Great Expectations - have you made them too great??
We need goals. Something to aspire to and road maps to get there. But what happens if we set our hopes too high? Forcing ourselves into burnout is only one of the consequences of setting our expectations too high… So how do we balance that? I talk about balance a lot. I also talk to you guys about how I'm not actually super awesome - I'm far from it - I'm just learning too and often I'm learning my lessons out loud. So you get the nitty gritty. You see where I make mistakes and you hear how I mop up the messes I create for myself and what I learn along the way.
(Listen to this as a podcast HERE)
Well. I have one for you this week and it's on topic. Last week I told you I was launching my new super awesome thing early July. Since then I've been injured and got that same stupid sickness back. So I have been ploughing through everything and am now on my fourth course of antibiotics. My fibromyalgia is playing up - which means my whole body aches and things are getting on top of me. I get so passionate about my ideas, and because I can see so clearly HOW I can bring them into fruition it’s super easy for me to rattle of my list of things to do, and then make this assumption on how quickly I can achieve them. After all, if I’ve broken them down so well, then they’re so small so of course I can get them done quickly and easily. Except when I can’t! I’m not a machine. I am subject to outside forces (and internal ones for that matter). I have emotions, I have other humans to deal with and I have weaknesses and also things happen that are outside my control. If I have my goals set too high for me, even if they’re broken down into bite size chunks that I’m always talking about - if I have put too many on my list at once and not left breathing room then it only takes one thing - getting sick, kids getting sick, having to go and pick someone up from school, having to take one day off because I’m run down then trying to force myself to play catch up - then I’m behind the 8 ball and I’ve put too much pressure on myself and things start to fall apart. I feel like I’m not in control. I feel like I’m chasing my tail and you know what? I don’t operate well from that space. I lose sight of the end game. My priorities get mixed around. I get caught up in the small stuff and I get overwhelmed and it all comes crashing down. Then, I have to start again, go back to the drawing board often because I look back at the work I had actually done during that period and it’s sub par. It’s falling well short of what I’m capable of and that’s not fair on anyone, least of all me. I don’t want to be disappointing myself! What kind of a life is that? So for me the answer, as per usual, is balance. Rather than just taking into account what is physically possible for me to achieve, I have to take into account what it looks like when I’m enjoying the work load. When it’s not just possible, but it’s flowing. Taking into account that there will be road bumps. Given I’ve had this illness for a while, it’s pretty safe for me to take into account that it’s not just possible I will have a bad day or two in the space of a fortnight - it’s actually probable. If I factor that into my time frame then what happens is, the pressure is off. I have a work load that is going to get me moving forward at a reasonable rate, but if something happens I’m not going to be too off put by it. If I have a bad day, I am then able to rest that day, knowing that it’s been accounted for and I’m still on track! So I’m not beating myself up, and I’m not feeling bad that I won’t reach my quota because I will! And on top of that, if it turns out that I actually get through a week or two WITHOUT anything happening to slow me down or force me to rest, I can exceed my quota - OR - wait for it - schedule in some fun with a friend or two to celebrate and further enjoy my life. I guess we need to ask ourselves what we’re doing this all for occasionally. Are we doing our work to provide for our family? Is our family our priority then? Are we doing this to stroke our own ego and make ourselves feel important? We already ARE important. Having our priorities clearly outlined with the most important things at the top is one way to consistently re-assess if we are ontrack with who we are and what we want from life. Because it is so easy. It’s so easy to get swept up in all the stuff that needs to be done. Urgently. Immediately. Right now. But most of the time we need to be looking after ourselves right now. In the moment. Immediately. Looking after our needs and our hearts and our bodies and our minds, ensuring that what we do put back into our work and into our family is quality stuff. So one thing that I’ve done is push that launch date back. It’s not going to be July. That’s humanly possible of course, but I want to actually enjoy my life in the meantime. I want to still have time for my NUMBER ONE GOAL which is my own physical, mental and spiritual health because that is actually not just my committment to me, but it’s my commitment to my family and even to you. I need to be walking the walk not just talking the talk and every single one of these podcasts, the upcoming project, my coaching stuff, all of it - it’s all about improving the quality of life so that you get the best life for you. I need to practice what I preach and sometimes that means admitting that I’ve had a brain fart and put too much pressure on myself. It means taking some stuff off my plate. It means extending deadlines. Readjusting priorities, reevaluating not just what is possible but what is going to be fruitful short term AND long term. If you’re currently putting out fires all the time - just flying around getting to the urgent stuff - you won’t have time for the long term stuff and that is the place where the important growth happens. It’s digging. I’ve spoken about digging before. Preparing the soil. Like a garden - you want your life to look a certain way (you want a beautiful garden); you can’t just expect it to get there by magic. You have to dig. You have to fertilize and prepare the soil, and you have to water the plants… If you’re still just madly picking out weeds you’ll never get to where you want to go. So make sure that if there is too much going on for you - take some stuff off your plate. Make some space to breathe. Write out what your priorities are and put them in order. Then look at where your time is spent… is your time spent where you say your priorities are? Or are you out of alignment? Don’t wait until you burn out to make some adjustments. That’s when you get conditions like Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. Look after yourself NOW. I have an app I use to track my time that’s useful. It’s called ATracker and I’ll put a link to it on the webpage. Check it out and use it to measure where you spend your time against where your priorities are. Life isn’t meant to be all hard work. We are meant to have breathing space. Space to enjoy one another. Time to be with each other and connect. To get our heads out of screens and look each other in the eye. To laugh with our children and play with them. To hang out with our friends and spouses and not just when we are exhausted because we have finished everything else and they’re getting the leftovers. When it’s all over we aren’t going to give a crap about how much money we earnt. It’s going to be those memories, with our loved ones that’s going to have made our lives worth having been lived. Last week I mentioned a special and I mentioned that I had 20 spots available for a free half hour discovery session with me in June. Given that I am scaling back pretty much everything so I don’t lose the plot, I’ve decided that I’m only going to take significantly less spots so that I don’t overdo that either. I am only taking 5 more spots for June So if you want one of them, head to transformationalpersonalgrowth.com and hit the survey tab. Once you complete the survey I’ll be in touch to let you know that you can pick your spot and I’ll give you the code to book in for a free half hour discovery session with me. I also have TWO spots available left for new coaching clients so if that is you - hit me up there as well as once I hit that target I won’t be taking any more one on one clients for a while. Also, about my big news. We will not be launching ANYTHING in July. That was crazy talk. Sure I might be finished and prepared by then, but I might not be so it’s better that I wait and see how I go with all the prep before an official launch date is released. Again, if you want more info get onto our mailing list at transformationalpersonalgrowth.com because that’s going to be the place you hear about things first, but it’s also where you will get access to my free resources that will go along with the new podcast and video series. I am really really proud of this upcoming project and when it is finally finished I hope you will be too. Send me an email if you’d be happy to help me to spread the word in the lead up to launch day, and I’ll let you know exactly what’s going on, what we are going to do and how it’s going to work. Email email@example.com If you’ve found something valuable in this this week, please remember to share with your network of friends and family and let us know in the comments below what you’ll be taking away from this episode and how you can apply it to your situation… Are you making your dream bigger than it needs to be? Are you overloading yourself? OR have YOU found a way to keep things doable? Do you have a system you use to not overload yourself? Sooo want to hear from you.
Also look for us on facebook - we have a closed group ‘transformational personal growth’ but just ask to join HERE and I’ll add you in - that group is designed for each of us to share the things that are inspiring our own personal growth journey with each other so we can all learn from each other! I hope you have a week where you can breathe and see clearly and I will see you next episode.