Sometimes we want to act and we will take the long view and allow external issues to hold us back. I have been running into this lately and see it as something that use to stop me but now I try to compartmentalise stuff so that I can keep everything I can control on track.
The issue right now in our house is our upcoming Kidney March.
Kidney March History
A few months ago we signed up to do the Alberta Kideny March. This is a 100 kilometer walk that raises money and awareness for Kidney research for people like our daughter that face a kidney transplant.
When we signed up I was a bit slow getting started, it was a few months away, I knew that I had stuff coming up now, I had training walks to eventually do and fundraising. My wife on the other hand started fundraising and having success with it immediately and pulled me out the door for some training walks.
Now after a couple or three months of not doing anything about our Kideny March stuff my wife is suddenly nervous. We have to raise more money, what will we do with the kids that weekend?, my stomach problems are bad, we haven’t trained enough. All of these issues and even a couple more problems are in her way while my procrastination finally stopped and I have started doing longer training walks and know that I will definitely be ready for three days of 30+ kilometer walks.
With all of my wifes fears heading towards us I just want to walk and get ready. She isn’t there yet, but she is close
How to Handle Personal Projects
We had a long talk last night and there are a few things we can do. We can handle each of our outstanding issues separately and look at these as single issues, not all intertwined as one giant project.
I hope that now that my wife is onside with this that we can start moving forward but I have to admit that in this light I am looking pretty good which is not really fair. I am always the one turning everything into a ball of problems and not breaking things out and can never move forward until I untangle feelings, fears, problems, and possible solutions to try and fix everything.
I know I am not the only one that does this, it must be common but really so often we will feel the need to straighten everything out before we take action.
- I can’t fix my diet until I go shopping again and finish the food in the house and find the perfect diet for me
- I can’t get in shape until I join a gym and find a trainer and schedule to workout and the perfect workout routine
- I can’t look for another job until I find my purpose and passions, and get training, and acceptable knowledge and build out my social network
- I will not write a book until I have researched the subject thoroughly, found a writing coach and researched successful writers
- I can’t, I need, I want, I have to get it together
Does this sound like you? I know it often sounds like me. I overanalyze most situations until I feel I am ready and so often we do not even foresee the actual problems that will come up in real life. Usually I make the issues that would come up as far more insurmountable then they really are.
Take First Actions
The real secret to success in most things is the first action. Once you take that action you can see what the next action should be and even if you have not prepared for what is coming up later you don’t have to have a fix until later anyway.
When I first looked at the Getting Things Done system I, like a lot of others, didn’t like the lack of planning for projects. When you look though now at what I am talking about with just worrying about the next step then it makes things work a lot better.
Do you do this as well? Not act until everything is ready?
Try doing this yourself, make a list of all the things that you need or want to get done and look at the first step. I can tell you that when you take that first step all the pressure feels like it is off. I have seen the September 6th date for the start of the Kidney March and just shook my head. Once I started my training in earnest though I now feel a heck of a lot better. I can now see what kind of training that I need to do so the pressure is off. I know that I can get these training sessions in so the pressure is off. I know for me the only other part is the fundraising and I can find the time for that so the pressure is off.
If we look back at the issues my wife is worries it is the same thing. Start fundraising again and ask for donations. Call some people to find a place for the kids for a couple days. Go to the doctor for some antibiotics for the stomach issues. And go for some training walks to see how close she is for being ready to walk. All have a next step.
I hope this post gets you mind churning a bit. I bet you, just like me, have a lot of outstanding things that you have been holding off on maybe for months or years that you can finally start and get on the road to finishing.