Hope you’re having an amazing summer thus far! We’re just coming off a long weekend here in Canada as I’m writing this and the hubs and I spent it camping. The weather was beautiful and it was a much-needed break for us to spend some time together.
Once back home Monday I went into full-on reset mode. Unpack everything, do the laundry, catch up on emails, plan out my week, etc. In doing so, I realized that my life is about to get a whole lot busier!
As all the various elements of my life coaching course get into full swing, I’ll be adding a minimum of five hours of tasks to my calendar each week. That’s on top of keeping up with my clinical practice, the blog, friends, family, and just life in general. It’s hard not to get overwhelmed purely from the anticipation.
It’s also got me reflecting on the pressure we often put on ourselves to “have it all”. As someone who’s into self-development, it’s not uncommon for me to have multiple goals going at once. In fact, I am the goals queen! Problem is, I can sometimes go a little overboard.
At any given moment I find myself wanting to be a better friend, a fantastic coach, get super toned arms, drink more water, revamp my garden, develop a better skin-care routine, and generally be more social, while of course, simultaneously, protecting my “me time”.
If you’re a mom, your list might also include hosting the perfect Pinterest-worthy birthday party, baking homemade, gluten-free, organic muffins every week, finishing the laundry (hah!), and so on and so forth.
As the title of this post reads though, you can have [or do] it all, just not all at once. I believe it was Oprah who initially coined the phrase, and it really hits home!
Simply put, something’s got to give.
So how do we navigate these muddy waters?
Step one – stop beating yourself up about it. Just because it might look like other women have it all together. They don’t. None of us do. That’s a complete illusion, and social media (ie.seeing everyone else’s highlight real) doesn’t help.
What are my priorities?
Take a look at your list. If you had to pick one or two goals that feel the MOST important to you right now, what would they be? Is it planning your family’s next vacation? Recommitting to getting to bed earlier? Anything.
The key here is to recognize that while everything might SEEM important, when push comes to shove, usually there are a couple of front runners. Try not to overthink it, just go with your gut.
Also, you don’t have to justify WHY your priorities are your priorities. This is purely what’s most important to YOU. Not anyone else.
What are the non-negotiables?
These may be the same as your priorities, or they may be different.
Some goals, such as work-related projects, might have firm deadlines attached. Resisting moving forward on them because you wish you had more time for other things (see above priorities) won’t make them magically disappear, and it doesn’t get them done any faster.
Instead, map out a concrete plan for WHEN and HOW you’re going to tackle these tasks. Often times, just chunking it down into more manageable, bite-sized steps can significantly lighten the weight on your shoulders.
Are there things I can adapt to create more time for my priorities and non-negotiables?
Rephrased, am I making things harder on myself than they need to be?
If volunteering for the school bakesale doesn’t fall on either of the above lists (priority or non-negotiable), get rid of it! Most of us slowly add more and more things to our plate until every spare second is filled with doing things for other people. Then we wake up and think – how did I get here?!
Or worse, we feel like we have no choice. News flash – YOU DO!
You deserve to clear some space in your calendar for the projects and goals that you genuinely WANT and NEED to work on. I promise you, the world (and the bakesale) will go on without you.
What’s the bare minimum required in some of those other areas for me to not feel completely neglectful?
Keeping with the bakesale example here (because why not?), maybe you feel horrendously guilty not participating because your child is counting on you. Instead of donating 3 hours of your precious time, could you purchase a dozen cupcakes to contribute? Is it possible you can let that be enough?
Can I outsource?
Could you ask grandma to bake something for you? Is there another way you could delegate?
Can some goals be deferred altogether?
Maybe you really want to give a goal the time and energy it’s due, and the bare minimum feels like “why even bother?”. But now is just not the right time. Give yourself permission to park it. You’re not saying you’re not going to tackle it, you’re just not going to tackle it right now.
(Note – we need to be careful here. There’s a difference between evaluating what else is on your plate and making a conscious decision to defer a goal to a future point in time, versus simply making an excuse. )
And if a goal KEEPS getting relegated to your future self, but you just can’t let it go, maybe you need a coach to help you discover what’s holding you back, what’s blocking you. (Side note: I think everyone should have a coach, but I’ll save that for a future post!)
Bottom line, YOU ARE DOING YOUR BEST!
And that is enough. YOU ARE ENOUGH, regardless of whether you meet any of the goals you’ve set for yourself. Your worth is not tied to your life accomplishments, full stop.
For another interesting read, along a similar vein, check out this post from one of my favorite blogs No Sidebar.
Until next week,