Happy Spring, Bold-Thinkers!
Are you reading to bloom?
Are you ready to declutter your thinking?
As many of you know, I am a recovering overachiever and overdoer. When I think back to that time in my life when I was packing it all in like a competitor at a hot dog eating contest, my head starts to spin.
I flashback to the constant motion I was in, how I was breathing shallowly, but still ticking things off my list like a manic Tasmanian devil.
I was a crazy overworking fool and completely rewarded for it – externally.
Now that I’m in the bold phase of my life, I have consciously slowed down and I am enjoying going at my own pace.
This is not met without resistance.
There is this internal flare-up that puts me in a mild panic when I am sipping tea, looking out the window, and having my 15 minute morning warm-up – when I’m thinking I really could be making calls, while making lunches, adding in a few leg lifts, and strengthening my pelvic floor (aka kegeling).
You may chuckle, but that’s how I used to roll.
I had to get it done – all the time – and it all had to be superb!
And you know what? I was one tired lady!
When my “I cannot get as much done as I used to” thoughts bombard and berate me, I go through these seven steps to get my bearings:
Step 1: Collect some data
I pause and force myself to slow down so I can get a true idea of what is going on with me and around me. I note which messages, activities, or events may be feeding the “I need to be doing more” message. I usually give myself between 3-to-5 days to collect this data.
Step 2: Take a break to renew
Nope, I do not analyze my data collection right away. That would send me into an overdoing frenzy. I take a break and do something that will help renew my energy. This usually involves some physical activities, spending time with people who get me or losing myself in a good book.
Step 3: Envision what I want to do next
I find this step to be very energizing because it pushes me to get clear. Based on my data collection and the downtime I gifted to myself, I can then visualize what I want to do next. I counter the blaming messages that try to shame me for taking my time. In my journal, I will typically use words and pictures to visualize what I want to be doing next and at what pace I want to be going. I give myself 1-to-2 days to do this.
Step 4: Stay open to all possibilities
After envisioning my next steps, the overachiever in me wants to power through and get it all done and taken care of. By pausing and allowing myself to focus on all possibilities, I can observe what is still causing me discomfort and figure out if I need to go back to step #1. Urgency has no place in step #4 because it does not give my inner voice enough time to talk through all possible the opportunities.
Step 5: Create my bold action plan
Action plan may sound like a big term, but I like to keep it simple. Based on the previous four steps, I write down four doable actions, share them with an accountability partner (usually my husband or a fellow coach), and then I get going.
Step 6: Work my bold action plan
I focus and then move ahead at my appropriate pace.
Here’s an example of an action plan I put together a few weeks ago.
A) Challenge/nagging thought: I am not teaching as many non-contracted workshops as I should be teaching. I’m leaving money on the table.
B) Bold action plan:
- Take a class to get re-excited about teaching (took an online astrology class)
- Offer to co-teach a class with someone (planned an event for April 30th with a great friend)
- Give yourself weeks to develop some non-contracted workshops for quarter 4
- Develop a survey and send to the Bold Living Today community to get their input (coming in the next newsletter)
Step 7: Reward myself
Each time I complete a task on my bold action plan, I reward myself. The rewards can be big and small: a massage, special chocolate bar, longer nap, pair of shoes, and a trip to the movie theater on a random Tuesday afternoon. This is a great energy booster and an excellent way to keep my motivation high without forcing myself to over-do things.
How do you plan to declutter your thinking this spring?
How can this 7-step process support you?
Grab the template here.