If you’re anything like me, a new year brings with it new things to do. And in no time at all, I have to-do lists; lots of them. What I’ve begun to realize is that some of my to-do’s never really seem to get checked off. It appears I’ve become the queen of creative avoidance. Now avoiding certain things, like toxic people or unhealthy habits, can be a good thing, but the truth is, we sometimes put off the very things that we know deep down are necessary. I get it. We are all pretty good at avoiding hard things like finishing a house project, exercise, paying bills, or having difficult conversations with family members. The reality is, avoiding and running from whatever pain, discomfort, inconvenience or fear those “to-do’s” might bring, doesn’t work.
While avoidance can provide some temporary relief, it can also snowball and cause some serious anxiety. This week, I invite you to think about what you’ve been avoiding and why. And, are there small ways you can take action to check one or more of those things you are avoiding off your list.
Here are a few tips to help get you started.
• Check in with yourself often. Literally ask yourself, “What am I doing right now?” Are you creatively avoiding something by scrolling social media, doing mindless tasks, or snacking?
• Next, ask yourself, “What am I avoiding?” Bring awareness to the fact you may be avoiding something difficult or uncomfortable. Name what you are avoiding.
• Face it and feel it. Sit in this present moment and challenge yourself to stay… and breath. Chances are the story you are telling yourself in your head is not as bad as you really think. Know you are okay right now.
• Take action. This step is essential. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once but taking that first step is important.
• Lastly, celebrate your accomplishment enjoy your success!
Of course we know not all of our big to-do’s will evaporate and magically disappear, but we truly believe that with a little practice, you’ll get better at dealing with discomfort and learn that procrastination and avoidance are not the best self-care answer.