I have written about my desire to change aspects of my life before (here and here) and I am again. I know why I want to change – I’ve already listed a range of reasons – and I know why I find these changes hard (all in the above links – I don’t need to go over them).
However, I am still yet to overcome the first major hurdle- which for me, is getting enough sleep while still getting up at a reasonable hour in the morning. No, I am not a teenager – but maybe this is my version of a midlife crisis. I don’t know.
In an example of good timing, Nicole from Planning for Kids sent out her weekly newsletter today. In it, she wrote about her current struggles in starting a project she needs to do, and identified a key avoidance approach I also use (maybe you can relate too?)
‘Sometimes when faced with a problem, I will spend hours looking for the allusive bit of information that will save me time, make it better or get it happening quicker. But deep down I know the answer to my question about “what is the secret?”. …It is easier to search for the secret, than it is to do the hard. I have been avoiding working on a project at the moment because it is hard. I haven’t done anything like this before and the “what ifs” are creeping into my previous positive and confident head space. So tomorrow, I will .. work on the hard.’
It’s worth reading more, but you will need to sign up to receive her newsletter to do so, here. But it was exactly what I needed to read – I need to stop thinking about it, and do ‘the hard’.
I know that better sleep patterns are the first step to addressing my struggles to become more healthy and energised, improve my punctuality, focused more on the people I am with and the activities I am doing now (rather than worry excessively about an unclear future). I am far more capable of tackling other changes when I am better rested. I know – I’ve even managed it once or twice. Yet I don’t sustain it.
Why? Because it means giving things up, namely my personal time. I have got into the habit of thinking that, after the kids are finally in bed, it is free reign for me. Either I am out in the evenings, or I am absorbed with things I am reading on line. Well and good – except it is getting in the way of outcomes that are even more important to me, namely:
- Being with my husband. I am too absorbed with how I want to spend my evenings to often interact in more than a transactional way (‘so you’ll picked the kids up, will you?’ Who’s doing dinner – what would you like?’ – that sort of thing). Not really the most effective way to nourish a relationship. And evenings are really the only time we have together alone – yet I fritter this time.
- Living my life during the day more fully – rather than dragging myself through the day. When I live more fully, it is amazing how I do find moments – and sometimes longer periods – which provide time for me (and so I can find my ‘me’ time, without having to rely on evenings). How does this happen? Because when I am more focused, I am better able to complete things more efficiently. Amazing!
- Able to focus more on others rather than being solely frustrated with myself. Yes, there is a world out there beyond me.
- And very importantly – it does wonders for my mind and emotions, which wanders all over the place at the best of times, and more so when I am tired. I am tired of not knowing how I will feel from day to day, or even hour to hour – why I am up and down so much – and why I can’t keep track as well as I would like of what I am doing.
In summary – I’ve been confusing the interesting for the important. This needs to stop. I don’t need to read any more about it. I just need to do it.
I will need to put some fairly simple systems in place – habits, if you like. We already have daily routines to help us all in the mornings, but I need to extend these to weekly preparation, so I am not caught out in midweek with something I should have prepared for. Again – I have the mechanisms already. There is no need for a major overhaul to achieve this.
If you are similar to me – or Nicole, maybe accountability might help you? She put out an offer to for her subscribers to email her and she would check in next week.
I’m happy to do the same to anyone commenting on this blog – and please hold me accountable for my changes to my bedtimes, too (because I do need to get over this issue! It is boring even for me to talk about!)