Monthly review – embracing the undone

The idea of having one goal for my personal life came from the excellent book The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. I talk a little more about the book in my goal setting post for 2015 here, but one thing I didn’t mention in that post was how when you are focusing on one goal and keeping it firmly as your priority, other things can get messy.

My gut feel was this must happen a lot when you take this approach, but so far this year I have found it to be okay. The main reason for it not turning to complete chaos outside your core goal is something which is known as the domino theory. If you focus on one goal and start achieving it, other things start falling into line to, just like when you knock one domino over, the others just automatically fall down.

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In The One Thing, the talk about just how powerful this concept is. In terms of real world dominoes, the domino effect is so powerful that one small domino can in fact have the built up strength to knock down a domino the size of the Eiffel Tower or Mount Everest!

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But in July and early August while many things were coming together, there has been some mess along the way. July and August is the busiest time of the year for me with work. The annual Problogger Training Event I work on is held in August, so work on this project reaches its peak. The event also takes me away for nearly a week to the Gold Coast, so means I need to prepare the family for my absence as well.

Having the single focus hasn’t changed the busyness of this time of year, but it has changed how I manage it. In previous years I have pushed myself to keep every single thing going, nothing can remain undone. As a result I stay up late, get less sleep and my everyday demeanour is impacted as I am tired.

With a goal to be a planned, patient and present mother, I knew I couldn’t afford to do the same thing again this year, so something had to give. This year instead of pushing myself, staying up late to keep up with my planned content schedule for the blog, I accepted that it would not happen. My priority was to get sleep so I could be the mother I wanted to be.

Chaos – the word alone sounds ominous. The disorder and unpredictability created by chaos may feel uneasy at first, but it’s simply a byproduct of focusing so intently on ONE Thing. It’s something that naturally happens because instead of struggling to juggle everything, you’ve decided to only attend to what really matters. Those balls that you’re going to drop are rubber. They may bounce around, but they aren’t going to break.

The only way to achieve great things through focus is by letting the smaller stuff slide and not fearing the chaos it creates. When you aren’t running back and forth trying to keep everything in order, you may just find that letting the chaos happen is liberating. {Source}

I didn’t love this scenario. You might have noticed I only posted once last week on the blog and only twice the week before, instead of the usual three times a week. And while I didn’t love it, you know what? Everything was okay and most importantly I stayed calm and didn’t get myself to the point of exhaustion. It was only a short term change to posting and one that the blog could absorb.

In previous years I would board the plane to the Gold Coast absolutely exhausted with maybe two nights in the preceding couple of weeks where I was in bed before 11.30pm. This year though, there has been only two nights when I have been in bed that late. And the most interesting thing is, while I did have to reduce my posting schedule to achieve this, that was all I really dropped. A big reminder to me that when you are working tired, you are very often working inefficiently, tasks take longer and the quality of the work can be hit and miss.

Keeping myself well rested and embracing that sometimes somethings have to go undone has been has huge lesson to me this month. Something I am going to remind myself of in other periods in my life when it get busier. Using my single goal as a decision making framework can help me make the right choices for this time in my life.

How are you working with your goals? Have you had to give up something to keep focusing on your most important goal?