Do you have a dream living inside of you? One that you catch glimpses of from time to time, amidst the busy life you already lead? Are you doing anything to bring it to life?
For business owners, that might be what’s next in their business, or another experience of work-life integration or a new project they’re dreaming about.
For those on a career-path, it may be a passion project, a side hobby or planning a trip abroad. Or maybe a glimmer of starting a business of their own.
It often comes down to the feeling, “so many things to do, so little time!”
What is comfortable and usual are the things that get done first. It may not take you where you want to go, but at least you know how to do it.
Especially if you have several ideas that are vying for your attention alongside the life you already lead, deciding how to move forward and accomplish what you’re dreaming about can be a challenge.
“How do I even think about fitting it all in?”
I remember doing adult puzzles as a kid, getting the outline complete and then looking in overwhelm at the blobs of colored pieces strewn about on the coffee table in the living room. I’d look at the picture of what it was supposed to look like, at the outline on the floor, and then to the piles of color, trying to see a pattern, trying to see some way they would fit together. Then, something would catch my mind and all in one instant, I’d see how a bunch of pieces fit together. And so it went, alternating from “what the heck is going on here” to “ooooh, it all makes sense now."
You can probably see all the pieces you want to include in your day-to-day life, but it’s not always clear how they fit together.
If you’re someone who finds that ideas pull you in different directions and you’re struggling to make the impact you know lives within you, despair not, here are a few suggestions and mindset tips to stay out of overwhelm and on purpose with your time so you can make real headway on that dream of yours:
1. Remember you can action many of your ideas, but you can’t do all of them at once
We all have lots of ideas that live within. Each idea has a reason and a season. What wants to be brought to life now? How does it fit within your own vision? Is it relevant to be working on right now?
As a visualization practice, imagine yourself walking down a path towards your vision. Think about this idea that you have. Are you still walking towards your vision, or away from it? I keep a virtual notebook of ideas that I’ve had. Some of them might be fun, short term projects, others will require years of building. I know I’ll never run out of ideas, so I ask which ones will be most meaningful and which ones I really want to be working on.
2. Make a decision about what’s important to you right now
Our energy supports us in working on the things that are most important in our life. What do you care about right now? Think about where you see yourself by the end of the year. Imagine yourself on December 31, looking back on the past year; what have you accomplished? Think about what it will take to get there. Think through the commitments you’ll need to make to follow through on your own promise.
3. Get realistic about how much time you have
Think through the time you need to dedicate to all the important parts of your life - taking care of yourself (food, exercise, sleep), your family and relationships, work, personal time. Be realistic about what you can accomplish. If you continue to overestimate what you can get done, you’ll put yourself through the painful pattern of not following through on your overstated expectations. This can make you feel like you’re breaking your word with yourself and can erode your inner trust over time. And can also be just plain frustrating. It’s a simple problem to avoid - know how much time you want to spend in certain areas and keep those boundaries strong.
4. Go through the exercise of testing your week out on paper
Think through everything you need to do in a week and also what you want to get done. Block out times for everything and test it out for yourself. If it works on paper, it often works in practice. Even though the way you mapped it may not necessarily be the way you get it done, you’ve done the critical act of making sure all the pieces fit.
If you want more support in this process, you can download an additional 4 Exercises to Reach Clarity in Less Than 15 Minutes Each. For more resources or to contact Justine Pattantyus, visit her website at www.justinesparks.com.