Despite my best intentions, I never quite got a grip on Planuary.
At the end of December, I really thought that I would be able to take my time throughout January and slowly build a plan for my year. Alas, life got in the way and I ended up taking January pretty much day by day.
That was ok, especially since it was the only possible way for me to proceed at that point.
Basically, I spent January puttering along in all areas of my life.
On the well-being side of things, I did yoga when it felt right, meditated when it felt right, took walks, did some stretches, and, last week, I did some rowing. Those things were all pretty good and I am happy about trusting myself to do what I needed to do on any given day but it did feel a bit aimless.
I’m not judging myself there, aimless worked for me this month but, of course, being aimless didn’t give me the cumulative-work-toward-a-goal feeling that I was looking for.
I really wanted January to feel like I was solving a puzzle, like I was figuring out what I wanted to do and creating a plan for doing it. Instead, metaphorically, I gathered a bunch of jigsaw puzzle pieces, sorted a few of them and then went on to a logic puzzle before dropping that in favour of a riddle. All of those are good things, all of them are useful and enjoyable, but they didn’t come to any sort of satisfactory conclusion.
So, here I am at the end of January without a plan for the rest of my year.
And I know that I still can’t wrap my brain around ‘things I want to do in 2023.’
I also know that I don’t want to just keep wandering aimlessly.
So, I’m picking a middle ground and looking at February as a self-contained unit in which I can work on things that will add up throughout that month but that may not extend into March and may not even be part of a bigger project.
Sidenote: In my current approach, March doesn’t even exist yet so I can’t possibly plan fitness things to do in a possibly fictional month.
A month is really tangible for my ADHD brain, I can see how things might play out in that period of time and, barring a catastrophe, I usually have a good sense of what is coming up for me in the next month. A year, on the other hand, feels like forever and like no time, all at once and my brain gets lost in the simultaneous limits and possibilities.
So, while I usually have a good sense of things I want to have in my life in ‘the future’, I struggle to scale things and plan them out over a year. I end up either creating a plan that is too rigid or too flexible and I end up spending waaaaaaay too much time recalibrating.
(In retrospect, I guess I have always thought that this issue was one of imprecise planning (hence the Planuary plan) but now I’m wondering how much time-perception factors in.)
So, instead of thinking of something I want from this year and then breaking that down into monthly pieces, I am approaching this year from the opposite direction.
I’m going to choose some appealing activities to work on during February and I’ll keep track of how much I do and how I feel about them.
Once March feels a little less fictional (I mean, assuming it ever does 😉 ), I’ll see if I want to keep going with those activities or if I want to move on to something else.
Right now, my thinking is going a bit like this, “I want to meditate regularly so, for February, I’m going to follow the program in the journal I got for Christmas.” “I want to go on longer walks so, for February, I am going to take a slightly longer route.” “I want more hip flexibility so, for February, I am going to do a hip exercise before bed.”
I’m not trying to work up to a certain level. I’m not trying to accumulate a certain number of steps, a certain number of meditation minutes or days, I’m not trying to be able to measure up to a certain level of hip-flexibility. I am not considering this the groundwork for doing the next stage of anything.
I am taking February as a self-contained, measurable, tangible period of time in which to try some specific things. I don’t have to wonder about the next steps. I don’t have to think about how those things fit into the greater context of my year. I just have to focus on February and trust that what I need in March will become apparent as time goes on.
Again, assuming that March actually becomes real at some point. 😉