We all have busy lives. I am not making a bold statement when I say this, it’s just the truth. It’s easy to let all of life’s little occurrences to take priority over tasks or goals we may have for ourselves. I recently found that setting aside one hour a day made a major impact in accomplishing a specific goal for myself.
I recently finished my Health Coach certification (always looking for a ways to fit that in). Back in April I was still keeping up with my coursework and the weekly tasks, however, my desk was covered in tons of paperwork, file folders, different tasks that needed to be complete. It had gotten to the point where I didn’t even want to sit at my desk because it was too cluttered. Seeing all the folders was just a daily reminder of everything that needed to get done. What wasn’t included in the physical pile was all the little tedious tasks forming its own little pile in my brain -more tasks that I knew I had to get done (such as sending emails, setting up payment options, updating website, marketing, practicing, etc). Overwhelm setting in….
WHY WASN’T I DOING THESE TASK?
Every day something comes up. My kids only go to school until noon so after 12pm they are home the rest of the day. I have a toddler who is always right by my side 24/7. I only seem to have enough time to do the bare minimum with my coursework – often listening to sessions while ironing, cleaning or in the playground. Any of my calls are done at night after kids are in bed. Most days if I didn’t have a call to do, I was exhausted. I just didn’t want to face that enormous pile of admin that needed to be done. It was just easier to turn on a few episodes of The Good Wife (which I had recently discovered) and watch Alicia Florrick’s life unravel instead of dealing with my own stuff.
Thank God I have an accountability partner for this course work! She asked “What would happen if you got everything finished? What would that mean for you?” After thinking about it, I realised that what it meant. If I got organised, got my certification then that would mean that I would actually have to start being a health coach. WHAAT? No more student mode, it would be GO TIME and that scared the crap out of me. FEAR had wriggled it’s little head out and was like, “I gotcha!” I was delaying (as I knew I still technically had a few more months to complete course). At that time, the thought of being a health coach (although exciting) was scary too. It was scary in the sense that it required me to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there as a health coach. My accountability partner is awesome. Together we were able to come up with a new positive perspective for me to get around the fear – such as answering the questions to How it would benefit my family? What would it mean for them? How would I feel once I finished? After discussing with her, I still felt the fear but the positives outweighed the fear and I knew I had to get these tasks done.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN TO MAKE THIS A REALITY?
So the initial goals was getting caught up on my filing, organising my paperwork, handling the business side of things as well with completing my certification in MAY. How was I going to get his done? After asking myself What needs to happen to make this a reality? I realised that despite having a full schedule that I could commit to one hour a day. That was a realistic and doable goal for me. One hour a day devoted just to completing this course. I didn’t put any restrictions on that hour. Just one hour a day toward completing the course which could include either filing, listening to a session, admin tasks – anything as long as it would put me one step closer to finishing my certification.
WHAT WERE THE RESULTS?
Well I didn’t finish my certification in May (which was the original goal), but I did get it in June – close enough. I got a lot of other tasks done though. By far, my most productive month. All done without sacrificing time with my family.
- All my file folders organized
- Desk cleared
- Completed final sessions with my practice clients
- Completed most of my certification requirements (except one last task that was completed last week).
- Paypal account sorted (major block for so long! Wasn’t entirely sure how to set up in Zurich and for the longest time was only getting the German language page).
- Started blogging again after 5 months: 6 new posts in May. Just want to add that is a Fortynista record. The highest amount of posts I had previously written was 5.
- Website updated (sort of, it’s a work in progress) but the important thing is that I am refamiliarizing myself with WordPress.
These are just a few that I can think of right now. Did I do it all in an hour a day? Yes and no. I’ll explain. Initially I had to start out with baby steps. Some days it would take an hour for me just to make the smallest dent in my filing. That’s not very motivating but after 4 nights in a row – what a difference! With each task completed I could feel the motivation increasing. The list was getting smaller and the momentum was building. I didn’t mind if I went over the hour. Sometimes it would be two hours or an hour in the morning, an hour in the evening. I really started having fun with it. Looking forward to what I could next. It just propelled me into another level of action that I did realise was possible with my busy days.
Well you know how life is. That list is never complete and that is OK. New tasks have surfaced but now I am in the habit of spending an hour a day on it – which is good because I will be starting a new course this week. One of the benefits that was unexpected is that in addition to my one hour a day, I found I made time for other tasks that had been nagging me for a long time. That hallway closet that needed to be cleaned out – done. That empty picture frame just waiting patiently hanging on the wall for the past 9 months – has a picture in it now (and it only took about 15 minutes to do). Items that needed to be brought to our storage unit – done.
Now that I have the one hour a day in place, what I would like to start doing is having that hour be a more focused hour. Right now it is more like anything goes as long as related to course. This just may be a new challenge.
Do you have a task or project that you have been wanting to complete? Is time holding you back from completing it? Why not try giving it your attention for one hour a day for a month. You just may surprise yourself. I know I did.
Comment below 1 task that you would like to complete (you know, that one job that you say you are going to get to but never do)