How to Tackle Challenging Tasks

tackle challenging tasks
No matter what the task you are up for the challenge!

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the thought of doing something that you just avoided it or gave up altogether?  That definitely has been me many times.  Recently though, I was able to accomplish something that I never thought I’d finish, and it felt euphoric once it was done!  I figured I’d share how I tackled things to maybe inspire you to revisit something that has you pretty anxious and GET IT DONE!

The task I had to do was clean out my garage to make room for my car.  I had just sold my mom’s house (after cleaning that out and planning an Estate Sale) and was storing many items from that house in the garage so my car could no longer fit (note that I already had a storage unit full as well, so that was not an option).  Imagine staring at a huge pile of stuff filling your ENTIRE garage.  Typically, I’d meltdown and ignore things because it was so overwhelming to me.  Plus I was already exhausted from all the steps I had to take to get the house sold in the first place.  And at first, melt down was what I did.  However, the main thing I did NEXT that was the key to completing this task was to BREAK IT DOWN into smaller, manageable steps.

I thought, what little things do I need to do in order to clear out the space?  I needed to inventory what was there and decide if I was keeping it or not and if keeping, where should it go? I decided that spending a little time each week doing this instead of trying to do it in one shot was the best way to approach it as it did not seem so impossible that way.  I also set some mini-deadlines for myself to make sure I stayed on track, because it was easy to prioritize something else I had to do above this each week to avoid an unpleasant task.  (I know you do that too!)

Celebrate your small victories.  The world was not built in a day, and this task was not done in a day.  It actually took me 7 months, but it was done!  Each time I saw a little more space in that garage, it motivated me to keep going.  It’s like dieting:  in the beginning it’s the hardest, but once you start seeing those results, it keeps you going because you know your efforts are working!

There were several things I had to donate or dispose of and others that I had a chance to find room for in my house, but it all started coming together.  I originally had targeted the end of October to complete the task, but some things came up and it ended up being done in December.  My main motivator at that point was getting it done before the weather turned really cold (which would make spending time in the garage that much more unpleasant!)  But the takeaway here is that it did GET DONE.

So to sum it up:

Break it down.  Take that task and separate it into smaller, more manageable steps.

Set deadlines.  Make mini-deadlines along the way and hold yourself accountable!  If curveballs come your way (they often do), just make the appropriate adjustments and keep going.  The worst thing you can do is let a setback frustrate you so much that you give up trying.  Did I mention that my project took 7 MONTHS to finish?

Celebrate those victories!  When you meet one of those deadlines, celebrate getting a little closer to tackling that task.

Remember, no matter how overwhelming something feels, it is not impossible.  Just focus on one task at a time and it will slowly come together.  Make 2018 the year you tackle those challenges – trust me, you’ll feel so much better that you did!

How to Make Resolutions You Will Actually Achieve

New Year's resolutions
Make goals you can achieve in 2018!

I really hate New Year’s and always have.  There’s always pressure on making these amazing plans and the whole thought of starting new and making resolutions that last a month (if that) feels like a joke to me.  However, I DO believe that reflecting on where you are and what you want to achieve and setting goals (I prefer using goals instead of resolutions) for yourself is a good thing if it’s done the right way and not just because January 1 is approaching.  When I look at what I set out to do in 2017 , for the first time, I actually feel accomplished!  In years’ past,  I have looked at an overly ambitious list of things that I never even attempted to do past January or forgot about.  So I’m going to share with you the techniques I used that helped me achieve my goals for 2017:

Come up with a theme.  This was so key to my 2017.  Instead of making a random list of things you want to do, like lose 5 lbs., create your own theme, mantra or mission for 2018.  For example, my 2017 theme was “Rebuild.”  I had lost my mom toward the latter half of 2016 and left my job, so my goal was to focus on settling my mom’s estate and just figuring out what my life looked like without her and without working full time.  I had some other goals, but all seemed to fit the overall theme I had.  For this year, my theme is “Explore.”  Now that I’ve rebuilt my foundation in 2017, I want to try some new things, continue to grow this blog and remodel my house so I think this is a good theme for 2018.

Be realistic.  It’s good to have some challenging goals, but they also need to be realistic or all you are doing is setting yourself up to fail and feel really crappy about it.  If you need to lose 20 lbs, don’t make your goal-“To have a body like Britney Spears in 6 months.” (Total sidebar but did you guys see her perform on New Year’s Eve – she has got it going on!)

Less is more!  You don’t need to have a list of 20 things you want to accomplish in the new year.  Focus on 3-5 key things you really want to commit to work on and focus on those.  You will be more likely to have them in the front of your mind because there won’t be too many and it makes it easier to focus and reach them, as they will be the key things you are passionate about doing.  Write them out with a few bullet points and put it somewhere that you can physically see them every day.  Out of sight is out of mind and we want your goals to be a part of your daily life!

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  The goals you set in January don’t need to be achieved by February.  If you have a long term goal, that’s ok, but you may want to break it down into smaller, milestone goals to keep you motivated and prevent you from feeling so overwhelmed that you give up altogether.

Don’t be hard on yourself.  Sometimes things come up that are not expected and some of your goals may need to be re-prioritized but it’s ok.  As long as you are moving in the right direction and doing the best  you can do, you should be proud of yourself.

Cheers to you and may 2018 be a great year for you to accomplish your goals!!!