As I head into a new year with reflection, I sometimes over-focus on what I didn’t accomplish in the previous twelve months. This makes me feel rather Eeyore-like, gloomy and blah: “We can’t all, and some of us don’t.”
While information about a gap between goals and achievements may prove useful as I plan for the year ahead, I also try to redirect my attention to everything I did achieve. Yet when I haven’t done something I supposedly wanted or needed to do, it can feel pretty heavy.
What tasks or social engagements on your to-do list feel heavy when you think or speak of them? As you approach a heavy task or event, how can you channel the exuberant spring of Tigger, instead of the resigned sigh of Eeyore? These strategies may help you do that:
• Enlist help. Ask a friend to be your accountability buddy or hire a coach.
• Let it go. (My apologies if you’re thoroughly sick of the song.) Release the task if it is not serving you. Of course, some of our dreaded tasks just have to get done—financial matters, taxes, health care, and house cleaning come to mind. However, I often find that the anticipation of a task is far worse than actually doing the work.
• Create rewards. Set goals and reward yourself for progressing toward them. Choose a reward that truly motivates you: time to read; a delectable dessert; a game on your phone; a walk; a fancy coffee; a phone call with a friend; movie night. Whatever truly delights you can help you slog through the task that truly does not delight you. And remember, big tasks deserve big rewards.
• Have a heavy things party. Invite your friends to bring their dreaded tasks over some afternoon (or meet via Skype or FaceTime). Make snacks and tea. Set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes and work on your respective tasks. Then take a break. Repeat. Offer each other assistance when requested.
• Get freaky. No, not like that. Take a Freaky Friday approach and trade heavy tasks with your partner or a friend.
On the other hand, what tasks or social engagements feel light? This one’s easy—simply seek to create loads more of that feeling of lightness in 2015. Seek out the people and experiences that give your heart wings.
[All words and images copyright Paula J. Kelly, unless otherwise credited.]