I have a confession: I am very impatient, but sometimes I also take a while to make up my mind. (I know my friends are rolling their eyes here) It’s a one-two punch of needing time to decide and then once I have, I want it NOW!
Over the years I have become more comfortable with being “ok” with the way I work and don’t beat up on myself as much for not being able to make quick decisions. Still, sometimes, there’s that gnawing ache to be on with things already! When I’m in that mode there are a few things that help me cool my jets when my impatience kicks in. Hopefully you’ll find them helpful as well.
1. A light at the end of the tunnel. If I know where I am headed (sometimes even just the general direction, if not the end result)I feel so much better. Taking the time to really think things through & feel confident in your decision can help stave off impatience.
2. A plan. Sometimes a goal seems awesome at first but then you don’t know where to start, or you like me, you research the hell out of what to do so much that you get lost in the details. Breaking your task down into bite-sized prices and calendaring it out can give you the peace of mind to carry each item out without freaking over the entire project.
3. Do it when you don’t feel like it. Acting on those bite-sized tasks can sometimes feel like drops in the bucket. But the reality is that each activity either brings you closer to or further away from your goal. Ask yourself this question every time you feel like making an excuse to avoid the task: Will this action bring me closer to my goal or further away? It’s surprising a simple thought like that can help you empower yourself to move forward.
4. Friends. Talking with friends not only boosts your mood in general, easing that sense of urgency, but you’ll realize how much you are accomplishing when you actually ‘catch up’ with your friends. And hey these are your friend for a reason, you’ll likely get some good advice, insights and encouragement for your goal.
5. Breathe. Mindful practices are scientifically proven to change the way your brain works (in a good way) and improve executive functioning (ya know the part of your brain that governs things like impulse control/patience). Yoga, prayer and meditation are just a few examples of mindful practices. Essentially, you’re tuning out of the rat race of your daily life to take a moment to breath and make some space in your head. Mindful Awareness is ridiculously awesome and is proven to help with mental and physical ailments. Check out UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center to learn more. Also, here’s a bunch of free 5-10 minute meditations (my fave is the Loving Kindness meditation).
I’ve seen how much these practices have affected my own mindset as I am finally actively working toward writing my first book.
What are you up to? I would love to hear about your goals and how you keep from letting impatience, laziness or confusion take over.
Photo credit: http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2011/09/07/impatient-to-change/ (A great little post on following your dream by someone how has – Paulo Coelho)