How To Avoid Doing Anything By Doing Everything

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I’m one of those people. I like to try and do everything in the world and more. I want to bake, paint, write, be athletic and at the same time, go on long walks everyday before meeting up with a zillion friends and heading on dates with my boyfriend to fancy restaurants I’m not sure I can afford. I want one of those “Perfect” lives and don’t want to regret not giving my all to everything I try. In reality though, when I’ve spent endless hours working on my hobbies, doing my job and trying to zip around the country (and sometimes, the world) to see everyone I love, doing absolutely everything gets rather tiring.

As quoted by Paulo Coelho, “You can do anything, not everything.” Indeed, the world is your oyster and you can achieve whatever you want. I truly believe that and can give you a million examples of cases where people I know have shown this to be more than true. What if though, by trying to do everything and going for EVERY dream, we’re sabotaging ourselves? Can we really be a champion weight-lifter and become a prize winning writer at the same time? Can we be super trim while working 70 hour weeks on our new venture? Well maybe, but I’m not convinced that the best outcomes will be achieved.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a lot of things. I had a goal to travel the world before I was 30, build a fabulous career, settle down, save a bunch of money, have a house built, have lived everywhere and have learned how to speak at least 5 languages while at the same time, having a Friends’ marathon in my living room. I wanted to have 20 best friends that I could count on and even learn the fine art of French pastry making without doing a class or making a huge effort at all. Then, life came along and gave me a well-needed reality check.

Indeed, I’ve learned some of those skills I mentioned, traveled a little and watched some repeats of Friends which have all been super enjoyable. I’ve managed to do what I’ve done by compromising and saying “No” to goals I once had, even the juicy ones. I’ve even had to face the reality I won’t be a champion pingpong champion in Ireland or a fabulous French cook like Audrey Hepburn in that movie.

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In the event that I want to embark on a new adventure however am unsure of the time and general resources available to me, I run through a short checklist (Yes, by now it’s obvious I like checklists). Asking the right questions will usually unveil the right (ish) answers.

* Have I thought about this?

“Sleep on it” is always useful advice when a new decision has landed on the table. Spontaneity is wonderful however when a life alteration has the ability to totally turn it upside down well, taking time on it could be the best thing you’ll do.

* Does this ACTUALLY make sense right now?

I’m super excited about a new business venture that will be integrated into my blog this year. Originally, I had said I’d do it in July then I remembered I’m going on holidays and am up to my eyes and need to save some more money so, it’s waiting until September. If you want it to be achieved, you’ll manage it. Patience is a virtue and giving it the time and energy it deserves is equally important (even if you’re bursting with excitement, which I totally am right now :)).

* Who am I doing this for?

Mostly, we don’t admit it out loud (well, I certainly don’t) however there are circumstances where making a big change in our own lives can make someone else happy. Perhaps, they’re subtly hinting or possibly, they’re all out shouting it from the rooftops. Whatever the case, think about how you REALLY feel about it and how you’ll probably feel in a couple of years when/if this comes to be. Do what you do for YOU please.

* What’s it all about anyway?

Sometimes, I set goals that would actually only be “Nice to haves”. They won’t make a huge impact on my life, make me any money or even, make me majorly happy but I get bored and stick them on the list anyway. It’s not a surprise that these come off the list rather quickly and so they should. Time is valuable, spend it wisely.

I’m constantly working on new ways to make more effective use of my time. One of these is to cut out the tasks I don’t enjoy so I can focus on the ones I do. This will mean more room for blogging. Keep posted as I share more and more posts on goal-setting and time-management.