Expectations—Learning about Less Part 6

“All You Need Is Less” is my mantra of the year.

I defined micro small steps toward what I need to keep me happy with my world and built that into my Less of a Schedule right off the top as non-negotiable time.

Then I looked at the things I “should” do, and things got interesting.

What “should” we do?

Quite simply, we should do what we think we should.  Not what anyone else thinks we should.  Agree to things because you want to.  Not because you feel obligated, or expected to.  And to break it down further we should do what keeps us focused on being our best selves; what makes us happy and whole.  Hey, that’s the list I just created last time!  To be fair, I don’t correlate cleaning the bathroom as what I need to do for me and me alone to make me happy—although a clean home is a happy home—but I think you get my drift.

The same thing goes for being engaged with family responsibility, work responsibility, other life choice commitments that are ongoing and require top priority and compromise. When I look at my “should” category, it’s about taking care of the day to day business of being a responsible, functioning adult.  We all have different “should” lists.

It’s important to be aware of the difference between what others may expect you to do, and what YOU think you should do. It’s important to recognize when you may be inserting yourself into situations and commitments that aren’t your responsibility, your job, or your path, because you somehow think you should. It’s important to realize the very nature of “should” lies in guilt and shame.  So……stop “should-ing” yourself.

My “Should” no longer includes going light years out of my way to take care of business other than my own. I no longer feel like I have to “do it all, be it all”.  With this adjusted way of looking at everything, my “should” list became much shorter, and much more manageable.  And it was all clearly laid out in a neat, monthly calendar.

Now that I’m healthy and strong, my passion is back and I want more out of life again. But this time I put myself first, and keep those unrealistic expectations out of the picture.

Week days

  • 4:45-5:45              Every day starts with 1 hour of meditation and core training/yoga.
  • 6:00-7:00              Three days a week I’m at the gym 45 minutes in the morning for cardio before I start the work day.
  • The other two days a week are dedicated to plant and animal care before I start the work day.
  • 7:30-5:00              Work, of course (but now managed to 40 hours/week!)
  • 5:00-6:30              Enjoying a good dinner each night is very important to me—especially when shared with others.
  • 7:00-9:00              One night a week is 1 hour of Yoga.  It’s also dedicated animal play night for an hour or two.
  • 6:00-9:30              Two or 3 nights a week are school nights for 3½ hours (Say WHAT? Yup, that’s a whole new temporary commitment going on for me!) On those random nights when there’s no school I go out and do something social, or just relax at home. Once school is over- WOW- I will have all kinds of free time!
  • 6:00-???               Friday nights are reserved for relaxing or going out with friends.  Which-ever I feel like.

Weekends

When I am in town…

  • 7:00-8:00              Both days start with meditation and core training.
  • 8:30-10:30           Then I’m in the gym for cardio, Yoga, and possibly some pool time—a couple hours of time there.
  • Weekends include lots of down time and play time.
  • 11:00-1:00           Saturday is chore and project day—taking care of things on a regular basis cuts down on overall time spent.  I generally spend a couple hours on chores or projects.
  • 11:00-4:00           Sunday is shopping and cooking day—I bulk cook breakfasts and some dinners for the week because my work/school schedule gets tight.  That accounts for about 4 to 5 hours late morning to early afternoon, and is like “Zen” time for me.

When I’m not in town….

Totally flexible–it all depends on where I’m going and what I’m doing–count on it being something outdoors related.

Now when a request pops up, rule number one is check the schedule before I say yes.  How I spend my time is entirely up to me.

There are 24 hours in a day. How do you want to spend yours?  If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, perhaps my Less of a Schedule would work for you too—feel free to give it a try!  After all, unrealistic expectations do all start with us. We can choose to recognize where we may need to make a change.  They say it takes 45 days to retrain your brain for behavior modification.  What would it look like if you initiated Less of a Schedule for 45 days?  How would that impact your life?

It feels good to be in charge of my day-to-day. Although I don’t need to, I still usually write out schedules—I’m kind of a geek that way.  I like seeing the sense of freedom, power and order I’ve captured.  Sometimes I put up a grease board grid.  Sometimes I set a timer for keeping appointments and completing “not so fun” tasks without allowing distractions.  When I stop myself from the temptation of taking on too much, well that’s the best feeling of all. When I achieve my goals, I reward myself.  If I don’t achieve my goals, I decide if I want to reschedule and try again, or not.  When I commit to doing something for someone else, it gets done.  It’s pretty weird to go for days and days without guilt about all sorts of stuff I “should” be doing…..ahhhh but I’m trying to adjust…..

My Plan Of Action To Ensure Less Unrealistic Expectations has been a fabulous change so far—I’m happier, I feel better, and am more productive. I’ve removed layers of emotional clutter from my life and have time to do my best for myself and those who want and appreciate me in their lives.

Embrace the four considerations as Truth. Set a precedent for how much time you’re willing to give away and when.  Don’t forget to prioritize time for YOU—lock that in as a non-negotiable. Then make sure you budget adequate quantified time to get your commitments done.  Putting it down on paper makes it real and recognizable for what it is. Remember, you always have the option to change your mind.

Come on, you deserve less, too!

This concludes my series on Less Unrealistic Expectations.  But OH! There’s much more to cover about Less, so I hope you’ll stay tuned for more Less!

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my website homepage.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

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