I go to bed some nights unsettled and all self-judgy that I could have done more today. I used to feel that every night, so I am getting better. The biggest improvement came from adjusting my expectations. On average, I used to hope to accomplish about six times more things that I could actually accomplish. No matter what I did, that just never felt like enough.
It would be like jumping with a horse and placing the bar six times higher than my horse could jump. Not smart. Not kind. Dangerous.
But the question becomes, how do I know how high my horse should/can jump? Because I also want to make sure it jumps as high as it can. It’s a fine-tuning exercise. As far as the horse metaphor goes, we can stop here… because there are mechanics to the jump and to the height of the horse that don’t exactly apply to my ability to accomplish.
But the point is to find the ratio so I don’t settle for less that I can do, but also not to chronically judge myself that I should have done more than I did.
Here are a few questions to at least open the floor in exploring this idea:
- Am I applying myself as much as I can? [no one is grading, be honest with yourself]
- Am I interested in what I am doing, or have I given up and am just phoning it in?
- Have I harbored resentments that make me show up half present and I feel justified in that?
- Do I have enough clarity about my bigger goals in life, and do I feel aligned with them?
- Do I care for myself enough and give my day my all while I am doing it?
We don’t pretend to have all the answers here. But we invite you to check how engaged you are in what you are doing, how excited, because that has a huge impact in going to bed feeling like you did enough today.