The longer I continue down this path of self-acceptance, understanding, and incorporating diapers into my life the more I see the relevancy of making goals or mapping out where I am heading. To quote Alice’s exchange with the Cheshire Cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
I often felt as the Cat had explained. I wasn’t really sure where I was going, but I was fairly certain that I would get there if I kept walking long enough.
While brute determination/force is a great attribute, it is not the answer. We can pick a direction and begin moving, but without purpose and some markers along the way we are sure to deviate and lose our way. Even our perception of heading in a single direction without landmarks and guidance will lead us in circles. (Seriously, without aid humans just walk in circles.)
We then must adopt a methodology or approach to how we wish to improve ourselves. While there are many, many tools available to accomplish this might I recommend SMART goals.
SMART goals are often used in performance management within corporations. Annual goals are set within the following parameters to assist in completion and evaluation of the proposed goals:
- Specific – Specificity helps us dial in on something granular. Removing cloudiness or vagueness from a goal will help us stay dialed in on how to accomplish a desired result.
- Measurable – I find this one hard with come goals that are people-centric because they often have qualitative aspects to them. Example: Leave customers satisfied or happy (quantify satisfaction or happiness in a way that crosses everybody). These goals are harder to attain, but important goals in many fields. Quantitative goals, such as losing 15 pounds or only wearing a diaper 3 times a week, are much easier to measure because there are distinctive markers.
- Some ABDLs have great success in structuring their wearing around a schedule, and while I do not employ that way of thinking I know others who manage their lives by a schedule and see success.
- Achievable (Attainable) – There is a “gut check” element here. Are you biting off more than you can chew? Perhaps this goal is larger than a single person, or you need to scope the goal in a way where it is attainable. Take the structure and information you have previously gathered to help you evaluate the achievability of your goal.
- Relevant – By the time I’ve reached the fourth letter in the criteria I’ve had time to really dig into what I’m trying to accomplish. Here you will begin to see if what you want is really worthy of your time. Is it relevant to you, your situation, and your values and goals? Make sure proper attention is given here because nothing is worse than wasting your time on something that is not important to you.
- When categorizing what matters to you the four quadrants are often employed. When you find something is not relevant or worthy of your time it will often fall into Q3 or Q4. These are time wasters as they are not important to you. Q3 tasks are things that matter to other people, but not to you.
- Time-bound – Goals are wonderful, but without a fuse most humans will not see results. In a conversation I had with a co-worker this morning we discussed how deadlines create action. When preparing for a race you begin to plan a training schedule around the date of the race. Most humans will begin looking at the latest they can begin, or the path that will cause them the least amount of pain. This isn’t wrong, it is just how we are wired. Most of us want to avoid pain (which is why we struggle so hard with diapers in the first place. Figuring out this part of ourselves is not an easy path.) I can attest the road less traveled by has made all the difference to me, and I recommend it to you as well.
The great part about the SMART criteria is that it can be applied to things large and small. “Big rocks” or “quick wins” can be benefited with going through the SMART goal-making process. No matter where you are in your journey for understanding or self-acceptance with your life in diapers know that with some direction and landmarks you can make great headway.
This is not a path to go alone, but know that you are never alone! Please reach out if you feel that you are. There are many others, just like you, looking to understand. I promise, I was one for a long time.