Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Far too often we find ourselves thinking about what we don’t have.
When we goal set we’re thinking of everything we have to do in order to get where we want to be.
When we scroll online, we see images of what appears to be a perfect reality, even if we know that’s not the case.
I often talk about how I ask my clients to define success on a weekly basis when we’re kicking off a week. But what about the check in?
We look at how success was defined at the beginning of the week and we talk about what was accomplished. We initially focus on what they did do, not what they didn’t. We will then talk about what didn’t happen and why. After this, we will discuss ways to incorporate steps to move progress forward.
Psychologically, I don’t think it helps anyone to dwell on the things that didn’t happen especially if there’s good reason like family matters or other health reasons i.e. being sick. This isn’t about making excuses, but reevaluating how we’re scheduling the upcoming week and if we’re trying to accomplish too much for their environment.
I’ve noticed a shift in how my clients goal set and how they measure progress when they start looking at the positives that are being contributed to their journey in the beginning and then discuss what went “wrong”.
The holidays are a weird time for me. In past years I’ve discussed how the lack familial relations has made it hard, I’ve also talked about how my anxiety is high after numerous holiday parties.
I don’t expect this year to be much different. I’m sure that there will be a sadness of those previously loved and since booted out of my life. It’ll be fleeting like it is every year and then JP and I will dive into our own traditions of cocoa for dessert (which we’ve clearly started because it’s so cold), brunching with holiday painted wine glasses, putting up the tree that is too small for the amount of ornaments we own and holiday movies on repeat.
Managing my anxiety has become an art – and I think there are many out there that feel the same way. There are tricks and tools to help it be managed – a cup of tea, napping in the car on the way home from a party (don’t forget to bring the neck pillow), music on repeat, meditating, working out, baking my favorite treats to bring so I can participate in said parties – the list goes on and there are slight changes to it or additions. Most times I feel like my anxiety would be reflected as an impressionist painting and I’m pretty okay with that.
As we dive head first into November and the holidays, I’m going to work on taking my own advice – focusing on what I can do, what I do have and be thankful. In the past, I would brush off my feelings and say “someone else has it worse” – which is true. But I would tell clients that they need to allow themselves to own what’s bad to them. I would tell them that they need to tunnel themselves and remember that if something is good or bad to them that their perspective is what matters – it’s time I truly start listening to that.
It’s something I’ve been working on for the past year, I know the next two months are typically the hardest for me mentally. Focusing on what I do have and how that can be added to so I can get where I want to go rather than focusing on all the things I need to have to be successful by my standards I think will also help me manage my anxiety a bit.
I do love this time of year and that’s one reason why it is frustrating that I also struggle. I never thought about it, but maybe that’s why I love this time year- because the picture-perfect holiday on TV is not something that I ever had experiences, but something I wish I did. It’s also possible that every year JP and I build our traditions that I’m working toward my own version of picture-perfect – and I need to remember that too.