I’m a straight shooter. And I’m not afraid to point out the glaringly obvious. It’s 1 July today. We’re half way through 2015. Around about now you start procrastinating about tax or filling in your automated yet clunky KPI Internal Comms system ‘demonstrating’ what a terrific year you’ve had so far for your manager to rush through to meet internal deadlines. But here’s something outrageous. How about putting some time aside to actually reflect on your year so far?
Here’s some key questions to kick start your own personal mid-year review.
- Source your goals, be they in your head or on paper. How are you tracking? What have been your wins? Where do you need to focus your efforts to keep winning? What has slowed you down & how will you look to solve these challenges?
- Your approach. Rather than being attached to a set outcome as you begin each action, consider your strategic approach for each goal especially around who you are being. Do you need to adjust your openness to improve a relationship? Can you find more joy in the everyday, seemingly mundane things?
- Your support crew. Who are you going to recruit/ keep on board to assist you to make the rest of 2015 a stellar year? Equally who will you offer support and advice to you – remembering contribution is a key attribute to achieving greater happiness in your life.
- Imagine it’s the Christmas party season of 2015. You’re making the rounds. When people ask you how your year was what do you tell them? Make a list with all the areas important to you e.g happiness, health, fitness, love, career, finance, relationships, travel, family, hobbies, home, etc
- What are three actions you will commit to completing this week to get you on your way to achieving your big ticket items and small every day wins? Email them to a trusted friend who will hold you accountable or feel free to send them my way.
Ideally set aside 1-2 hours to reflect, refocus and refresh your outlook for 2015 but if you can only find 15 minutes just do it! You’re well ahead of the game already by even reading this.
I have a few places left at my women’s workshop The Direction Momentum in Bondi on 12th of July. A great opportunity if you or anyone you know is drifting along or needs some motivation!
I noted recently how many metaphors and language there is around focus and goal setting with roads and travelling. Journeys, direction, path, momentum, wheels in mud, road map, stuck at a fork in the road, the road less travelled, crossroads, life intersections the list goes on. So I thought the image I took en route to Mt Hutt , Canterbury, N.Z. on Saturday was apt for today’s blog.
Where’s the road taking you for the rest of 2015?
I remember a time when I thought it was cool to ‘confess’ I had a perfectionist streak. Like I was some perfect ballerina princess in her pink twinkly castle who would only be satisfied when something was 100% as I wanted it and everyone would approve and clap and go YAAAY.
Now with clients I can often hear myself saying things like perfectionism is the height of insanity, being perfect is just another form of procrastination and perfectionists have no standards. Ouch.
My ‘tendency’ tends to rear its head towards things I value. There is no perfectionism issues when it comes to cleaning my car (quick drive when it’s raining does the trick doesn’t it?) or ironing my clothes (love cheap dry cleaners) however recently when it came to finding the perfect couch it took me two years! I am not kidding. And guess what, it’s not perfect! Obviously this goes much further than material things – relationships, careers and health are all affected by perfectionism.
So. Newsflash. At the end of the day aiming to get something completely 100% perfect is just not possible. Don’t get me wrong, I love creating a stretch target or two but when the goal has an ever increasing ‘perfect-o-meter’ you’re setting yourself up for failure. And quite often on purpose. Scary.
Falling victim to perfectionism can also mean you wait for exactly the right time, for all the ducks to be lined up in a row before you make your move. But the damn ducks will never line up quite right and time will pass and you have missed an opportunity that may never come around again.
Reality check. Sorry it’s brutal. When acting in a perfectionist mode you are demonstrating your need to be in control of everything. This usually comes from a fear of not being good enough, not belonging and not being loved.
So here’s some questions to ask yourself – some based on work by Dr Phil (yes another fave).
- Who are you trying to control? Often people who are trying to control external chaos are in actual fact attempting to control their own chaos.
- What is driving your need for perfectionism? What are you afraid of if you don’t control everything? Are you worried about what people will think about you if you don’t keep up this perfect façade?
- Consider how it feels to be around you when you are in perfect pants mode. If you have children they may feel like they will never be good enough and consequently you are passing on your perfectionist tendencies to them. Ever had a perfectionist boss? No matter what you do, it is never quite enough.
- What are you getting from being a perfectionist? Do you get to excuse yourself from committing to something you’re passionate about for fear of not getting it ‘right’?
- How much energy are you using in attempting to control your world? It’s exhausting right. At some point you need to trust your universe enough to say I am comfortable to let this go and let it be as it will be.
- Be rational. What happens if you let go of controlling others? Nothing. Because deep down you know it’s not possible to control the world. You are not Dr. Evil from Austin Powers people!
The best way to give up your perfectionist streak is through acknowledging what fear you are feeding and then you make a choice. You can either try to control everything and everyone (good luck!) or focus on what YOU really want. Rather than consuming energy with controlling, focus on all the good qualities within you. Your desire to live life to the full, to learn and grow, focusing on appreciation, your courage, love, tenacity or determination to succeed. Give yourself the permission to let go of your perfectionism – as cool as it sounded when you were 14 and I’ll think you’ll find it a lot more rewarding.