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Too much! April 22, 2007

Posted by atlantarunner in Life.

Fallen Superhero

Most of us have recurring patterns in our lives. One of my patterns is as follows:

1. I get ambitious and think of a few goals I want to accomplish.

2. As I accomplish some of those goals, I get more ambitious and add more goals.

3. As I try to accomplish all my parallel goals, I do few of them well, and I get frustrated over the many goals that go unaccomplished.

4. As another couple weeks go by, my frustration turns to anger over my lack of progress. The anger builds stress and leads to sleep problems, making it that much worse.

5. Eventually, I crash, much like the fallen superhero in the illustration. I veg out for a few days (or weeks), and ultimately reset my goals.

6. Back to step 1.

I have yet to find the magic formula that will allow me to break this cycle, or at least soften it. I am very driven and like to have goals. I get excited about trying new things, learning, and growing. I also have obligations in my personal and professional life. Also, I realize that the effort to balance goals and obligations only gets more challenging as we grow in our families, careers, and personal lives.

It would be great if I could find a way in steps 2 and 3 to prioritize my goals and feel OK about backing off some of them. I want to avoid the frustration, anger, and ultimate crash.

Have you dealt with a similar pattern? Have you broken that pattern? How did you do that?

If you’re trying to break that kind of pattern, what are you trying?



1. runlikemad - April 24, 2007

Lists and goals are the story of my life. It’s funny, prior to turning 25 I had crazy goals like, “get something pierced” and “kiss a girl” and then somewhere my pre-30 goals became much more sensible: “Get a degree”, “Get out of debt.” Since I finished the degree at 28 I felt like I had 2 more years to add something else to the pre-30 list, so I had added “get back down to 150lbs”… I’m not sure how that turned into “decide to run a marathon and let everyone in the world think you’re crazy”, but… it did.

I haven’t broken the pattern, and honestly, I don’t think I care to. I’m already thinking about what my pre-35 goals are going to be – once I reach 30.

2. atlantarunner - April 24, 2007

I like your attitude–you don’t care to break the pattern. Hopefully you don’t get as frustrated and stressed out as I often get about lack of progress. Or maybe you don’t pile on a whole bunch of stuff at once like I manage to do.

Like you, I always want to be striving toward something. I just want to keep it from getting overwhelming. Maybe my goals are not the problem, but instead, it’s the way I deal with them. Somehow I need to make it OK to not make progress on every goal today. That’s the trick I have not yet figured out.

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