I’ve heard from several prospective clients that they just can’t seem to stay on track. Whether it’s exercise, sleep, meditation, or work, they feel frazzled and off their path. After listening closer, what they interpreted and internalized as failure, sounded more like activity overload met with judgment, expectations and the ever-shifting priorities of life.
After missing a workout or two, the routine seemed impossible to maintain and the flood of life obstacles and excuses came flooding in.
Last week I talked to my client about this. Every month we set a word or theme of intention. She chose “Stay on My Path.” I was curious and asked her what her path looked like. “A straight line from here to my goal with no distractions on the side of the road. It’s a two-lane road, but there’s no one else on the other side of the road.”
“But what if you need a potty break, a snack or gas in your car?” I asked playfully.
“Well I didn’t think about that,” she replied.
“What happens when you’re on a long road trip and all you see is the same landscape and no one else on the road?”
“I get bored and sleepy or I need to take a break.”
“So what I’ve been creating in my strict approach to my tasks is forcing me to be distracted?” she asked.
“Let’s explore that. When are you most efficient and happy with your work?” I responded.
“When I’m bounding from task to task, creating, chatting with clients, brainstorming with friends and colleagues, and taking a movement break,” she answered.
“So how can we rebuild your path to keep you more consistent and fluid?”
“I think I need to be nicer and more flexible with myself. My load is heavy and high and the expectations I have on myself to get it all done stress me out even more.” She exhaled deeply releasing the tension she had been holding onto
The pattern of expectation overload met with an unrealistic sense of expectations is a winning combination for frustration, exhaustion, burnout and quitting. We are triggered everywhere we go by people, conversations, environments, and internal dialogue among many others. If we don’t plan for those triggers and have coping mechanisms to manage them, how can we expect to stay on track with what’s important?
Does it have to be perfect to be done? Nope! And by the way perfection does not exist.
Can you get back on track after break? Absolutely! So, make today your day to rebuild your path or track and plan for triggers and needed breaks.