Last week I wrote about “abandoning the checklist”– Wow, is that easier said than done. It turns out, old habits die hard and what you resist persists.
As many of you know, I have been having back problems, well I recently made contact with a great chiropractor and I feel optimistic for the first time in months that I won’t need back surgery which was a looming prospect.
It has involved adjustments and a change in behavior for me. Every hour, ( I set a timer) I have to get up and stretch. (my job is very sedentary and involves lots of not getting up and moving. I do walk around from time to time, but nothing like this.
Not only do I feel better, I get the chance to support my people better because they see my face, I don’t have it stuck on my monitor all day.
I could beat myself about the head and shoulders for not doing this sooner but I have opted instead to “meet myself where I am”…. So what does that mean?
- I will walk when I exercise not run for a while.
- I will LET GO of having to do a 1/2 marathon this year.
What do you need to do to “meet” yourself right now? Are you pushing yourself too hard? Do you need to push yourself, is it time to make that decision you have been putting off? Or is it time to give yourself some grace, and make a decision to tackle it anew tomorrow?
Think About It….
I have been wrestling with this for a while now and thought it might add value to your life if I shared that struggle with you.
How many of us have a checklist? I don’t mean a to-do list. I mean a life checklist.. Yours might look different but here is a few of my “checklist items” that I have been discussing and other friends have been kind enough to share.
Have a Baby
Get a job that feels like a vacation
Get over the fact that my family of origin leaves much to be desired
Win an Oscar
Get out of debt
Win a Grammy
Run a marathon
Moving to a new city
Okay so there are a few problems with a check list – One you feel hemmed in by it.. like that box waiting for the check is alone and chanting at you, “Jennifer, you aren’t done with me yet., when are you going to win that Oscar? Why are you still in school? Why haven’t you had a baby yet? and it all sounds like noise till you realize that this is self-imposed.. No one gave you a checklist.. you wrote it up and are being bound to something that is completely 100% of your doing. Two, its usually too long. There is a finite amount of time you get so a reminder that you should focus on what is truly important is not out of line, I think.
I am not saying goals are not important. They are, but I think its worth examining our expectations and getting them more aligned with reality so as to avoid disappointment.
Case in point, I wanted to run a 1/2 marathon this year. I planned to do it and was excited and scared at the prospect. I decided in March (after running 10 miles) that I could do it. For those that don’t know a half marathon is 13.1 miles which sounds really daunting when viewed that way. Well, as you might imagine, I started to try break this into baby steps. (run a 5K in September) and then do a half marathon by January.. well life (as it so often does) intervened. I pulled my back out of joint in May (but kept stubbornly on running even though I was in pain) and didn’t actually acknowledge how much it hurt until June so went to see a doctor and got muscle relaxers and the orders not to run.. but I could still walk. On doctors orders, I had to give up running. I could have walked but found myself so depressed I didn’t even want to do that so for a month and a half I didn’t walk, and ate lots of junk food trying to feel better but it wasn’t until last week that I worked out again. So, what has this to do with the checklist idea?
I need to let it go! I may run a marathon but I need to heal my body first and I have to let got of the checklist because it is going to look different than I thought. That is not a bad thing. One of my original checklist goals was to marry in 1999 and had I married the person I was with then, my life would look much different than it does now.
The Checklist can be a help but I find sometimes it can really hurt you to keep comparing yourself to your goals and finding yourself lacking. Progress, not perfection!
Think about it…
I love to talk, I mean really love it. I love the telephone, I love to speak and I love to talk to other people whether its work related or personal. I love it so much that sometimes I “wait for my turn to talk” rather than “really listen”. It is a habit i am working hard to break.
Think about this :
We have two ears and one mouth, I do not believe that is an accident.
I find that it behooves you in both places to listen more than you talk. People are 100% more interested in themselves than they will ever be in you, no matter how fascinating you are so bear that in mind in your next interaction.
Case in point, in my Toastmasters meeting today, I was on the PRO side of a debate and I chose to be first, if I had listened to the rules and details I would have known that the advantage was in going second because you can hear the argument being made so you can better play the game of point, counterpoint. Needless to say, I lost..
What’s the big deal you say? Well the Toastmasters debate got me to thinking about how often we “jump” to a conclusion or a reaction and “miss” that one thing that might make all the difference in building a relationship or solving a problem. I take my Toastmasters meeting seriously but I was not invested in whether I won or not.. for me today was about playing the game. I find that as a coach, the success of my client depends on me asking the right questions or more importantly, getting my client to ask themselves the right questions to arrive to the answer to a problem or approach the situation in a completely new way.
So the next time you pick up a phone, walk up to someone’s desk or sign in to that social media — Listen More, Talk Less…
Think About It….
It is not enough to say you want to do something. You must put a deadline on it.
If you have a dream to move to another city, state or country. Do what a very famous director in Austin told me when I was directing my first production many years ago –
“Work backwards from opening night.”
Let me be more specific, Write on your calendar “GOAL” and then work backwards, what must you do in each week to get there?
If you want to learn a language, don’t say you are too busy, figure out if its important enough to actually do it and find the time.
Do you want to run a 5K? Don’t just talk about it, join a running group, or even start with a cause you believe in more than the comfort of the couch, that’s how most people do it.
If you want to speak professionally, speak every chance you get and ask for feedback from people who are better than you, join Toastmasters and keep speaking every chance you get so you have every chance to get better.
My blog is all about getting people to live their dreams, not just talk about them, so I challenge you, yes you, reading this.. What do you want to do ?
Make a plan, and get some accountability partners and then GO DO IT.. What are you waiting for? There will never be a better time to start.
Think about it….