I’m often an all or nothing kinda girl. This makes life highly entertaining and never boring, but it can also be pretty exhausting from time to time. I either run 100 miles an hour, pretending I’m superwoman, super excited and wanting to take on and change the whole world all in a week. OR (and this historically has happened more than once after that superwoman phase) I crash, collapse, am exhausted and overworked, need a f*cking break and would very much appreciate it if everyone would leave me alone. Can you relate? Well let’s read on then, because I’m finally learning how to navigate through this typical Aries behaviour and am excited to share some tips and tricks with you.
When we only live from two options, all or nothing, we eventually burn out and lose productivity, happiness, peace of mind and all the other good stuff in life. Let’s face it: as amazing as it feels to be on top of the world, the crashes and deep dives afterwards are not a walk in the park. I’m learning how to be with this all in a gentler way and would love for you to experience the same!
Once you have had a set back, whether it’s being ill, overworked, not having been motivated or anything of that nature, you will always get to a point where you feel it’s time to turn things around. Often this is where we get really excited and want to get things going as quickly as possible. We have been sitting ‘still’ for a bit, feel like we have missed out, not been productive enough or …(fill in the blank) and the little energy that we’ve gathered again by resting could end up being used too quickly and we might burn down again. I see this a lot with my clients. At times where they’ve build a tiny bit of their energy back up after treatments, they start sprinting through their life to play catch-up, only to end up exhausted on the sofa again.
And this is so human. I have been guilty of this too. Just this morning I was looking through my journal with all the lists, ideas, plans etc. of what I had been writing down in moments like these. Moments where I got a burst of: I’m turning things around RIGHT NOW and stepping up my game. Just looking at those lists today already made me stressed out and exhausted. It was quite hilarious actually how NOT achievable they were and how I basically was setting myself up to lose again with putting the standards so high, even though it was coming from a genuinely excited place.
So how do you then set yourself up to win? By taking small steps. By not going for a sprint, but thinking about the marathon that your life is. By not going from 0 to 100 miles an hour in a single second, but first going to 5, then to 20 and so on. It sounds so cliché and we’ve all heard it before. Still, I see so many people (including myself) getting carried away in the excitement, renewed energy and passion and wanting to do too much too soon. So let’s create a little framework here that might help you move forward and upwards, that creates momentum in your life and gets you up and going without burning you down again:
Focus on one area of your life at a time. Decide which area needs most attention right now and that will help you improve your energy and productivity the most. This could be your health, work, relationship, living situation, friends, diet, exercise, money.. anything.
Set out small actions throughout the next week for that area that you can do each day. Each day will have 1 thing to do, no more than that. This doesn’t mean you won’t do anything else, it only means that this 1 thing is the most important to achieve and everything else you do will be a bonus.
Create a mantra for the week that you will repeat for a few minutes each morning as soon as you wake up. It can be anything, as long as it is a sentence that empowers you. Mine for this week is: I am safe, I am worthy and I release to receive. But it could be anything!
Set time aside throughout the week for you to just be. Create white space for you to recharge, journal, take a nap, read a book or anything that you feel like doing at that time. This time will free up space in your brain to be more productive again afterwards.
At the end of the week evaluate: do you need to focus on this area for another week or do you want to shift your focus? Or are you maybe ready to add on some extra things? Have an honest look at how the week went, whether you can handle some more things on your plate and what your highest priority for the next week needs to be.
Clarity and planning are habits that have been proven to be very important to highly successful people. And it makes sense, the more you are aware of what is going on, the less energy gets ‘wasted’. The less noise there is around you, the better you can hear what you are trying to listen to. But putting unrealistic to-do lists together and aiming too high for where you are coming from or what is realistic for your schedule is a little trap that I’m not falling for any more and I’m hoping neither will you!