Take it Easy On Yourself, Boss

In honor of Mother’s Day, I was lucky to have some time for myself this weekend.  Not just alone time.  Alone DOWN time.  That whole “down time” concept was something that I have been cheating myself of since venturing into the new business phase of my life.

Unfortunately, I hawpid-20150509_203627.jpgd turned into one of those people that put WAY too much pressure on themselves, and was setting personal expectations much too high.  My wonderful mother (pictured here) always calls me out on this one.

Oh, you too?  Yes. I’m sure you do it, too.

It’s fascinating to me how we usually set ourselves up for more failure than anyone else.  I can always be a star performer at school or work, because someone else is definining the expectations… and I find a way to meet or exceed them.

But what about at home or in my own work? I’m the one setting most of the standards for how I raise my kids, how clean the house is, how the house is organized/decorated, and what accomplishments I make on this new business front.  If that is the case, then why do I always feel like I’m falling short?

Because I SUCK at being my own boss. I consider myself a pretty good leader for others, but I had a stark realization this week that I need to take a few lessons in how to be more realistic and less hard on my own working self.

IF beating yourself up and setting your own expectations too high can sometimes be a problem for you (I’m talking to you overachievers out there), there is hope.  There are a lot of things we can do, and I did one of them last night.  I journaled about how it was all on ME to make the change I wanted to see. That was the easy part. Making the changes are going to be much harder.

So I made two lists:

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And then I started writing about what I could do to start doing more of the things that are good for me, and less of the things that were bad for me.

For me, I realized that by having unrealistic and undefined expectations for this new business, I had basically set myself up to create new, unattainable expectations each day in my head.  That would then lead me to spiral into an obsessive vortex of working during every free minute I had.  I had to justify the enjoyable things daily: time with kids, exercise, sleep, laughter with friends.

That was now how I want to live my life.

I had started a new business venture to give me more freedom for my kids schedules and me, yet I was creating the opposite scenario.  BAD MOVE, mom.

So what is my goal this week to break this pattern?

  1. Post my “Things that are good for me” list on the way next to my desk. Poster size. At this point, I need a slap in the face.
  2. Set realistic, challenging, and beneficial goals for the business, my life, and as a mom for the remainder of 2015.
  3. Break those goals down into monthly tasks or milestones, and put them in my calendar.
  4. Break those monthly accomplishments down into weekly tasks so that I ONLY expect a certain thing from myself each week. I need to be realistic in what is attainable in 15-20 hours of work.
  5. Write it all down, so I can hold myself to it, and refer to it regularly.
  6. Celebrate or reward myself when I’ve met any of those goals or tasks.  Recognizing where you have excelled and what you have accomplished only fuels your fire to do more.  And we all need fuel, dammit.

Writing this post was my first step in putting it out as my own expectations.  Now I have to do it.

You can too.  You can be your own boss: Set expectations you would set for someone else, reward yourself the way you would reward an employee, and give yourself time off to recharge. You deserve it.

And PLEASE reach out to me in any fashion (comment below, email, text) if you want help setting goals or breaking them down! It sounds intimidating and does take work, but it is so helpful in the long run for your happiness and health.

 

4 Comments

  1. Maura 05/11/2015 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Thanks, Jamie! You read my mind. Full disclosure – my “things that are good/hurt me” list is identical to yours, so I’m stealing it!

    Thanks again,
    Maura

    • Jamie 05/11/2015 at 10:38 am - Reply

      Nice! Steal away, friend. I enforce never reinventing the wheel. Glad to know I’m not alone. 🙂

  2. Dawn 05/11/2015 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Very thoughtful article and comments! It reminds me of those days that I have planned to get done a lot of things and I just can’t seem to get it together or even start. We know we’re not lazy, but for some reason we feel like it that day. If I stop and think about it, there’s usually a reason. Maybe I’m more tired that I want to admit, or I’m mentally overloaded and don’t realize it. I absolutely think we need those do nothing days, relatively speaking of course with two little ones, to put things in perspective and reevaluate how important are all the “things” we want to do and get done. You need to “do nothing” sometimes to recharge.

    • Jamie 05/21/2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      I agree fully. Nothing days are key, and we should all take more of them.

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