Updated: Jan 23
If you're like me, you probably had some fantastical goals for 2023. My plan was to become a morning person but after several days I've come to realize this trait is innate and no amount of nurture can affect it.
As a "type A-" and generally competitive person, I find it easier to change when the rules are more rigid because I love structure. Issues arise when something happens outside the bubble of control and the cycle is broken. And where there is a break there is often a huff-and-give-up looming near.
Here is where this sage wisdom I received from a friend comes into play:
BEND DON'T BREAK.
A thought I have always struggled to conceptualize. That if I fall off the wagon, tomorrow I can get on it again without having to punish myself on the climb back up. There is not shame in dusting yourself off to do so & maybe you didn't even fall all the way off in this metaphor. Maybe you almost fell off cause you stood up while the wagon was going over a bump and it was a close call and kind of tempting to jump all the way off while you were there worried about falling off in the first place.
Flexibility and adaptability have never been my strong suit. I would say it's one of my greatest weaknesses or OFIs (opportunities for improvement). I don't know why the simple phrase made it all so much clearer but this mindset shift will be monumental. Especially when it comes to my rigidity with schedule.
As a time-blocker, if my task goes over time (which it always does) it throws the rest of my day off. First barrier to address: I need to give myself a little more time to complete tasks *nods to self* EVERYTHING takes longer than you think it will. Second, I need to understand that between chunks of blocked-task-stuff life may also come up: eating, toileting, walking to the car *lightbulb over head.* I don't need to throw my whole plan away because the timing is slightly off, and I can build in more flexibility to avoid future frustration.
Here is where this concept is also showing up: Providing patients estimated times vs. specific times, this way I don't feel quite as guilty for arriving late or spending a little extra time for someone. Giving myself several tasks to complete and asking myself to complete 80% of the tasks. Acknowledging the job(s) well done vs. stressing over all the empty check boxes. And finally, introducing routine flexibility on the weekends. While my supported sleep will continue to haunt me as a character flaw (it's not), I realized over the weekend that it kind of just...makes me happy and comfortable to have the noise of a podcast or TV show. While my goal is to move away from the need to do this, I can loosen the reigns and indulge. Maybe I'll learn something there, too.
What do you think? Is your rigidity the enemy or your strongest ally? Do you have any routines that you just CAN'T stick to? Have you explored why they benefit you in the first place?
Let's keep moving toward our goals, honoring ourselves for trying and forgiving ourselves when needed.