Timelines and Commitments

I am a believer in being organized and completing projects on time. I am a goal-oriented person so give me a goal and I am going to work hard to achieve it. But this does not make me immune from dreading a timeline and fretting commitments from time to time. So how do we take our commitments and timelines and look at them in a motivating way instead of one of dread?

Last week I made two new commitments - both of which came with their own timeline. For starters, I began wearing invisalign clear aligners for my teeth. I had the old school braces as a kid and seem to have managed to forget much of what that experience was like! I think we hold on to the good and push aside the bad memories! My teeth are not bad but the bottom ones are shifting and this is an issue for the gums … so back to braces! When I made the decision to try the aligners, i was told it would be a 20 week process. That didn’t sound bad at all! I previously had braces for 2 years! 20 weeks is less than 1/2 a year. No big deal!

Well, 2 days in and I was questioning my decision and beginning to remember what it was like to have braces again! That 20 weeks was seeming much longer all of a sudden. The negative thoughts were creeping in! I looked at calendar and realized I would be finished by Keeneland in the Spring. That didn’t see so bad. I also realized this morning that I am about 1 week in … so time is going by and I am making progress. For me, knowing the end date and looking at what I had accomplished already - 1/20 of the way there - made the timeline seem much more doable. I got this!

The second commitment i made was to join my friend and fellow Pilates teacher’s 21 day nutrition challenge. if you have ever done any sort of scheduled nutrition challenge or diet - you know as soon as you sign up events and goodies appear to wreck your good intentions! This program is a no dairy (this one is easy for me), no alcohol (doable but not as much enjoy, and no sugar (this one is the challenge for me) Day 1 and I walked into the building where the studio is and was greeted by a fresh bowl of M&M’s. One of my students told me she was going to bring me some special licorice she had ordered. I love licorice. So you see … sabotage is all around! But once again instead of focusing on the length of the commitment - I looked the end date - Thanksgiving. That doesn’t seem that far off. I realized it will be hear before we know it. And I realized I’ll be about 1 month into my braces by then, too!

I believe we need to flip our thinking when faced with a commitment or timeline that seems discouraging. Equating it to another positive timing or event can help - choose something you are looking forward to - and us that as your motivator! I like to think about my progress in fractions - looking at how far I have come helps me, too!

Next time you are faced with a timeline or commitment - flip it around - equate it to a positive event you are looking forward to. Instead of dreading it you’ll be looking forward to the end! Think of it as a pre-planned celebration! Good Luck to you!