WHY do I sometimes think that something is such a good idea, and then it turns out to be such a bad idea but I keep going anyway, like if I can just force myself through it it will be totally worth it? It is SO RARELY WORTH IT!!! I also so rarely finish it.
Has that ever happened to you?? (Please, some of you, say yes...)
I revisited a very bad idea today, and, after making myself nuts with a mind-numbing task for longer than I care to admit, I had a brainstorm and solved everything very quickly and intelligently, if I do say so myself. This is what happened, and some some lessons I learned that can help you when your own brilliant ideas have you banging your head against the wall...
First of all, let's give me some credit here--the bigger concept was actually a good one. I wanted a way to keep track of things that happen so infrequently that I can't remember when they happened last--like my most recent physical, or the kids' dentist appointments, or the date by which I need to use my Sephora birthday coupon.
Rather than searching months backward in my weekly calendar every time it occurs to me that we may be due for doctors' visits I thought, wouldn't it be convenient if I just wrote them down as they occur, on one piece of paper, where I could see the whole year at once?
I got very excited about this idea and started to set it up right away. This was right before January 2018, by the way. Just in time for New Years. A year ago.
As a side note, I don't really know how to use any of the digital design or drawing programs; I pretty much do everything in Word or Excel. For those of you who know Word, you can see why this was going to be a problem.
Did I let that stop me? Nooooooooooooooooo! Of course not.
I can't even tell you (I seem to have mentally blocked it) how long I spent trying to create 12 numbered columns on one page--individually, since I couldn't find a way to make one and then copy and paste it 11 times.
SO PAINFUL. I look at it now and can't believe the amount of time I put into this. And I didn't even finish it!! I wanted it to look a certain way, and I wanted to share it with my community (you're welcome!) so it would make all of our lives easier--but I couldn't get it done. There was even a failed attempt to hire a designer to take care of it, followed by the belief that if I just did a little each day it would eventually get done... Yeah, not so much.
So I set it aside and moved on. Then today I had the sudden urge to use the form again.
I dug it up, realized I'd never finished it, and thought, Hey! I'll just finish it now!
Ugggggggghhhhhhhh. Do I never learn?????
Well, yes...eventually. After spending an embarrassing amount of time this morning typing in little numbers and deleting little underscores, I suddenly thought, I bet somebody out there has already done something like this.
It took me about 3 seconds to find this in a Google search. It wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but it had rainbow colors and IT WAS ALREADY DONE!!! You can get one yourself here, if you like. It's in Word, so you can customize it yourself. And it's free!
So, what have we learned?
1. To honor your instincts and ideas, to jump in and start taking action--and to be open to the possibility that there are better ways to get where you want to go. And that that possibility doesn't devalue you, your ideas or your abilities.
2. To pause and check in with yourself when you're feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. There's a reason. It may be inner (shame, fear, self-sabotaging thoughts) or outer (stupid Word was not meant for these kinds of charts!) or both. Figure out what's going on and decide what you want to do next.
3. We have Google. There is SO MUCH out there already that other people have created and shared, and there are also people who are much better suited to certain tasks than you are. It is wonderful to discover resources and solutions that allow you to spend your time doing what's most meaningful and joyful to you while giving someone else the chance to do the same--and even paying them for it.
4. Done is better than perfect.
5. The good ideas don't go away, you just become ready for them. I knew I needed a way to track certain things. My vision didn't change even though I gave up on it for over a year. As soon as the need popped up again I got to work, but this time I was able to see more possibilities, let go of the need for 'perfection,' and decide that doing something was a lot better than doing nothing. Which is why this time I got it done.
Whatever big ideas have been floating around your head, whatever visions you've been harboring--use these 5 little guideposts to make your path easier so you can bring your own very fabulous solution-message-method-expression-creation out into the world. The world is waiting.
And if you want someone to sit with you, talk it through, break it down and map it out--here you go : )
Here's to the most wonderful year ever. Joy!!