I sometimes make similar mistakes in my self-improvement and project goals. Unwisely, I try to do too much at once. Why is it that when I have decided to drop a couple of pounds by increased exercise and decreased calories, I suddenly get ambitious to change four other aspects of my life? One key to success in changing habits or pursuing a new goal is focus--focus I lose when I pile on the resolutions and projects.
Creative everyday life generates joy and purpose. And in some ways, I am almost addicted to creative living, even in the smallest undertakings. I want to soar, like the seagull I photographed at the Maryland shore. However, I tend to try ten new things at once instead of following one pursuit with more depth and focus. The gull knows better--she has chosen a direction to follow until she has a very good reason to turn.
When I lack focus, I become stressed even though my pursuits are self-chosen. For example, when I am near completion with a painting and decide to work on it, I might suddenly realize that I have not completed the skirt I started 2 weeks ago. Then again, there is that new dinner recipe I want to try, and it requires preparation steps this morning to serve it tonight. My, oh my, there is too much to do! I only need to stop a moment to realize that no one has assigned me any of these tasks and that they are not of equal importance to me at this moment. Why am I doing this to myself on a day off from work?
I am capable of intense focus and self-discipline. So why do I sometimes pile on too many projects at once and lose focus? Why do I feel stress over a skirt hem when the hemming can easily wait while I work on my landscape painting?
I have no easy answers--after all, it is myself I'm trying to cope with here. However, it is helpful to have articulated this situation and to see myself a bit more clearly. Now, once again, I can laugh at myself, choose my highest priorities and immerse myself in pursuing them. I think I will go paint now.
Question of the day: Does anyone else out there get up in the morning and try to head in several directions at once?