Do you have an open loop in your life? What’s an open loop?! It’s basically an unfinished project that leaves you with those nagging don’t-ever-finish-anything-I-start blues.
But, you’ve never felt that way in your life, right?
Most people have a whole plate full of unfinished, half-started projects that began as good ideas and ended as guilty daydreams.
So, what should you do?
Well, first off, decide if it really needs to be finished or not. Probably many undone items can honestly be put by the wayside. If there are one or two that genuinely need to be finished, though, then set aside extra time in your daily routine to get them off your to-do list asap. And then do it. Close those loops! Get rid of the guilt!
Now, what about the rest of them? If you’re truthful with yourself, most of them are probably okay to let go. But, that might be harder to do than you first think? Why? It should be easier to take things off a list than it is to put them on one, right?
Not always. As long as something’s on your list, it’s still in that magical realm of possibility. Maybe you really will go to France one day, refinish that old table or invent that next big app. But, at this point, just maaaaybe you won’t. It’s actually kind of freeing to let go of those one-day-I-might-do-it dreams. Who knows, one day you really might. But for now, time to scratch them off and be honest with yourself so you can create a more realistic goal.
Don’t think of it as giving up your dreams. Think of it as coming up with ones that are genuinely achievable. Wouldn’t it feel better to aim for president of your neighborhood association than president of the USA if you’ve never even run for the senate yet? It doesn’t mean you won’t ever open your own business, become mayor or make a million when your stock finally goes public. It does mean, however, that in the mean time, you’ll get that good feeling that comes from actually accomplishing your goals and not just dreaming of them. (And feeling like a loser when they’re just too hard to accomplish right now.)
So, what’s a good way to finally let yourself let go of those just-can’t-accomplish-them-right –now-dreams? How about a R.I.P. file?
Whether it’s a computer file, manila file or file thirteen, consider grouping all the items together and giving them a proper burial. Why? Because part of what’s kept you from admitting you can’t realistically do them is that some part of you may still need to grieve that lost part of your life that is (at least for now) not to be.
Is some part of you still determined that you can really learn to refinish furniture even though you have had that table for ten years and it’s just collecting dust? Whether it’s an around the world trip or being the richest CFO under twenty-five, some things may have honestly passed you by. But, that’s okay. Once you grieve it, you can let it go. And, what’s more important, you can set better, more realistic (and thus more enjoyable) goals as these others, honestly, probably just left you feeling empty inside.
So, get ready to deliriously delete some of those old, out of date dreams to make room for truer, more incredible ones to come. Pick an item, grieve it, and delete it. If you start today, you now have the rest of your life to try out all those new ideas that have been percolating in the back of your brain waiting for their chance to finally come alive.
about Liz Logan
I'm a professional organizer in Atlanta, fighting the good fight on my own home front and sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.
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