Our personal challenge for August was simply for me to get to work earlier. Reading through the article I specifically said “earlier,” but internally, I wanted to get there at 8:00 AM most days. I didn’t state it because I knew it was going to be a tough task but figured that I would get there at 8:00 most days.
Erin was not a part of this since she doesn’t work anymore (outside of the home that is) and she is now a stay at home Mom (lots of work) who happens to be 8 months pregnant at the time. She had more than enough to focus on so I took the opportunity to work on something myself I wanted to improve.
Now, before I get into the results I want to step back for a moment to talk about our personal challenges in general. I’ve debated about whether people are interested in me providing a recap on these personal challenges that we do each month.
Initially, I did recaps but they didn’t seem as popular until we wrote about how we managed to spend less than $300 a month on food for the 2 of us and our 1 year old son. I can understand why that was popular but sometimes we do them and sometimes we just don’t feel as though there is much to say beyond the original post.
I do think it is important to either share what we learned and/or be honest about how it went. We aren’t interested in presenting this perfect façade that whenever we set our mind to something that we always achieve our goals. That is far from the truth as we still feel as though there is so much personal development to occur with each of us (although my wife is perfect – love you honey ;-)) .
So, how did I do? Well, I’d love to say that I performed well and was at the office at 8:00 AM most days but that just wasn’t the case. I did make an adjustment and got in earlier but not once did I get there at 8:00 AM. The earliest might have been 8:10 AM. Now, I did improve my average time by a good amount but I literally did not achieve my internal goal once. Out of 23 working days I failed every day.
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
Well, I can arrive at a series of excuses but I think I just wasn’t focused enough or just didn’t care.
If I didn’t have anything forcing me to be there at 8:00 AM then what was my incentive for being there at 8:00 vs. 8:10? I probably needed to find a bigger ‘why.’ If you think about it, 8:00 is a bit arbitrary but you need to have some sort of point of reference to go by and 8:00 is an industry standard.
Another thought is that I did this challenge on my own. Maybe if we had done it together that would have increased the personal responsibility. I know that has been important in other months and it certainly has been beneficial when working together on our finances. At the end of the day though I am an adult and really shouldn’t need my wife to tell me I need to leave earlier.
My last thought is that by not committing to a specific time in my original post was I self-sabotaging? Maybe if I had stated a time then I would have been held more accountable or it would have given me less leeway to waver. As I’ve written before, sometimes you just have to draw the line. For whatever reason, I just didn’t do it this month.
DON’T LET PERFECT BE THE ENEMY OF GOOD
Now, this month was far from perfect but I do feel good about the fact that I did make a big improvement. If you think about it, this could be a great stepping stone to achieving my goal in the future. Why let my progress stop here?
I’ve been think a lot lately about the idea of failure and how it can be a good thing because it lets you know what doesn’t work. If I pay attention there are things that I can learn from this and work to remedy them in the future.
Overall, this was the weakest month of our personal challenges but there are always new months ahead to keep on improving.