I'm all about planning. I love a dream, a vision. I love a goal. I love action steps and to do lists. I love them. Most of the time, they keep me, and my clients, on the straight and narrow moving in the direction I want to go. Sometimes though, stuff gets in the way. Sometimes, life chucks something at us that means all that planning is derailed and we go 'off track'. Sometimes we get in our own way.
Take the summer holidays. Part of the reason I love being self employed is because I can be flexible in my working hours and work around my kids. I knew my mission would go on a go slow and I am OK with that. I have been using the blocks of time I have set aside in a really focused way and the only set back I've had was having no reception in a field, whilst as a music festival this weekend, but I'd prepared and the Solution Focused Sisters in my club and the ladies completing The Clearing knew I would be less responsive for a few days. What I hadn't planned for, and in fact have no one to blame but myself, is the fact I have stopped doing my yoga in the morning.
So what? I hear you cry. Well it's big to me and it has several impacts.
First, I have grown to love that space in the day where it is just me and the mat. It's a small part of the day that I set aside for me. So, I've had next to no time in the day for me since the kids broke up for the holiday. I know this does me no good long term.
Second, it is a commitment to me starting the day in a powerful and intention full way. I felt motivated and charged to come at the day in an enthusiastic and positive way when I was doing this every day. Instead, I've been feeling a bit sluggish and mornings have been slow and lack lustre since they broke up.
Third, I have publicly declared that I do this morning routine many times and not doing it makes me feel like a hypocrite.
Fourth, I'm annoyed at myself for making excuses. I have a choice and I have chosen not to take the action I know supports and nourishes me mentally daily.
Fifth, not doing it feeds the fear that I have to be perfect to be a coach, a woman on a mission to support other women make positive change. By not doing it and feeling guilty, ill disciplined and uncommitted to me I can allow my 'mean little cow' voice an opportunity to start her rallying cry that if I don't do what I say I do, then I shouldn't be a coach and I shouldn't have a mission to support others. Self sabotage at its best.
Instead of going down that road, instead of derailing my plan and purpose completely I have choices I can make. If you have set an intention to do something, creating a plan, goals, actions that support it and despite committing to it for a while you go off track, don't give it all up.
Follow the next steps and you'll be back on the path you want:
1. Stop and breath. Get your mind clear of all the stuff your 'mean little cow' might be saying.
2. Where is the truth in what that cow was saying? Be honest with yourself but not nasty! I have made a choice not to do the yoga and it has made me feel sluggish and less motivated, but should I give up my coaching practice and declare myself a failure to all my clients? No. I am human and I've strayed away from my goal for a moment in time. If I am a leader, a teacher, a coach I can lead by example on how to get back on track when a plan hasn't come together.
3. Accept the past mistake and live in the present. Get Solution Focused. What can I do now to turn this situation around? How can I feel positive that I have learnt from this experience? How can I help myself to make a choice that empowers and lifts me today?
4. Use the pain you have felt making a choice that brought you to a negative place, into a positive by remembering that feeling. It will help you to commit fully the next time you are at the point of making a choice. For me, in this case, tomorrow morning brings a new opportunity. If I set the alarm for 6.15am and turn it off I can make a choice. Do I roll over and go back to sleep, knowing I will feel worse and more annoyed with myself for making that choice? Or do I get out of bed and get on the mat feeling tired, but knowing by the end of my yoga practice I will be elated that I have done it? Motivated and excited to start the day having made a positive choice.
5. Do something everyday to support that dream, plan, goal, but amend and be flexible to changing circumstances daily.
Each day we make choices about how we act, speak, think. We only have NOW and what we chose to do with it. The past is gone and who knows what tomorrow holds.
If we are honest, we can be lazy. We can put off until tomorrow what we could do today, but we don't know what tomorrow will bring so it's a dangerous tactic.
We can feel it's less painful staying stuck, that pushing through a bit of resistance to create the life that we want to live. When we have a plan and we don't stick to it or life chucks something at us that sends us off course, we have a choice. We can beat ourselves up and go back to a place of fear, being mean to ourselves, or we can regroup. We can look at our options and find a way forward that lifts us and allows us to be what we want to be. No excuses. Do it. Review it. Continue to do it.
So what has gone off plan for you lately? How can you turn it around? What choices do you need to make and act on to make it happen?