As I climb into bed, I have found myself frequently saying “and here we are again, another day over” – I’ve felt like a conveyor belt going through life day after day. It’s a pretty damn depressing thought as life is so much more than a conveyor belt. But maybe it’s that there’s so much to life that I feel bombarded with everything I want to achieve and there simply isn’t enough hours in a day to squeeze it all in. I want to feel challenged, stimulated, energetic, accomplished and the list goes on but I cannot possibly experience all these feelings everyday as that would be exhausting. This was when the thought for realistic goal setting came to mind.
How can we reach our goals whilst remaining empowered and enthusiastic throughout the journey….as well as rested?
Do one thing at a time
Plan and prioritise
Right, as much as we need to push away that niggle, the majority of us have busy lives, lots to do and things we want to achieve so what better way to get organised than to plan and prioritise. Personally I love a list but there are also planners, a calendar, diary or apps that will help to get life in order. So, I started by writing down everything I HAVE to do and also WANT to do, which included starting my lifestyle coach training and sorting my blog, as well as the standard things such as cleaning and the more enjoyable things like socialising, exercise and learning to play the guitar. I initially felt totally overwhelmed with the thought of all this and questioned how I’d fit it in alongside a full time job. By using a list and planner I removed the chaos from my mind and was able to have a visual plan to move forward more clearly. It’s such a simple approach to write things down but sometimes our brains struggle to calmly arrange the information and it quickly becomes a whirlwind of panic.
What is a priority?
I want to do this, that and that but what to prioritise? A ‘priority’ may differ for everyone; for one person it may be to exercise more, while for someone else it could be to organise their home. Decide what’s important to you and what needs to be prioritised. May be some areas have deadlines or perhaps you can see a particular area suffering due to a lack of commitment. While we need to prioritise certain areas, we still need to be careful not to push aside areas that perhaps don’t appear important such as socialising. Don’t underestimate these small areas as they too are crucial for our wellbeing as we connect with others and grow.
Motivation to kick start progress
When things feel out of control it can be hard to grab the reins and pull it back in; perhaps you consider giving up as things feel like they are spiralling further and further into a deep dark hole. This is all a feeling! It isn’t real and by taking a deep breath and getting organised, it quickly unravels that it isn’t as bad as our monkey minds allow us to believe. Find your inspiration to move forward.
But how do we grab those reins?
We need to calm the mind enough to find our focus. A quiet space in our house, on the beach, forest or on a mountain might help but for others they think more clearly while listening to music or conversing with family or friends to talk it through. When you feel like your head is exploding with busyness find an approach that works for you. What clears your mind?
Every second counts
Trying to make every second count can be suffocating – I’ve been telling myself ‘you have to do this, you have to that’ but I’ve began to question if I want to do those things and if I even like what I’m setting out to do. My mind has kept harping on about going for a run and I felt guilty that I hadn’t managed to do this bloody run and then I realised I don’t even like fucking running so why am I guilting myself over something I wouldn’t enjoy. If there are alternatives that we can enjoy more why wouldn’t we choose that instead? The same can be said for hanging out with people we do not enjoy being around; why waste our precious seconds if we don’t have to? Make the seconds count and if you don’t have to do that thing you hate, don’t do it!
Applaud the achievements
Don’t overlook achievements, even if they seem small! This isn’t about gloating, boasting or being an arrogant arse hole; this is about recognising you did good and celebrating that. We are quick to be negative towards ourselves but not so quick to applaud our success. What’s the harm in giving ourselves a pat on the back? We can be our own cheerleader sometimes too as after all we need to believe in ourselves to ride these crazy waves of life!
Aim big but don’t forget to rest
Maintaining achievements cannot be sustained without some much-needed rest. And again, here comes the guilt but screw you guilt; we can’t reach for the stars every minute of every day. Rest is not lazy, it is needed. Studies show the improvements in our performance following rest, which makes perfect sense – a car can’t run on no fuel and neither can we! We are often encouraged to engage in self-care and this can be whatever makes us feel happy and relaxed. It’s a broad term that differs for us all – what’s your favourite self-care routine?
And lastly relax
Life will not always go to plan; this is an unpredictable world so we shouldn’t pressurise ourselves to follow a strict manual. If things fall out of line, that’s okay! Get back to it tomorrow, or the next day but don’t give up!
“By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin