I could not have done worse if I had intentionally set out to fail.
Bad bad bad.
So. Very. Very. Bad.
But as Mark Rashid says…
The challenge I chose for March was going to bed at 9pm from Sunday – Thursday nights.
I was inspired to do this after reading the following article which discusses the huge physical and psychological benefits of going to bed early.
It’s not just about getting enough sleep but apparently what time you go to bed is of equal importance. The work our brains have to do is done more efficiently and effectively if it gets cracking on it at 9pm rather than 11pm. I can see the logic in that.
But I failed my brain and body for two reasons:
- March is a mega crazy time for me at work so I’m often working back late or starting early.
- I really didn’t put much effort into achieving my goal.
But do you know that feeling when you get home late from work and you just need to spend some quality time unwinding once you’ve had something to eat and done whatever else needs doing?
An expanse of time specifically earmarked to do Nothing.
Or to do something relaxing like watching a movie or reading a book. If you get home from work, have dinner and then go to bed within an hour or two, it feels as though all you’ve done is slept and gone to work. And you end up feeling like a mouse on The Great Wheel of Life.
It’s a conundrum that’s for sure.
I do like the word conundrum. It’s an excellent, excellent word.
So 9pm would come and go and I’d still be relaxing rather than going to bed to get a good solid eight or nine hours sleep into my weary mind and body.
I think I would have done better at this challenge during a different month so I’m going to try it again later in the year when work slows down a bit. October will probably be a good month so I shall aim for that.
Or perhaps I’ll just spend October sleeping in a hammock in Mexico; one never knows what’s around the corner you know.
I didn’t have a Very Good Plan.
Sometimes when we set goals, we don’t actually factor in what we need in order to have the best chance of succeeding. Like choosing the Right Time.
Clearly I wasn’t very mindful when I chose to do this challenge in March so the odds of me actually doing it were quite slim from the outset.
And as they say in the Hunger Games…
And ask yourself these questions…
Do I believe my goal is achievable?
Do I understanding why I want to achieve it?
How badly do I want to reach my goal?
What do I need to put in place to make it happen?
If I fail, am I willing to try again?
Do I have a supply of champagne to celebrate with when I kick some Major Goal-Setting Ass??!!
He’s here to help us. Truly.
I can obviously do this challenge. It’s not like my goal is to perform brain surgery; I simply want to go to bed earlier. And apparently at one time in my life, I was quite exceptional at it.
Mum told me that when I was a little girl, I would come home from kindergarten, have dinner and put myself to bed because I was so tuckered out.
That’s all I’m trying to do now. And my job is way more exhausting than kindergarten ever was. Although all that interaction with new little people is rather draining for us introverts.
I’m not sure if I was in kindy or Prep but I remember being given a bottle of milk - with a little silver cap on the top that you’d peel off and lick the cream from – and then we’d all lay down for a wee nap. Every single day.
Now, I’m sure they probably do something similar at workplaces like Google and Facebook (perhaps minus the milk) but maybe the rest of the working world needs to get back to basics and implement this well-being strategy? My workplace is gung ho this year about Work Life Balance and Well-Being so perhaps I’ll suggest it.
Naps all round.
So I am absolutely loving being able to colour-in at my desk and not feel as though I’m wasting time or slacking off.
Although I’ve been a bit slack with my colouring-in over the last six weeks or so as I’ve been working long hours and have lost sight of those things which help keep me balanced. Which is a shame as it really does make a difference to completely stop what I’m doing and spend 5 or 10 minutes totally immersed in nothing but playing with my pencils and being creative. I can honestly notice a difference in how I’m feeling on the days that I do colour-in at work.
So once again, I’m not doing something which I know is ultimately going to be better for me. It’s funny how us humans can do that isn’t it?
We go to bed late even though we know sleep is exactly what we need.
We eat the wrong foods, date the wrong people and stay in the wrong jobs for far too long.
We ignore the gorgeous little colouring-in Desk Calendar on our desks and keep rushing through the ‘To do’ lists of life.
To remind me how impermanent everything is. Including Life.
If we’re lucky, we get to spend 80 or 90 years being our fabulous selves on this incredible planet.
And throughout those 80 to 90 years, we are most definitely Going to Fail on occasion.
And that’s okay.
In fact, it’s mandatory.
I know it sounds ridiculous but I would get completely stuck in my fear around what would happened after that – and I don’t mean as part of that first step, I’m talking about way after. For example, if I was contemplating a new job, I would be terrified of what would happen at the end of that job, rather than focusing on how much growth and experience I'd have doing that role which would lead me on to something even more amazing.
So I'd not take the job or not move house or not leave a relationship because of some unknown place down the track. A place which had no semblance of shape or form or space in my life. I find it really strange now but that's how I lived my life until I was in my late thirties.
My comfort zone ruled my life.
But greater than my fear of the unknown is my fear of going back to being that woman who didn't trust and act on her intuition. I’m scared of once again being that woman who never wanted to acknowledge her doubts and fears and shortcomings. A woman who didn’t celebrate her accomplishments and creativeness and worthiness; my greatest struggle in life, as I believe it is for many of us beautifully flawed human beings.
But self-awareness and experience are a formidable team so I know I will never completely be Her again. She may creep back in on occasion to remind me there's always work to do on myself; and to remind me never to become complacent or to think I'm completely healed or that I can't grow any further. She keeps pushing me to learn and grow and reflect and to take responsibility and to acknowledge where my strengths are and where they aren’t.
So although I don’t want to be Her again, I am grateful for her presence in my life and thankful for the continual lessons she presents me with.
We sometimes forget that We – our messy, imperfect, inspiring, fabulous, coloured-outside-the-lines, shiny selves - are one of the greatest teachers we’ll ever have in life.
‘Imagine the choices you’d make if you had no fear – of falling, of losing, of being alone, of disapproval.’ Martha Beck