I had 3 days in a row of failing at a goal. The night before each day I would pump myself up…
“I WILL sit down and write a couple blog posts.”
I knew I had time to reach my goal, and I was excited and motivated to be able to sit down and write.
Worked at another job for a bit. Cleaned the house some. Planned some things with my husband. Talked about Christmas stuff. Somehow the day was over and I hadn’t written. I gave myself a gentle scolding, recommitted myself to my goal and went to bed.
I don’t even know what all happened, but I thought about my goal when I was laying in bed that night. I possibly could have gotten up to write, but I was tired and cranky, and I don’t do my best work at night. All my friends know this. So I sternly committed to writing the next day…at least I think I started doing that before my eyes shut and I was off in a dreamy ocean with Aquaman.
I thought about writing all day! I wanted to do it…buuuuutttt…I would get to it after I did a load of laundry, or vacuumed the floor, or called my friend. Who would have guessed that in amidst those 3 things, I also had to yell at my kids to stop yelling at each other (don’t even pretend you don’t do that), I had to clean the floor because something was wet and sticky, 2 more presents had to be wrapped and wood had to be moved.
Day. 3. Gone.
Here is the kicker. I am not alone in feeling this way. Actually, this is what happens to most of our friends and new clients. Our motivation is strong, our desire is there, and somehow we still don’t get done what we need to do nor do we accomplish our goal.
There are a few things that I could have done better so that my goal of writing was, in fact, the right thing to do. You might find them helpful as well.
Be okay with saying that what you are doing is enough, and not feeling that you need to fix everything and everyone.
Let me give you an example. My husband is excellent at seeing something broken and knowing how to fix it. He can see how things can be better. If he works on a project, he works until it is perfect. Sometimes he loses track of time because he gets so focused on his project. In those times he, or his lovely wife has to remind him that the project doesn’t have to be completed that day. What he can get done that day is enough. That is a hard concept to get. Most people don’t and won’t work to develop this ability. They will say, “But I have a deadline. You don’t know what my work is like.”
You’re right. I don’t.
But I do teach nursing and no amount of studying the night or morning of the exam is going to help the students. Studying until the last possible moment doesn’t help them. I can prepare my lecture for hours and days before I give it…but there comes a point when I have gone down too many rabbit holes. I’ve gotten confused. What you can give is enough. It always has been. It always will be.
My parents were coming over and I felt I had to clean my house…like they have never seen me to be messy before. P.S. My nickname growing up was “Messy Jessie.” I was trying to be everything for everyone. You can’t fix everyone nor should you. You can’t fix every situation, every problem, every distress, or every emergency – even if you feel that you should. There are times when it is appropriate to allow the individual with the problem to practice self-reliance.
There’s a big difference between feeling what you do is never good enough (which is running rampant today) and trying to improve an aspect of your life. When you compare, you find yourself trying to attain some ideal image or idea that you will continually fall short of, verses working to improve from where you currently are. Stop thinking you have to be so much more! It will be okay!
Your steps may be too big.
This is a big one. If you are working for a company, you may have sat down and developed a S.M.A.R.T goal. Once you have these magical goals, they are broken down into smaller, daily steps. If it was that easy, and that was all anyone needed to do, then everyone would reach their goals! But many people struggle with obtaining the written goals. The small steps each day aren’t small enough. Instead of me saying I would find time to write a blog post, I should have told myself I would write for 5 minutes. Not try to complete a big task, but something that doesn’t seem like I must cut out a huge chunk of time to get it done. If I stick with 5 minutes, it is much easier to find the time than to find 30 minutes.
Engage in the reciprocity rule.
If the reason you aren’t getting something done is because people keep bothering you, employ the reciprocity rule. They can have your time, you can do things for them, but be willing to ask for something later. Maybe that is asking for help with a task so too can accomplish your goals. Maybe it is asking your spouse or kids for 5 minutes alone in the bathroom at home after helping them all day. When you do something for others, generally they feel that they owe you something. So use it to help build their leadership skills, your delegation skills, and everyone gets what they want. It’s not taking advantage of others, it is seeing a way for everyone to get what they need.
When it comes to achieving what we want to do, we often fall short because we are too busy comparing ourselves to others instead of recognizing our own growth. But you are enough! Remember to take small steps. When goals or tasks are too big, we simply won’t do them. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Especially if you devote so much of your time helping others solve their problems and complete their tasks.
Want more tips on achieving what you would like to do? Check out my book If a Seed Can Do It!