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The past month has taken me on a rather tough path personally and I fell off that proverbial horse. Got a little scuffed, confused and felt a little wobbly. This added with some fear and voila here I am jumping back into the blog. See what I can share that may be of use to you.
It can be tough to keep up all your weekly tasks when stress goes up, although every little step is moving you forward. Beating yourself up for it will do you no good. You can only do your best. The key is getting back up from the fall and trying again.
I began weekly life coaching a friend, who is outside of Ireland in January. I am absolutely loving the process. Find myself totally in flow and learning from every experience. Also, feel totally alive that my purpose and skills are being used again after so long.
One of the biggest learnings that came from it, is the importance of incremental improvements forward. I helped my friend look at their End of Q1 Personal Goals and this we broke down into smaller monthly milestones. Then he shared with me a Weekly Consistency List that his housemate had designed. The idea was a fantastic model for checking off different tasks you wanted to complete on a weekly basis. I took the concept and further developed it for my own Personal Development Goals.
The image above is a screenshot from my Weekly Consistence List that I have put inside Trello. Week 1 was amazing, with around 80% completion. Week 2 probably as successful. Then I began to notice that I needed to give myself more breaks and have fun. It is important to remember to check-in and ask yourself what do you need. Learn to let go of things that are not serving you and learn to add ones that do. When tasks seem too big. Break them down into even smaller parts. Then complete the bit that you can. Remembering, one step at a time.
I always loved the quote, Be yourself, everyone else is taken. One that can be easily forgotten in a world that has tried to program us to compare. From early childhood we are given the model of competing. From our grades in school, to the egg and spoon races. You got to be in pole position or I’ve even heard parents commenting, there is no such thing as second place. Scary.
I know I have being victim to the comparing game. Whether this being me feeling better than others for achieving something or feeling small by what I perceive as failing. It’s a harsh game and one that can leave you, as the poem, Desiderata states, feeling Vain and Bitter.
Most recently I noticed when being in my local swimming pool doing lengths. Now, the hilarity is that I only got back into swimming at the beginning of the year and incrementally moved my stamina up nice and slowly. I always preferred swimming in a lane either by myself or with only one other person. When I arrived at lunchtime the other day there were three people in every lane. As I joined one of the lanes, I found myself doing a little internal judgement of my own swimming or someone else’s. Every length was more and more difficult. My heart rate started going up as my mind started nattering away. Really really unhelpful. Enough of that. The second one of the lanes emptied I moved across. It was totally putting my swimming off and making the whole process a lot more difficult than it needed to be.
This theme appeared a couple of times over the last two weeks. I seem to have picked up a habit I am about to drop. Giving myself more challenges than I really need. Believing that I need to take the more difficult road. Rather unusual realisation that hit me last week when visiting my mum in hospital. My nerves were a little raw and she was in rather low form and at one point I felt like running out and screaming.
As I left the hospital it struck me that I provide the opportunities for things to be more difficult than they need to be. This may be related to work or even something as simple as picking the song I was going to sing on the Solo Singing Confidence course. I noticed that I had told myself that the song I enjoyed the most was too easy. So, I picked one that was far more difficult in both length and delivery? Why? Let’s forget about why. That evening I got home from the hospital, I changed it back to My Way by Frank Sinantra.
My partner also pointed out that I do the same thing with my calendar. I jam pack it in to try to be as productive as possible. Like a good machine. One second. Enough of that. Sam
In response to this, I will endeavour to write a blog going forward when I find the time and when I am in the right mood. Watch this space.