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IT WAS ALL TOO MUCH
In 2005, my life was a complete mess. I wasn't happy with my life and kept wondering why I didn't accomplish the things I wanted. Besides having a very messy life, I had wanted to write a book and be a professional speaker. I kept self-sabotaging myself and setting myself up for failure. When I thought about how I was going to change my life I kept thinking, “I don’t have the time.” I had way much to do and not enough time to do it. I was also busy being busy and didn't know it.
One of the first areas I address with my private coaching clients is what do they have on their plate - how much do they have going on in their life on a daily and weekly basis? I think this one of the biggest problems for most people today, at least in the USA. We take on way more than we should and aren’t saying "No" when we really don’t have the time - so much of the time we do a lot of things out of obligation and guilt and then sometimes we let our dreams die with us. Most people lead overly-busy lives to the point of being so stressed out which can actually kill you. According to Stanford University 95% of all illness and disease is caused from stress. They said it’s not just the big things such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, moving or financial problems, but the little every day stresses as well. It’s been proven that stress is the root cause of most deaths.
When you have too much on your plate, there isn’t enough time to do the really important things, which causes procrastination and also insomnia. How do I know? Because, it’s happened to me several times. Having too much on your plate is one of the worst bad habits you can have and is also the cause of many other bad habits. When you do this, you are expecting the impossible out of yourself, so you set yourself up for failure and something has to give. As a massage therapist for over 21 years, I had seen this time and time again with my clients. Believe me it will take its toll on you sooner or later. I also know this from personal experience as well, because I have a tendency to take on way too much. Even today, I have to continually say “No” because when I don’t, my life starts getting messy again.
In 2005 my plate was so full that I needed to get a turkey platter. One of the first changes I made was to take things off my plate, because when I made a list of everything I did on a daily and weekly basis as well as looking at how much time I spent on each activity, I could see why I had problems. There was too much social activity, “retail” therapy, talking on the phone, watching TV and mindless internet surfing along with many other unnecessary activities. I was also busy volunteering to help everyone else in my life who needed help and helping so-called “needy” people which sucked the life out of me. I did this at my expense and eventually it caught up with me. I finally opened my eyes and saw that most of them really didn’t want to help themselves and I was enabling them. I was taking care of other people’s business instead of taking care of me and it was at my expense. I also realized that the reason I had so many “needy” people in my life was that I had the need to rescue. When I gave up my need to rescue people, then most of the “needy” people stopped showing up. After getting very honest with myself, I knew that these things were keeping me from getting the things done that I really needed to get done and it was also costing me money which I didn’t have. I would need all the money I could get to pay my CPA, Uncle Sam and getting out of debt. After all, I would not only have the actual taxes owed for each year, but there would be penalties and interest. It was a must to get my taxes done before the IRS sent me to prison for tax evasion. It was all too much.
I wanted a new life more than anything - for one thing, I was broke! I also had too much on my plate financially so I made the decision to cut out my social life for a while, shut off my cable TV service and stop everything else that I absolutely didn’t have to do until I got my life turned around. When I made a list of everything I was spending money on, I was absolutely shocked!
These were just some of the things I made a list of;
* Starbucks; $4.17 a day = 1522.00 a year
* Basic Cable TV; $60.00 a month = 720.00 a year
* Snacks; $3.00 a day = $1095 a year
* Memberships I didn't use; $10 - $30 a month = $240 a year
By the time I was through, I was spending about $5000 a year I didn't have. This was an eye opening experience and an "Ah ha" moment for me.
I knew I would have to devote all my time to rebuilding my business and finishing my taxes. At this point I was mentally, physically and spiritually bankrupt so believe me, I was willing to do whatever it took. The first thing I did was put my social life on hold for seven months. I told some of my friends what I was doing and didn’t care if I lost any of them because of it. At that point it wouldn’t have mattered because this was something I had to do for survival. Some people said to me, “Now wait a minute, there’s no way I’m going to give up my social life. I have to have fun.” No, I’m not telling you that you have to give up your social life at all, but consider this; If you’re not accomplishing what you want in life, look at how and where you’re spending your time. Remember I had to take drastic measures because my life was in such disarray and I was going down fast. When you have too much on your plate these are some examples of how it can affect you; * Not enough time to eat healthy so you pick up some fast food on the run which can lead to health issues and weight gain. * Not enough sleep which makes you irritable and tired, so you drink coffee or eat sugar to give you energy. * Not enough time to take care of yourself or exercise which can lead to weight gain.
* By the end of the day you are totally exhausted not to mention how this affects your mood and personality.
* Not enough quality and intimate time with your spouse or partner * Affects your friendships * Affects your self-esteem and sets you up for failure
* Causes procrastination * It eventually becomes so stressful, it can actually end up making you sick The list goes on and on. Think about how much you have on your plate. What are you saying yes to? Are there things in your life that you want to do, dreams you want to accomplish? Whether you want to conquer the world, be an entrepreneur, do great things to change thousands of lives or just improve your life in a small way, you can have a better life, be happier with more inner peace.
Is this you? Do you ever feel like this? Can you relate, even a little?
If you can, then your plate is way too full and you need a turkey platter!
Do you need a turkey platter?
Seriously, you probably need one and don't even know it.