Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer Goals and Changing Contexts

If you know me, you know that all of my activities emanate from my personal mission statement, which is grounded in seven areas of focus in my life. Each area of focus, or context, has 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year goals associated with it. I review each of the goals, the contexts, and the mission statement every year around Rosh Hashana. My planning and living method is a hybrid of my first love, Stephen Covey, and now David Allen. I am, in short, one of those people who takes living productively seriously.

So while I have a whole series of goals and activities that I will be working on during the summer break from school, two that are uppermost on my mind are: reading all of Judith Butler and running 25 miles in a week.

Judith Butler should be no surprise. I’m going on to get my PhD in Women’s Studies and she is one of the preeminent theorists in women’s studies. During each of the seminar papers that I wrote for my MFA at some point I had a crisis of wondering how to position my work in relationship to Judith Butler. So part of reading all of her work and really understanding it is to avoid that crisis in the future.

The second goal is odder. I am no athlete. I have been exercising a minimum of thirty minutes each day though and recently I’ve discovered the efficiency of running to satisfy the exercise commitment. Right now, I’m running about three miles in forty minutes. I want to ramp that up so that I can run five miles in an hour and do that five days of a week. We’ll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, I am realizing that my contexts are changing. I think of contexts more with people as the orientation to them than other definitions. Contexts to me are a combination of roles that I play in life and environments in which I do my work. mine are changing because being back in school, I am organizing my thinking and my work to a new profession. So one of my tasks over the next week or so is to review my contexts, my areas of focus, and reorganize them. This will result in a variety of changes into my personal management system for living. I’ll change my email box organization, my calendar coding, my overall master task list and workplans. That will be the easy computer work though. First I have to do the thinking work that gives me a foundation with a vision for my new life and ensures the time and attention to accomplishing things in my current life.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep running in the mornings and reading Judith Butler. Changing contexts are important, but so is marking everything off of today’s task list!

No comments: