counter the last few weeks. That leads to my never getting healthy and becoming a super grumpy person.
It does not serve me to forget about what is most important to me in this world in order to make the time to consistently post on social media. That just isn’t authentic to who I am.
So I adjust.
My kids and their well-being is my number one priority in this world. After that, I prioritize my personal health (physical and mental) as well as the impactful work I am honored to do.
My values include curiosity, excellence, passion, and authenticity.
There is still a week left of October. And two months left in Q4.
So I use my priorities and my values as guides to readjust.
What is the reality of today? Where am I in terms of resources, bandwidth, and knowledge to move forward? What needs to be a priority because other people are counting on me? What does excellence look like when some days I don’t feel good enough to even get out of bed? What does authenticity look like right now? What is most for me to accomplish today/this week/this month?
I know that I am doing the best that I can with what I have, knowing that there is always tomorrow (and a new quarter starting soon) and a new opportunity for a fresh start.