Patnaude Coaching

The Mental List


It’s easy to get caught up in the rush at this time of year. All sorts of holidays are just around the corner with their traditional busyness and chaos. Many organizations ramp up into high gear, trying to finish projects and deliverables before the calendar year ends. Before we know it, it’s the end of December and we’re contemplating where the year went. We take deep sighs and march out the mental list of things we wanted for ourselves in the year leading up to this moment. Many of us will feel we came up short.

I’m going to try not to let that happen to me this year. Here are three things I’m going to do in the coming weeks. I’d be delighted to know if you decide to join me on this quest.

1.      Calendar Shit

I already live by my calendar, but I’m including something I usually skip. Reflection time. One hour every Monday morning already goes to reflecting on my business and work life. I write a weekly update and reflection on how things are going for me and for the business that I share with my small team. I’m adding a second hour that will be just for me. On Friday afternoons, I’ll take an hour to reflect on how I want to spend my time outside of work. Then I’ll slot time for those activities. Like working on my new book. Meal planning, prepping, and cooking. Time with friends. Time to read. Dates with my beloved. Dates with my kid.

2.      Practice Discipline

My colleague Molly Grisham wrote an article recently that talked about how motivation follows discipline. Ever since reading that, I’ve found myself repeating it. When I don’t feel “motivated” to work out. When I don’t feel “motivated” to eat the way my body needs me to. When I don’t feel like doing any other task that I’m resisting. Putting this stuff on my calendar is half the battle. But I’ve got to practice discipline to actually get it done. Sometimes it’s enough to see it on the calendar. It’s an “appointment” with myself. And sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s okay if I don’t feel motivated to do it. That feeling of motivation will come from being disciplined about doing the thing.

3.      Make a “Not To Do” List

Things change, including our minds. Anyone who tries to weaponize that against you can just go away. When we create intentions, most of us don’t have the power to see the future. Shit happens. Things change. Priorities shift. Don’t get stuck in a commitment to doing something that no longer makes sense in your current reality. Maybe you’ve had an insight that your original goal was the wrong one. Reflect on what changed, and how you feel about it. Then adjust it. Those activities you never feel like doing nagging at you? Evaluate whether they need to go on the “practice discipline” list, or whether they can go onto the “Not to do” list.

Your list might look different from mine, and that’s totally okay. If I’ve gotten you to stop and think about these things, that might be enough. After all, this stuff usually starts with a mental list anyway. It’s up to you what you do with it from here.

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