Take a moment right now to think of something you want to accomplish that just “isn’t happening.”
If you are like me, you may have several things that come to mind. Ha!
But, just pick one. 😉
For me, the one thing I’ve been thinking about lately is completing “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” with my oldest before he starts Kindergarten this fall.
This is a goal I started last summer.
And, it’s been an adventure, with lots of ups and downs.
Things started out amazing, as they always do with new goals.
And then, things got more challenging.
I originally had a goal to finish the book with him before my third baby was born (AKA, by last December).
But then I got coaching on this back in September or October and realized that I didn’t like the energy I was coming from with that goal. I saw that I was using it against myself – meaning that I was feeling like accomplishing this goal would prove something about me.
Whenever we think accomplishing our goals will “prove” something…that is worth questioning.
So, then I loosened my grip on my timeline for this goal.
I realized that I wasn’t being realistic in my expectations for this goal. And, I realized that finishing before baby came wasn’t what was most important to me.
What was most important to me was showing up the way I wanted to show up when teaching my child to read, as well as not spending more than a certain amount of time each day doing it.
I had to let go of some expectations, like…
We should be able to do one lesson a day.
We’re supposed to be able to do this in 20 minutes a day.
He needs to focus more.
He shouldn’t get so distracted.
It shouldn’t be this hard.
These thoughts resulted in me losing my mind on the regular in the beginning stages of this goal.
That’s not how I wanted to show up. That’s not how I wanted to remember those experiences with my son. And that’s not how I wanted things to go.
I realized I was valuing productivity over connection.
And, I realized what I really wanted was to value connection over productivity.
To create an experience for myself that was more patient, loving, and kind. More present. More engaged. More accepting.
My goal was to help him learn to read and help him love reading…not set him up to feel totally stressed out or like he’s not doing it well enough or fast enough or what have you.
So, I made a conscious decision to SLOW DOWN.
Now, we’ve been doing those lessons here and there over the past several months, and it’s something I’ve done A LOT of thought work around.
I now (mostly) love how I show up for those lessons when we do them. How I handle things when he feels frustrated or overwhelmed. How I encourage him. How it’s a time for me to practice being who I want to be and how it’s an opportunity for both of us to practice having a growth mindset and to practice letting go of that need for things to go a certain way. I love when I feel connected to him through that experience. I love that I am have become more able to manage my mind and enjoy the journey.
Still, I haven’t been loving how we’re “still not done.” And, like I mentioned before, I want to finish before he goes to Kindergarten this fall.
So, I’ve been thinking about this, and asking myself a vital question…
Why don’t I already have this done?
And then, I listened to my brain and observed the thoughts.
There’s no good time to do it.
It takes too long.
I just don’t feel like doing it a lot of the time.
He’s not going to want to do it.
It’s going to take forever.
It’s too much work.
ALL the familiar thoughts I work through on my time. Ha!
And then I asked myself…
What would be required for me to create the result of finishing this by the end of July? What would I have to be willing to do?
The math is one lesson a day. That means setting aside at least one hour a day to work on it. And, really, that means planning on an hour and a half because…ya know…things happen when you have three littles!
It means being willing to prioritize doing reading lesson in the morning as soon as possible after breakfast and before lunch. And that means being willing to prioritize reading over cleaning the kitchen right after breakfast. It means being willing to use baby’s nap time to read as opposed to do other things. It means being willing to spend time in the afternoon or before bed if by chance something happens and we don’t finish in the morning. It might mean saying no to morning play dates with friends.
It means being willing to brainstorm ideas and ways to get my son excited about it as much as possible. And, doing the work to put myself in the right energy for connection before starting the lesson with him.
It means knowing I’m still going to think all the thoughts above…and more…and still do it anyway. It means being willing to do it even when I don’t feel like it.
And then I ask myself…
Am I willing to do that?
My answer was yes. So, I gave it time on my calendar and we are currently 3 days in.
I know it’s not going to be easy.
My brain is for sure going to want to quit at least 1000 times.
A part of me doubts that we can do it.
A part of me doubts that it will happen.
A part of me fears that this will be one of those things I started but didn’t finish.
And, that’s ok.
Those doubts and fears can come along for the ride.
I’m doing it anyway. AND, I know that if by some chance I don’t make it happen, it means nothing about me or my value as a person.
“Better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.”
That being said, I’m going to keep reminding my brain that we can do it.
That maybe it’s possible.
And that maybe it’s not as hard as I think it is.
If you could accomplish one thing this month, what would it be?
Why do you not already have that result?
What would be required for you to create that result?
Are you willing to pay that price?
If the answer is yes, give it time in your calendar, and make it happen!
You got this my friend.