Setting yourself up for failure
Updated: Feb 18
In December of 2019, I realized I was incredibly off balanced...again. I spent most of my time working and struggling to find even just a few minutes to dedicate to my hobbies and my family was paying the price. Not only was I crabby but I didn't have a lot of time to put towards quality time with them. So, I decided that one of my goals for 2020 was going to be the same goal I had set and worked towards in 2019. To get balanced. I recognized that that's not a goal you reach once and can check it off of your to-do list. I knew it took time to reach and effort to maintain.I acknowledged that while I had gotten closer to being a balanced person in 2019, I still had a long way to go.
So, as December came to a close and we rang in the new year, the new decade and the new possibilities, I told myself that I was going to wake up Monday morning and make my goals happen. I was going to put my new business plan into effect and get balanced. Just like that. I was going to get up get my daily cleaning complete, reach my goals in my office, read, spend some time playing a video game, work out, write, take care of my kids and still have conversations with my family. Yep. I was going to do it all in one day even though I was still trying to figure out how to clean,work, keep my kids alive and read in one day.
I even tried to do it all. I didn't succeed. Not one day did I manage to do it all. I tried for two weeks to wake up in the morning and do it all at one time knowing I was behind in most areas and knowing that that wasn't a set routine. But hey, a routine starts somewhere, right? Of course it does!
But it doesn't start in a day, even when you want it to.
After kicking myself and berating myself for not being able to do it all (and hey, millions of people find a way to do it, so there must be something wrong with me that I can't, right?) I realized something. I had set myself up to fail from the very start. I didn't want to fail. In fact, I think I wanted to succeed so badly that I forgot to listen to reason. See, I knew that getting balanced was something that took time. I knew that starting a new daily routine takes work and lots of trial and error. It's exhausting and exhilarating and hard. It's filled with just as many failures as success to start with. Yet, for some reason, I still convinced myself that I would wake up Monday morning and just do it. Like I could wave a magic wand, sprinkle sparkly dust (that would magically clean it's self up because goodness knows I don't have extra time in the schedule to clean that up!) and poof it into being.
That's when I took a step back. I looked at the facts and took a deep breath. Then, I started over. What did I want to accomplish? Now, knowing what I know, what is the best way to get there? The answer seemed obvious...and not at all how I had originally started this journey. It's not done in one big leap, but a number of little baby steps! So now, I've put a new system in order. A system dedicated to helping me reach my goals with all of my hair still connected to my head, my sanity still in place (or, what sanity I still have left) and still allow me to eat, shower and sleep. It's actually a very simple plan! Instead of deciding that on Monday I'm going to do it all, I decided that on Monday, I would start adding one task to my day and focus on adding that one thing to my every day that week. Then, next week, I'd add another thing to my day. And the next week...well, you get the picture, until eventually, I will clean, work, play, survive, keep my children alive and have productive conversations with my family on a regular basis. I can't wait!
But why am I sharing this with you? Because I know I'm not alone. I'm not the only one who expects unreasonable things from myself because they sound simple and I want the end result to be a reality now. I'm not the only person with big goals that are important for my health, my well being or success. But mostly, I'm not the only one who needs to hear it's okay to slow down. Taking your time to get the best results doesn't mean you're not working toward your goals or that you're failing because it doesn't happen instantaneously. Reaching our goal is a journey. It's a combination of baby steps and giant leaps. It's a large classroom where we learn from trial and error just as much as success and achievement. It's okay to celebrate milestones in the journey even if you didn't quite reach your goals...yet.
We set our goals in January for the whole year. That means we have the whole year to find the path that gets us to our goals. There's no need to force it and break ourselves to get there tomorrow. Enjoy the journey. Create the story. In the end, you'll be happy you did.