Everyone has incomplete projects. Perhaps it is sorting the recycling from last year. Cleaning the storage area. Fixing the bicycle. Submitting the expense report. The question is: is there a reason it is incomplete, (i.e. you have scheduled time to do it, with a plan for an end date) or is it just not done?
In addition to projects, it is normal to have unresolved matters, too. Relationships require both give and take from both parties. But…well, you know what I am going to ask. Have you done what YOU can do regarding the unresolved situation? Or are you just walking around it, wishing it would go away, or holding your breath that the “issue” at least stays dormant until you get somewhere else?
Carrying around old, unresolved matters and incomplete projects takes a lot of your energy. I contend that it takes much more than you’ve allowed yourself to realize! Imagine an old resentment as a 5 lb bag of flour you are carrying around. And the unpainted hallway, the phone calls you owe, the un-filed taxes, the clothes strewn across the floor are each a 5 lb sack to carry, too. Imagine all your other “incompletions” too, and how each is an additional 5 lb bag. Envision how you have to maneuver with these bags. Perhaps you need to tie them together, hoist them from one arm to the other. You need to repair some if you’ve dragged them on the ground for a long time, since they are starting to tear. You’re carrying a lot…do you need to get a wagon? You have to stop to rest, frequently, from the weariness of the weight, but invariably, you still keep adding more bags. Ugh.
You can develop the skills to clean it all up, completely. The ultimate goal is to be clean and clear, so that you may fully handle new situations as they occur. Don’t you want the benefit of more time, more space and more energy?
Make a list of all your incompletions…from home, from work, and in your relationships, too. Consider your environments (house, car, office): what is undone? What’s incomplete in your activities (membership dues? Car pool schedule?) Think about your well-being (how new is that toothbrush? When was the last time you had a checkup?)
One concept that completely captivated me when I began my coach training over a dozen years ago is the distinction between doing something 95% and doing it 100%. The extra oomph is significant! The satisfaction of completely handling a project or an issue is worth reveling in. Try it yourself. Rather than attempting to do a little bit of some of the things on your incompletion list, do one COMPLETELY.
- Be thorough. Imagine what it would take to not only complete the task, but to ensure it won’t recur for a long time. What is required?
- Delight yourself. Sometimes, to be sure, “done is better than not done.” But for this exercise, do it to delight yourself! If you’re sorting your vintage collection of vinyl records, what order would delight YOU? Alpha, or by artist? By year, or by genre? Go ahead, completely delight yourself!
- Make it permanent. Is what you’re doing to clean up this past unresolved issue a “quick fix,” or can it be repeated and systematized? Choose to create a system of success!