Willpower and the Monthly Plan

Sounds evil, doesn’t it?

It’s not evil at all. I listened to Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (also evil-sounding) a few months ago. Besides a lot of talk about children resisting marshmallows and needing enough glucose to make good decisions, several ideas from the book stuck with me.

First off, I adopted the Getting Things Done (GTD) tickler file method at work. My desk hasn’t been messy since. Also, I don’t love the phrase “tickler file.” Let’s go with 43 folders instead.

Second, I took to heart the idea of setting monthly goals and making monthly–rather than daily–plans. Monthly planning allows me to fall off the daily schedule wagon without feeling like I’ve failed completely. It’s important to me to have some sort of goal/time/planning method since I’m balancing my early/weekend shift of screenwriting and my daytime shift at CalArts, and I want to be dazzling at both! Jazz hands!

At the start of each month, I make a monthly goals Google calendar entry that lasts all day throughout the month. A typical goals entry for the month includes: completion of a writing project, weekly goals for running (Couch to 5K) and Pilates, and a goal to stick to some sort of eating plan. (I use Smartsheet in a similar way to keep track of my CalArts work.) This system has worked super well since April when I started. I’ve finished a spec script, and I’m nearly through the rewrite of another pilot. I’ve finished Couch to 5K. Give me a gold star. Now.

I’ve only marginally stuck to my eating plan–the first thing to go when I get overloaded. Also lime popsicles, nacho cheese chips, and gelato. Is there an eating plan that features those three things? Also! I need the glucose to do the other stuff.

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