I am a chronic over-committer.
Not in the sense that I take on too many projects at work, or volunteer at my kid’s school. I don’t over-commit on making plans with friends. (In fact, I will make plans and then back out of them half the time. #homebody)
My problem is not ‘committing’ in the typical sense of the word.
I have a problem with commitments to myself. I am a chronic self-committer.
Yesterday, I made a list of all the things I want to do in 2020. Let’s call it my ‘2020 Aspirations.’
- Publish my book (writing a book was a completed 2019 goal)
- Re-learn piano
- Grow my Instagram account
- Take more pictures of my family with my DSLR
- Write more blog posts
- Develop guides/content to help others live eco-friendly lifestyles
- Take more inspo photos for building a minimalist wardrobe
- Food prep more, Snap Kitchen less
- Maintain a 26 workouts/month average
- Be a more attentive mother
- Be a supporting wife for my husband who is starting a new job
- Kick ass at my job
- Find ways to be better at my job
- Draw more
- Research and study MahJong strategies for my monthly game night
- Finish the Harry Potter series
- Also read more non-fiction so I can learn new things
At first, to me, it seems pretty reasonable. All things to make me a better person, right?
The problem is, when I am doing any one of those things on my list, I am constantly thinking about what I should be doing to be better at the other things.
And I often feel like a failure if I do not personify excellence at all times.
I’ve come to learn this to be my real weakness in life—a self-imposed standard that is too high for anyone to be happy.
It’s not enough for me to have a good job, be good at that job, and just be happy where I’m at. It’s not enough for me to come home at night and play with my kids, do chores, watch some TV to relax, and then go to bed.
Maybe I don’t know what ‘enough’ looks like, because there is always too much.
What would happen if I had a Noncommittal 2020? What if I set zero standards for myself, and did what I wanted, in the moment? (Is this what men do? I think it is.)
I often preach that my own health is my number one priority, followed by family. What if I took a year to be noncommittal. Would my mental health improve?
Would I find peace? Would I find clarity in what my commitments should be, and where I am wasting time?
Would I be bored? Would I become a sloth?
Maybe the problem isn’t the aspirations themselves, but the need to succeed. As if completing this aspirational to-do list will complete me as a person.
What I need to remember is, I am already complete. I need nothing more—no things, and no accomplishments—to make me more complete.
If there was ever a time to be noncommittal, that time is now. I have two small children at home who can take up all my time if I let them. And maybe I should. I could try being okay with where I am at in my career, and just let myself be in the moment.
I can try giving up the feeling of need to do, exceed and succeed.
That doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t aspire to be better. I will still workout, but it’s okay if I don’t hit 26 days a month. I will still food prep, but it’s okay if sometimes we order in. I will still blog, but only when I have time, and I will not create the time by being stressed about missing out on something else.
I will not be committed to proving myself to anyone—myself included.
How might you be noncommittal this year?