How many times have you committed to more than one goal, project or objective and then ended up feeling overwhelmed and pulled in too many directions? Did you keep plugging along? Or, did you end up quitting and not accomplishing a whole lot?
I usually take on too much. I underestimate the amount of time, energy and resources I have or need. I feel overwhelmed, pulled in too many directions and usually give up before I’ve reached the end.
This month, the start of 2012, I’ve been playing with making one commitment at a time and seeing how it goes before I make another one.
So far, it’s working. It’s also helped me recognize when a commitment is too big in relation to my other responsibilities. I can then temporarily let it go and move onto something else.
One big intention I made at the beginning of January was to go gluten-free, 100% vegan. I had plan. One new recipe a week, pack my lunch, take it one day at a time. But, in reality this didn’t work. I really don’t have the energy to put into this commitment right now.
When I set this intention I didn’t know that my Mom was going to start radiation and that she had to go every day. That meant that I that every day I had to be up and out of the house by 7:30am and I didn’t arrive back home until about the same time every night. Weekends were just as hectic. My Mom doesn’t live with me, so in essence I travel between two homes and maintain two households (cleaning, cooking, bill paying, etc.). Trying to find several extra hours a week to diligently plan gluten-free, 100% vegan meals proved to be too much, so, I took the pressure off of myself and decided that it just wasn’t the right time. (Side note…her last radiation treatment was this past Tuesday. Yeah! for both of us.)
I then set a smaller commitment, a baby one, and one that had no relation to food. I decided that this year I would not end up with a giant pile of unread or partially read magazines by the end of the year. I would read them within a week of them arriving, or I would give them away or recycle them. I didn’t realize how many magazines I subscribed, too, but this commitment has been small enough that I’ve been able to manage it with ease.
This past week I added a new commitment, writing 1000 words a day. I wrote about this earlier this week in the post ‘Writers Write’. On the surface this looks like a big commitment, but over the last few days I’ve been playing with it and have discovered that it isn’t as difficult as you might think.
I realized that I don’t have to write 1000 words a day all at one time. I’ve been experimenting with writing a few hundred words in the morning and finishing up my word count in the evening. Writing this way has so far been working wonderfully.
So now I’ve made three commitments in three weeks and have stuck with two of them. If I had set all three the first of January I would have felt overwhelmed and given up on all them. I wouldn’t have been able to distinguish which commitment was too big, which one were easy and which one, with a little creative planning, was quite achievable.
I have a very long list of commitments I want to make and goals for things I want to be, do and have. This new approach, one commitment at a time, seems to working out the best at achieving them.