Can I fill y’all in on something? I love to start projects. I don’t know what it is–but if there’s a 14-day or 30-day challenge for something, I’m all over it. And it’s not just defined time projects, I love the challenge of starting just about anything. Redecorating a room one month, learning to play guitar the next month or organizing all our digital photos. I love the competitiveness and newness of it all.
Oh, and something else you should know…I find it very hard to say, “no.” Even when I really, really want to say no or know there’s no way in the world I have the time or resources to take on a commitment, I’ll likely still say, “yes.” I don’t know when I started becoming the yes girl, but I just can’t stand the thought of disappointing, letting someone down or not being able to show I can do whatever it is that needs to be done–you know, superwoman style.
These “issues” might not be so bad except for one problem. I’m not equally as enthusiastic about completing things (unless it’s work related, of course). Case in point, I had grand visions for my baby girl’s nursery. She’s three now, and it’s still not completed. I have unused fabric for curtains I wanted to make for the kids’ playroom. My 40 before Forty list that I’ve barely touched. Partially used Spanish workbooks from when I dreamed of being bilingual. I could go on and on, but why depress myself?
The point is that I’ve found a new tool in my tool box for beating this deficiency, and I can’t wait to share it with you all. As moms, I’m guessing some of you too might have compulsive-project-starteritis or yes girl syndrome.
Whatever the case may be, we’re going to shake things up slow with just a few baby steps to start off with…
1. Make a list of some of the things you’ve left undone or should have said no to.
Don’t go overboard. Again, the trick is not to depress ourselves before we get started. The point here is to look for trends and patterns in the types of commitments we’re not excited about fulfilling or projects that never get finished.
2. Identify reasons why these projects, tasks or whatever weren’t the right fit or anything you gave up by taking them on.
Before you get started, I have to give you one rule for completing this task. Don’t let “time” be one of your reasons. Let’s keep it real, we all know that we will find a way to make time for the things we really want to do. So dig deep and really think about what happened. Maybe you took on something you weren’t really interested in or perfectionism crept in. Perhaps you didn’t have the money to complete a project or you were afraid of failing.
3. Review your list again.
Have you felt guilty or burdened for not completing anything on your list? Do any of these items continue to haunt or taunt you? Does not completing any of these items make you feel less than? If so, extend yourself a big heaping dose of grace and forgiveness right now. I’m serious. Don’t move on to the next step until you’ve done this.
4. Take your list, crumble it up and toss it in the trash or burn it.
This is all about new beginnings. As Elsa would say, “Let it go.”
5. Make a promise.
Write this down or start repeating it over and over: “Before adding anything new, I will make space by getting rid of something first.” And don’t think this just applies to buying new clothes to put in your closet. Apply this new mindset to everything–whether it’s starting new projects, buying new books to read, joining a 30-day challenge or volunteering for an event.