I spoke to a much loved and respected client last week who reported fog due to goals overwhelm. There were other mitigating circumstances which I am not going to go into because they are personal to my client. But the concept of goals overwhelm is not. It can affect us all from time to time, and here’s what to do when it does.
It is a certain sort of driven high-achiever who likes goals. That used to be me, but no more. If goals interest you, then please proceed directly to my website without passing go and without collecting £200 and search on the word “goals” or “intentions” and you will see that I have written much about them both over the years, and particularly why I think intentions are the more appropriate for me nowadays as the woo woo entrepreneur. They are gentler.
But as a coach I was taught to get you to commit to goals. And many of my clients like them and achieve great results by doing that and so we do. You are the client, you drive. And the goals piece is well documented as the fast-track to results. If you buy into that, you make it so.
And that driven high-achieving sort of client will often set their own goals using one or more of a series of tried and tested goal-setting systems. A year. A month. 90 Days. What you want to get done before 2017 and so on.
But what to do when you get out of breath and realise you can’t do all of that and that you don’t need to? What if you are already bowling along pretty well, and all this goals shit is just tipping you over the edge of sanity? What to do when you stop buying into goals as a route to manifesting what you want?
Time to clear ’em out, that’s what.
- What “needs” to be done, and what doesn’t?
- What do you want (much more important) to get done, and what are you quite content to let fall away and do sometime/never?
- Why are you stacking yourself up with all this work when your lovely life beckons?
- Are your goals making you miserable and overwhelmed?
- How can your goals be achieved anyway with more power and less force?
Review your goals list and put them into categories or rank them by importance to you. Not shoulds, but desires. The ones you want to do will always get done. The shoulds you might be able to pay someone else to do.
Who are you comparing yourself to and why? You are the only person that counts. Measure your own success by your own criteria. Review your list and weed out those which, once done, will make life much easier and business more profitable and stop you repeating tasks. Those are the ones which, once done, stay done and don’t keep haunting you! You can do those, or get them done for you.
I put everything I am intending to do in my Outlook calendar and then I generally get up in the morning and do what I have planned. There are exceptions. Today is one. I am doing a lot of writing today, a lot more than I had planned. Technically it’s my day off, but muse is visiting and so I am making hay while the sun shines. I am neither in fog nor overwhelm, I am on a roll and that’s a brilliant time to zoom forward with welly on some of your goals/intentions, plans and schemes.
I also do the opposite. If I get up in the morning and don’t fancy what I’ve scheduled for myself for today, then I move it. Not client work, I try very hard never to move that because it involves other people and I don’t want to inconvenience them. But my own work, my writing, my projects etc., if I don’t feel like doing them I move them to another day when I think I might.
And here’s the best bit. Sometimes I move then more than once. And then, in the end, I simply delete those. They are probably shoulds, or should-ish. I take those off my list. And do you know what? The important ones come back anyway, and one day I just wake up with the urge to do them. I think of this as entrusting those to my sub-conscious. I don’t have to do them. One day, if they need doing at all, I will just magically the urge and the energy and wake up feeling like I actually want to take care of them.
So here are my tips in summary, for those in overwhelm.
- Strip away all the should goals or outsource them
- Re-schedule the rest to reduce the fog – the deadlines are your choice
- Delete some and trust that one day, if they need doing at all, you will magically wake up and just feeling doing those
- Forget the rest.
Be kinder to yourself and ease up on the driven thing. You can relax. Things will still get done, especially the important stuff.
And only you can decide what you make important.