The weekend after Thanksgiving, 2020, I wound up having to take my own advice.
Like you, I began the week with intentions to use the holiday break to get SO MUCH DONE. And I did get a lot done. A LOT. Saturday I didn’t feel as energetic as usual and my intentions to update two websites, hang holiday lights and complete holiday decorating didn’t happen. No worries, though, I still had Sunday set aside.
Well, Sunday I found myself in urgent care with a severe allergic reaction. Yep. This kind of thing happens when you let yourself get too worn out. Fortunately, I don’t push myself nearly as hard as I used to, and I’ll be back to myself after a few more days of rest.
As I neared home, those familiar nagging feelings and “shoulding” messages began:
“You should have been more careful…”
“You should have gotten up earlier and decorated before urgent care opened….” ?
“You should have done meal prep yesterday instead of resting.”
Fortunately, I stopped those toxic thoughts immediately. I know from personal experience that it is always best to focus on what I have accomplished instead of criticizing myself for what didn’t get done. A few years ago, talking to myself this way would have resulted in overeating, overindulging in television, and more harsh self-talk. The evening would have likely ended in me taking a sleep aid, watching TV until early morning, sleeping late, and waking up irritated with myself, and beginning the critical thoughts all over again.
Today I know better. Here are the new messages I created to instantly cancel out those critical thoughts:
“I’m glad I got medical help early instead of waiting.”
“I’m so thankful for affordable medical care and a doctors office that sees patients on Sunday”
“An extra bonus, my favorite doctor was in today.”
“I waited less than 10 minutes to be seen.”
“How fortunate that the pharmacy is open on Sunday and had the medication I need on their shelf.”
“Even though I felt like crap this weekend, I still got both of my doors decorated, and I love the way they both turned out.”
“Instead of cooking tonight, I’m going to have leftover chili. I’ll cook tomorrow instead.” “I don’t really feel like website updates. I think I’ll write a blog post instead and call it a night.”
WOW, that energy feels so much better, doesn’t it? I can now rest this evening, spend some quality time with my love and feel completely confident that I’ll get those web updates finished before my workshop on Thursday. I have plenty of time.
My friends, your thoughts are so very powerful. They truly impact the way you feel, the way you respond, the important work that you do in this world, and the way you influence others. Please, choose those thoughts wisely, and remember to ALWAYS focus on what you have accomplished instead of nit-picking and complaining about the tasks you haven’t had a chance to get to yet.
This has been such a significant part of my own journey that I dedicated an entire chapter to it in my book From Frantic to Focused. Chapter Seven, Acknowledge Your Achievements, begins on page 35.
Tonight, I hope you will take a moment and focus on all that you’ve accomplished this weekend. Once you take a moment to review all you’ve gotten done, I hope that you SLEEP WELL, Girlfriend, you deserve the rest!
Of course, if you don’t want to take MY Advice, you can always listen to the big guy. When he says…BE NICE, he means be especially nice to yourself!