I am a fall back person. Earlier to bed. Earlier to rise.
And I’m another kind of fall back person. I fall back in to my old habits and old ways of thinking far more often than I like to admit.
I go gangbusters when I decide to make a change, tackle a project or go for a long shot goal. You’ve never seen anything like the checklists and charts and post it notes and supportive supplies I amass all in the name of victory. If Target carries it or Amazon Prime delivers it, I probably have it. After all, I don’t do kinda.
Despite my best efforts, here’s the major fall back battle I’m having this year:
I have made the exact same declaration to my husband about changing my way of thinking about, and reacting to, work stuff no fewer than 900 times. And he is right (he will appreciate that I put that in writing) that we have had the exact same conversation year after year after year.
Don’t misunderstand. I genuinely adore my job. And my co-workers. And my boss. I’ve had different jobs over the years. Different projects. Different bosses. The only constant in this cycle of burn out/renewed energy is me.
I internalize things. I over analyze things. I am either thinking ahead to anticipate what’s next or sleuthing through the past for some hidden clue. I am almost never here in this moment.
This is the root of my self induced work stress. I am so focused on what’s next that I am missing where I am right now. I get so preoccupied with where I want to be that I blow chances to get there by simply doing the work I have in front of me.
The good news is that I catch myself more often than I used to when I fall back. I’m learning to replace my predictive daydreaming and obsessive planning with a little more time just being where I am. I’m going to be honest with you. It’s uncomfortable. It makes me antsy and restless. Bad habits are hard to break. I just try to sit a little bit longer each time with that discomfort.
I remind myself that if I just do the work, and do it well, the rest will come.
Enough about me. It’s your turn. Take a moment this week to think about the vicious cycles you let yourself fall back into that really don’t serve you well. Get uncomfortable for a while considering how your thoughts and actions might be fueling those ups and downs, whether they are in your professional or personal life.
Sometimes just starting to notice is enough to spark a change.
On a Personal Note is a weekly column by Stacy Schweikhart that addresses the tricky challenge of blending life with work. Part life hacks. Part life coach. Part amateur Elephant Journal. Hopefully not too much Dear Diary. But no promises.