Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Getting Back on Track

At work we used to do these things called mid-year performance reviews, or just "midyears". We'd go through a formal process of assessing how we'd done at our jobs for the past six or seven months, compare them to the goals we documented in January and see if we had progressed. Or not. Some people complained that it was busy work but I thought it was a worthwhile process. It made us think about where we were heading and how we were going to get there.

Without further ado, I'm providing my own personal midyear.

From a career perspective I've really changed. I started the year stumbling around, confused, because my old job had been transitioned to someone else and I didn't want to do what the rest of my group was doing (IT, database stuff). We had just finished a round of layoffs and I survived but didn't know what I was going to do next. So I told my boss I wanted to "do communications". He understood what I was talking about. Now I am the designated comm person for my team and recently, like last week, completed two major deliverables for the quarter for a very visible project in IT. Not bad, but more layoffs are looming and I'm still not a shoe-in to stay.

At the beginning of the year I still hadn't lost all the weight from the pregnancy so I enlisted the help of a "health coach" through the Mayo Clinic health program at work. Basically someone kept tabs on me every other week or so to make sure I was meeting my goals. What I learned was that a coach couldn't help me if I couldn't help myself. It was a half-hearted attempt at staying on a diet and exercise program. I'm ashamed to admit that I squandered this opportunity with excuses like, "I'm sick again because of my daughter and daycare". I disappointed myself because even though I managed to lose a few pounds, I still didn't make the most of the healthy advice and coaching I was given. The rest of the year has to be better in terms of a healthy diet and consistent exercise.

I give myself mixed reviews on time management. I wish I could write a schedule, like making up a budget, and stick with it. The problem is the schedule varies from day to day as minute decisions get made. Even dinner choice can throw off a schedule so time management has to be tempered with a dose of flexibility. Some activities prioritize themselves. For example, knitting and blogging know their place because they are non-pressuring. They're happy to have me whenever I can get around to them. But other activities, like exercise, constantly remind me that I'm lagging behind. So time management is a major concern and I need to, ha ha, spend some time to figure this out.

From a family perspective, things are fantastic! Everyone in the house is doing well. If we can survive moving then we're golden for the rest of the year.

So, what's to conclude from this midyear? I'd say to keep doing what I'm good at, workwise. Writing and communications is good for me and good for my team so as long as I keep my head down I'll be OK. But what about exercise, diet and having enough time to do it all? I think I need to make some short term goals about each one; otherwise I'll flounder. Some people can just go with the flow but I'm more focused with a goal or objective in mind.

I can't end my post without a picture so here's one from a few weeks ago. We hiked Echo Summit with some friends who brought along their dog, Doug. Echo Summit is about halfway to Lake Tahoe on Highway 50. Even though it was the end of June we were pleasantly surprised to find some snow along the trail. It made for an interesting detour but you can see that Doug enjoyed the refreshment.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July holiday!


LoriO said...

I totally thought that was a polar bear for a minute. And I'm chuckling at a dog named Doug.

When my job went away, the very next thing to go was exercise. I stopped going to my twice weekly class almost immediatly (but did add a 3.5 mile vigorous dog-walk every day, so it wasn't totally slothful.)

I just read that jumping rope for 10 minutes is like running for 20. Are you any good at jumping rope? And keep some small hand weights under the couch. Knit 10 rows, do ten curls, or something like that.

Gee I'm so full of good advice, I wish I listened to myself.

ruth said...

wow I didn't know about the jumprope thing. If that's the case, I'll give the jumprope a go then. =)