I had a whole other topic planned for this week’s post. I even have a draft. But as I sat down to finish it, my mind went blank. Problem-solving thoughts began to float in my mind, “Okay, I only have about two hours right now. Maybe I could check some other things off my to-do list. Or maybe I have an old post I wrote forever ago and never shared.”
And suddenly I realized two things: 1.) I sat down this morning to stay focused and create a blog post, and that is exactly what I’m going to do. 2.) The way I accomplish that goal is up to me, and it’s okay not to finish the blog post I originally planned on.
So here we are, as I write an impromptu post about the importance of keeping promises to yourself, and having forgiveness and flexibility with yourself in the process. It’s actually kind of meta, because I am using this perspective as I type each sentence! Mind blown.
When I started on the path of business ownership last year, I never imagined how much I would need to grow in order to actually manifest the vision my business partner and I created. That’s the way it is when we dream, isn’t it? Our dreams often require us to be even bigger than we already are. The bigger the dream, the more we have to grow to achieve it.
That’s the fun of it too! The experience of living a fulfilling life can be even more satisfying than reaching our goals, or it may result in totally unexpected outcomes. For example, I never thought that being a business owner would actually lead me to take better care of myself and simultaneously be more productive than ever.
I have come to learn that I am a much more effective, productive human, and (more importantly) enjoy my life significantly more when I make promises to myself that healthily support me and my business, and I actually keep them. It’s easy to say: “I am going to go for a walk in the morning every day” or “I am going to get that blog post written tomorrow,” but it can take extra effort to actually keep those commitments to myself. In reality, keeping promises I make both personally and professionally is exactly what needs to happen in order for this dream, Motivational Millennial, to be successful for years to come.
Here’s where we can become trapped in an unproductive cycle. We KNOW that we have to get stuff done in order to achieve our goals, but one of two things often happens as a result: We either work ourselves into the ground, or we get overwhelmed and freeze up and (in my case) binge CW superhero shows on Netflix. Neither of those two outcomes sustainably support our success.
In either of these scenarios, there is one important missing element: self-care. I know, can sound like a fluffy buzz phrase, but really it is about developing a healthy relationship with ourselves and treating ourselves like we actually matter too. It relates to productivity and success, because not only will we feel less stressed when we aren’t beating ourselves up anymore, but keeping our batteries charged in healthy ways will also allow us to have more energy (mental, emotional, and physical) to put toward our goals.
To sum it up, I have FINALLY realized that the only way I will see my big dreams become reality is if I can take all the steps necessary to get there, and the only way I will have the strength to take steps consistently and joyfully is if I treat myself well. I have come to truly understand what Jennine Cohen said in episode #1 of the Motivational Millennial Podcast: “I don’t have time to not be good to myself.”
While self-care can look many ways, I consider keeping promises to myself and being forgiving as two important examples. When I sat staring at the post draft that no longer called to me, the old me would have either forced myself to finish that topic (lacking forgiveness and patience), OR gotten flustered and procrastinated by doing some other task (not keeping the promise I made).
However, since I hit a stride lately of self-care-fueled-productivity, I kept my promise and did it in a way that was authentic and felt good. It feels like a win-win! I was productive and I enjoyed myself along the way. Plus, this experience has reinforced my capacity to accomplish what I set out to do and gives me even more energy to continue on this path toward my dreams.
In this way, I’m already living the dream. :-)