For so many, myself included, September is seen as a second New Year. It is seen as a much needed reset part way through our year. It is often a time brimming with new motivation, new goals, new routines and new opportunities, and given my propensity for goal setting and planning, I love it.
But just like January, our intentions can get the best of us. We set all the goals and commit ourselves to so many new things, only to leave us feeling a little deflated and depleted a few weeks in. Don’t get down on yourself for doing this, I mean we have all been there. We are full of fresh start energy and maybe don’t set the most realistic intentions or goals for ourselves. Even knowing this tendency to over commit and over do it, I still fall victim to taking on more than I can manage.
This time of year, when we have that extra motivation and extra energy, we tend to feel almost invincible, like we can handle everything. We say yes to all the things without thinking of our time, energy or priorities. That means it’s even more important to set boundaries around our commitments, because we are more prone to overdoing it.
Whether you are setting new goals or contemplating a new undertaking, I recommend you checking in to see if it's right for you. I like to focus on three areas: alignment, feasibility and intuition.
Is it aligned with my ideal vision for my life?
Is it aligned with my priorities?
It is so crucial to have a clear idea of how we want to live our life...what it looks like, what it feels like, what is important to you, what you want to incorporate and what you don’t. When we have a better sense of the life we want to live, it is easy to ask ourselves, does the decision we are making fit in with this larger vision for our life?
Is this feasible given my current life situation?
Does it fit with my schedule?
The hardest things to say no to are the ones that we truly want to do, but just don’t have the capacity to handle it at the point in time. We often say yes and hope for the best, all while secretly knowing we are setting ourselves up for failure. It is important to remember, that just because we can not commit to something right now, doesn’t mean you can’t return to it in the future.
Is there any hesitancy in your decision?
Does it feel right in your gut?
Our intuition is incredibly powerful, yet we don’t always give it the voice it deserves. When you are making a decision, do you check in with how you are feeling when you are thinking about it? Have you ever felt a gnawing feeling in your gut or tightness in your chest that is urging you to reconsider? Or have felt an explainable surge of energy or butterflies in your stomach pushing you forward with your decision? It’s time to listen to those feelings. I personally think this gut test should be the final check-in that decides it all. Even if something is aligned with your life and it is feasible , if it doesn’t feel right in your gut, it’s a no go in my books.
The more and more you do this process, the easier it will become. It will be second nature and you’ll become an expert at creating boundaries for what you do and don’t need and want in your life.
It is often said, that when we use lack of time or energy as an excuse, it is not a time or energy management issue, it is a priority issue. Make sure you are using your time and energy for things that are fulfilling, meaningful and bringing you closer to your ideal life.
Want to learn more:
Check out this blog on using weekly reflections to be more intentional with your time and energy.