What would your life be like if you actually did all the things you ‘planned on’ or ‘wanted’ to do?
Perhaps you have lofty thoughts like, “Someday I would like to clean out the garage” or “I’ve always wanted to get more proficient with Excel” or “I know I would feel better I could just stretch more”.
Or more pressing things like, “I keep forgetting to make an appointment with my doctor” or “the check engine light has been on in my car for weeks now” or “I have a presentation at work next month and I have nothing prepped yet”.
And we think – maybe this weekend I will find time to do (fill in the blank). Except the weekend comes and goes, and (as per usual) your closet still looks the same.
It’s not that we are lazy. So often it is because other things come up that feel as though you should do them right away. They feel urgent in the moment and since you don’t really have anything else specifically planned for that time, you dive in.
Making changes, improving and working towards a goal all include an unavoidable process of putting your head down and doing the work.
I heard someone the other day jokingly say that they didn’t want to lose weight, they just wanted to be thin.
I laughed too – we can all relate!
We know where we are, and we know where we want to be but far too often we get thwarted by the ‘muck in the middle’ (MSPS)
But In order to achieve our dreams, we need to get a little scrappy.
Improvement is a new effort every day.
We have all probably dreamed about winning the lottery but we have all heard about those rags to riches to rags stories that come along with instant wealth.
We look at the person who has excelled at business or at their sport or in a relationship and we want what they have for ourselves.
My husband and I have recently dealt with some issues in one of our businesses. There were some personal conflicts within the partnership and our value in the resolution of the problem, was to act as Switzerland.
Whether you are helping to mediate a situation between other people or whether you are attempting to mediate your own actions, stepping forward with strategy and intention is always wise.
Just for the heck of it, I have compiled a list of 6 things I think are extremely effect for when conflict exists.
1. Strive to have the lowest heart-rate in the room. It isn’t always easy, but it will always help you to see things with more clarity.
2. Listen carefully to what is being said. Be curious instead of judgemental. Seek to discover not only what a person is saying, but also how they are saying it. The trick is to listen without allowing your brain to go to what YOU want to say in response.
Expectations are funny things.
Over the last couple weeks, I have had more than a few moments when I found myself awash in a pool of self-pity about the holidays.
Our 20-something year old daughters are on the other side of the country and neither are coming home.
I was sad. Part of me still is.
But I really needed to get over it as my emotions were truly getting the best of me. So, I decided to pull out my secret weapon — curiosity.
I began my exploration with the specific question of ‘what would a perfect Christmas look like’. From there I did what is called a brain dump (a scientific term no doubt), where you sit down with pen and paper and write for 15 minutes non-stop. (side note – brain dumps are a wonderful way to discover some of the unconscious programming running in the background of your mind)
Let’s just say it was a very revealing experience for me.
One of the best things that came up was that there needed to be snow.
Investing in yourself is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving.
Invest in your brain.
Read stimulating non-fiction books that challenge your thinking. Read great fiction that increases your empathy. Have regular conversations with those who cause you to look at things in different ways. Choose your friends wisely.
Invest in your physical being.
Strive to create a body capable of serving you at a higher level by giving you all the energy you require. If you have been on the planet for a while, consider shifting your philosophy about work-outs from doing things to make you ‘look good’ to working out to have the strength and flexibility to live your life without strain, pain and fatigue.
Invest in your health.
You are what you eat. Choose to intentionally fuel yourself with the best quality food available to you. Put down the rebellious gauntlet and care for yourself as the precious gift that you are.
Invest in your spirit.
What do busy, overwhelm, confusion and worry have in common?
They are all a complete waste of our time.
They pretend to be valuable, but they are merely a bunch of poser emotions.
Busy is like a dull hum in our ear, keeping us from hearing clearly. Busy happens when we step into the day without a plan.
Without a plan, we focus on things that seem urgent but are not important. We operate in reaction mode. And we are left feeling spent at the end of day but without a lot to show for our efforts.
Busy did have it’s moment though. It was when we were looking after toddlers. Remember the days you went non- stop but couldn’t really remember exactly what it was you did?
In parent mode, we called that survival. But it’s something we must pack away with the changing table.
Overwhelm is a state of mind. We hide behind it when we believe there is too much in front of us. It gives us a warped bit of relief but renders us unproductive and it always feels daunting.
My mom wrote in a journal every single night. I’m not sure when she first began, but I’m going to say for probably more than 64 of the 94 years of her life. Sometimes it seemed like a few quick notes, but I know she did it every night. It was part of her evening routine, and it was as important and regular to her as brushing her teeth.
I’m not sure if there is a gene for that (or a Jeanne) but if there is, I didn’t get her desire to journal OR her green thumb, sadly. I often thought I would journal, or maybe I should journal, but I was way too neutral on the subject to ever become motivated enough to actually do it.
Until one day, when I was coaching a client on creating habits. She had mentioned many times that she wanted to start reading regularly so I challenged her to create a framework for making it happen. And I told her I would do it with her because hey, I always wanted to start journaling.
For things to get better, WE must get better.
For things to change, WE must change.
There is no way getting around this.
In our current situation with the pandemic, it’s as if the door to life as we once knew it has been closed.
Some people are standing at the door, jiggling the handle hoping if they do the right thing it will open.
Some are standing behind the door with their arms crossed, pissed off because it’s closed.
But others are looking for windows.
I know a lot of people are trying to be patient while they wait for things to go back to normal.
Except I don’t think we are going back.
We all must be flexible, adaptable and willing to change.
Flexibility often relies on your skill set, and now is a great time to be open and willing to developing new methods of doing things.
Setting big goals is not something I was ever good at. I had goals, don’t get me wrong, but I am talking BIG goals. Big goals were scary. It meant committing to something. And then all the self-help books said if you were serious about your goal, you had to tell people about it.
I still sometimes find myself setting goals based on what I believe I can accomplish. But that’s not a big goal – that’s just an acknowledgement of the work I planned on doing anyway.
Big goals are ones where we have no idea how we will do it. They are a leap of faith. And so many of us are reluctant.
But why? If we set a big goal for the next 12 months and don’t hit it, what happens? Will the ground break open and suck us in? Will we be sentenced to 6 months in solitary? Will we have to walk around for a month with a neon sign saying LOOSER on it?
Not likely. Not unless we choose to punish ourselves.