Just last week I had an inkling that this bold, desirable, and challenging choice might be too audacious to achieve. I designed a month of work for myself that was just a wee bit over the top—with training, travel, projects and new initiatives. By the second week of the month, I found myself having to apologize to a few folks for my delay in responding to their emails. I started to feel frustrated and that turned to feeling troubled, bordering on disheartened, though not hopeless.
How about you? What successes are you experiencing with your resolution(s)? While I hope they’re going well, like so many folks, we face hurdles in achieving or goals.
What is stretching your limits or is difficult to achieve? What strengths do you have that will support you in finding your way to achieve your desires? What have you done in the past to overcome such obstacles—how might you apply those experiences now? Are there folks in your circle who can support you by listening and referring to strengths they see in you or offering up alternative ideas?
In musing on my predicament, it occurred to me that solutions would arise as I tapped into my strengths of ingenuity/creativity, hope/optimism/future-mindedness, and bravery/valor (from Martin Seligman’s research into happiness, The Brief Strengths Test). I needed to gain some perspective, get in touch with my values, then check in with my intention and the context in which I choose to live and work. These supportive strategies compelled me to reflect on the world we live in today. Specifically, I am referring to the “go-go-go” nature of responding fast to whatever is in front of you. The common “wisdom” that one must respond to emails immediately if not within 24 hours… I hear that workplaces (made up of people) often demand it, and I recognize that I work in my own world, as a solopreneur, and do not have the constraints that some others feel…
In my world of work, I want to be responsive and yet not working, or even communicating with colleagues—24/7—even though I enjoy relationships with folks around the world. In sharing my resolution and some of the concerns I was facing in achieving it with several good friends, I realized that I wanted to stand strong. I still like my decision and I can fine-tune my response to my ever-present emails. I believe that being responsive is important and yet the 24-hour limit doesn’t always work for me.
When I stepped into thinking about my goal again, I got creative and am exploring several possibilities (some of which will take a bit of bravery):
- writing a blog post about my thinking (check!)
- posting on social media—perhaps a manifesto about connection…
- revising my email signature to inform folks that if they really need to reach me they should call or text
- and, the possibility of using a snappy and heartfelt autoresponder (in extreme cases of days of travel and training)
Designing a different approach to my dilemma—truly a response I can embrace— now feels upbeat, rejuvenating, and has motivated to step back into the fray. My needs for harmony, clarity, communication, order, effectiveness, integrity, respect (of others), and independence/self-expression are being met by my plans!