- If you’re like many people, today is the first day to a full week after two short work weeks of holidays.
- If you’re like many people, you may have set some goals for yourself on New Year’s Day and started them today.
- If you’re at all like many people you had a few stumbling blocks today.
- If you’re like many people…the doubt. has started. to. creep. in…
It’s not bad yet, but it’s possible that by the end of the week you’re going to be thinking, “Well, I let it go this far, so I can let it go for the weekend and restart on Monday.”
DON’T DO IT!
You may be wondering why I mention this now when it hasn’t even been an issue yet. Let’s just say I believe in prevention, the preemptive strike as it were. Why? Because if history tells us it has happened this way in the past, you can reasonably predict that it may happen that way again. Furthermore if you can predict something may happen then with a little planning, you can make an effort to prevent it.
So purely in the interest of prevention, let’s look at some ways to be gentle with yourself this week in order to take better aim at your short-term goals.
In a gentle way, you can shake the world. Mahatma Gandhi
- Remember that you made these goals when you were all pumped up to get things done! And yes, you should make every effort to meet them, but recognize that any good goal is going to need flexibility. You may not need to adjust the end result but rather your steps in getting there. Breaking it down further if you find you underestimated how much attention the other parts of your life would still need. Or better yet, saying “no” to the things you do to chronically overextend yourself, serving your real values by doing the few things, instead of stressing yourself by trying to do it all!
- It’s likely that you are the only person expecting yourself to have all the answers. Trust your intuition, trust that no one person can control everything. There is only so much planning you can do. When you tell yourself “I won’t be happy unless/until this happens…” you eliminate the unexpected. How many happy accidents have you missed because you couldn’t see fit to be content that something may have come about in a way different from what you expected?
- Shut down your inner critic. Learn to turn down that repetitive tape in your head that keeps telling you to doubt yourself. When you’re doubtful (and we all can be), the past becomes regret and the future becomes fear. Why spend your time in either place? When your inner critic shows up it is time to be present. Time to recognize the here and now, pay attention to what you’re doing to the exclusion of other thoughts. Being present allows you to observe and not judge. Fear is judgemental. When fear shows up recognize it as a powerless thought that’s just trying to keep you from reaching your goal. Fear is trying to keep you small.
- You don’t get to beat yourself up for being fearful or having doubts. We all have off-days. Some of us have off-weeks. Don’t deny how you’re feeling. Take it as a sign to be gentle with yourself. Maybe today is the day I give myself a little extra break time. I find a book or go out to lunch…whatever floats your boat. Don’t do it every day, but don’t forget to do it on occasion.
- Be grateful. There are many proven benefits to adopting an attitude of gratitude. Being thankful for even small changes is going to be important to your continued success. I am not going to reinvent the wheel, so let me just send you to the right place to witness what I’m peddling here: The 31 Benefits of Gratitude. (Suffice it to say it’s everything from improved sleep to forward career advancement.)
Remember that stumbling blocks are normal. Expect them, and you can make a plan before you find yourself having to make it up as you go along.
Are these posts helpful? Is there anything you would like to see at Carrot?