It’s the new year and we’re stepping into reality with the resolutions we’ve made. For some, those resolutions still feel fresh and invigorating. For others? They’re feeling a bit of the dreaded overload coming on. But there IS a way to overcome that feeling, and that’s by focusing more on YOU.
We’ve all been there. That frightening, overwhelming, sometimes annoying place where you feel overwhelmed and like you’ve got too much to do. We’ve also been in that place where we’ve set some goals, maybe New Year resolutions, and are starting to feel the strain. It’s not a happy feeling, and the human in us just keeps thinking: what am I doing wrong? Why can’t I accomplish more at work / lose more weight / save more money / find more time to write / find time to exercise / fill in the blank?
It could be that you’re simply trying to take on too much. So what is a person, who set out into 2014 with wonderful expectations, to do? Well, you don’t have to give up, that’s for sure. You only need to refocus.
Here are some small changes you can make that will, believe it or not, reduce the anxiety when you’re feeling you’re not meeting up to (your own) expectations:
- Realize that you’re human and can only do so much. In today’s hundred-mile-per-hour mindset, it’s easy to forget that important point.
- Trust in yourself. You are capable of doing what you’re capable of, so trust in yourself to eventually complete what’s most important. You hear that? What’s most important. Everything else is filler, so let it go.
- The only person worth comparing yourself to is you. This is important. Because of advertising, and the speed with which we receive information — which permeates the idea of “overnight successes” — many of us are in a constant state of comparison. So-and-so can run longer and faster than I can. So-and-so just got a promotion and I’m still doing the same old thing. So-and-so just took a vacation and I haven’t had one in years. And you end up in a state of feeling short-changed or incomplete. Forget about what others have or are doing. It has nothing to do with you. And, ironically, someone else is probably comparing themselves against you, too. It’s a fruitless exercise.
- Keep your to do list short. I once heard that if there are more than 3 or 4 things on your immediate to do list, it’s not a to do list anymore but a things-I-probably-can’t-do list. Focus on what’s truly critical at the moment because everything else is fluff. Finish those critical things, then make a new 3-4 point to do list.
Make your goals achievable. Easily said. Harder to complete. But this ties into item 4, and if you make goals that are unreasonable, you’ll soon feel disheartened and will give up on your goal faster than you made it. Take baby steps. Focus on the goals that are most important to you. And, yes, it can be even one goal. The point is, the more manageable the goal, the more likely you’ll find success, and through that success you’ll feel good about your accomplishment and will want to move on to another.
- You don’t have to read every email. Or respond to every text. Or join in every Facebook conversation. You can take some time just for you. Alone.
Okay, those are my thoughts. I try to live by them, not always successfully, but I try, and I’m hopeful the things I’ve learned along the way can be helpful to you, too.
Because you do know you don’t have to do it all, right?
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