Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Expecting Everything

On the drive back from Kelowna I got to thinking about where I'm at and what I'm pursuing. I often get pensive when I have lots of time to sit back and just think. 

I mentioned single minded focus in a post a while back and the concept of it is really starting to show up in my life. The thing is, it's the lack of it that I am starting to notice.

I have so many projects on the go and they are all so important to me. I want to pay equal attention to them all and I often feel guilty if I don't. I have been having a hard time prioritizing my projects because each day brings on a different feeling of what resonates the most. Each day puts a different project on top of the "things to do" list. 

There are so many different areas of my life that I think about and where I have goals. I have career goals, physical activity/body goals, relationship goals, leisure time goals, writing goals, spiritual goals…I've got me a lot of goals!

Let's take my physical goals as an example. I want to do yoga 5 times a week. I want to run a minimum 5KM every day. I want to hit the gym 4 times a week to work on my upper body because I hate the way it vanishes when I don't work it. I want to train for a marathon. I want to go to crossfit. I want to buy a road bike. I want to hit the paths on my roller blades…and the hardest part is that I honestly want to do all of these things every single day. 

I came to the realization that I am setting myself up for failure. I am putting too many things on the top of the priority list and they are all turning out to be equally mediocre. I make it to the gym 2 times a week. I run 3 times a week. I do yoga 3 times a week. I do some research on bikes and marathon races. I put my roller blades in my car, but don't actually hit the path. 

Why am I coming up short of my expectations?

I think the simple answer is: I am putting too many expectations on myself in too many different realms. I am expecting everything. How can I honestly believe that I will be able to find enough time in the day to do all of the activities I want to do? In order for me to complete just my "physical" goals per day, I would need a few more hours tacked on to the 24 hour clock. It's just impossible. 

As a high performance athlete, I focused on one sport and one goal at a time. Anything else that I wanted to do was extra and I didn't feel guilty if I didn't get around to it. Now though, it seems as if I want to do it all - and all at the same time. And If I don't, I am left picking on myself for lack of drive and accountability.

My friend Emily Brydon recently retired from skiiing and she seems to have a really awesome approach to her physical goals. She is challenging herself to only one new physical goal per year. This year she ran a marathon. And the coolest thing is, she actually ran it. She didn't just spend time researching it and trying to talk herself into doing it. She got off her butt, laced up her shoes, committed herself to training and then ran a bloody marathon! 

I try to look at the bigger picture as often as possible - right now, I am trying to understand why I am so gluttonous with my goal setting. Why am I struggling so hard right now to pick just ONE goal and fully commit to it? I know that I am someone who really thrives on a sense of accomplishment and I know that doing this would definitely fuel that fire.  

BING. A light bulb just turned on inside my head.

I am afraid of failing. I am petrified that I will set the goal, completely dedicate myself to it and then come up short. I am protecting myself.

It's easier to overwhelm and overbook myself with activities and use the excuse "I don't have enough time in the day to do them all and do them well" as the reason why I come up short. Tricky.

This is not who I am. This is not who I want to be. Perhaps it's time for me to do some prioritizing and make a commitment to be single mindedly focused on just one pursuit in each of the different realms in my life. This way I can actually complete them, celebrate them and then move on to the next set of challenges with momentum. 

Sometimes you just have to pick something - and once you've made that commitment it becomes the "right" thing.

I feel a big and surprising commitment coming on soon…

Stay tuned.


No comments: