Monitoring should not be confused with evaluation – these monthly updates are not an assessment of whether or not my annual plan is a success or failure. Monitoring is to check the planned actions are being done, that the immediate effects of these actions are still contributing towards the overall goal and that the actions can be achieved with the planned resources. I’m using these monthly monitoring posts to see if there are any mini-corrections I need to make, such as altering the action/goal or committing more or less resources. I can also see if there is a particular area I need to lean into.
When reporting monitoring on projects I like to use a traffic light system. It’s simple to communicate but also simple to assess. I read a great post from ‘Live Well by Alison’ that describes an approach to healthy eating using a ‘good/sometimes OK’, ‘better’ ‘best’ system. I really like the simplicity and positivity of the system, and the way that it avoids the tendency to strive for perfection.
I’ve decided to use it when monitoring my health and wellbeing habits, so red = ok, yellow = better and green = best. Importantly, ‘best’ is not 100% for the month, but more of a 80/20 rule which is much more achievable and reasonable.
Exercise – Again, this month I’ve been very consistent running twice a week and have managed to extend my distance from 5km to 6km. I’m not so focused on my time at the moment as I’m just trying to run further. I have my mind set on reaching 10km by the end of the year, which is great as my aim for 2021 was just to be able to run 5km.
Diet – Once again, diet is okay but still a bit more takeaway than I’d like because my focus is on other things. I’m not going to beat myself up about it though, and once my other project is done with I’ll have the opportunity to refocus on what I eat.
Flossing – Last month this totally fell off my radar, and this month I’ve managed to re-establish flossing a couple of times a week. Hopefully I can build on this and make it green next month, where I floss more nights than I don’t.
Organisation – My to-do list remain manageable and I’ve dealt with tasks as they’ve come up during the month. I’ve even managed to keep my home environment in some kind of better order than I did last in June, despite the ongoing building work.
Stress induction – Like last month, my job and work on my house means that my plate is full however I’m managing okay.
Stress reduction – I’m still struggling a bit with what success looks like in this category. This month I went for a massage which was great for my back ad posture etc, but isn’t actually that relaxing or stress reducing. I read a great post from The Minimalists Next Door about what self-care means and why we need it. It got me thinking about the fact that this category shouldn’t be a response to something that’s out of balance in my life, and maybe should be things that I enjoy and that fill me up. Getting out into nature is one of those things for me, so my new ‘green’ will be going out twice a month. This month is orange as I did one little walk around our suburb, despite the arctic weather we are currently experiencing!
One other mini-achievement for the year – this was my first month that I had no red categories!
How are your 2021 goals tracking? I’d love to hear how you are going in the comments!