After I had my second daughter I struggled with losing the weight I had gained. At my heaviest (ever) and experiencing severe knee pain, I knew I needed to start exercising and eating better. But there was so much to do, and I had so much weight to lose, I was completely overtaken by overwhelm.
I realized that with each passing day nothing was going to change unless I did. I wasn’t going to wake up one day with the overwhelming feeling gone and I certainly wasn’t going to wake up with the weight suddenly gone, though I’d love that diet plan. Instead, I did three things to overcome my overwhelm. I believe they will help you too, regardless of what your overwhelm is.
3 ways to overcome overwhelm
Make a plan.
Sit down and decide how to tackle the task. You’ve heard the saying: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Little by little, bit by bit. Make a plan that divides up your task into manageable bites. In order for me to lose the baby weight, I decided to start running. I set a goal to run a half-marathon nine months later. But I didn’t just take off and run 13.1 miles. No, I set smaller goals to first run a mile, then two, then a 5k, a 10k, and so on and so forth. I wrote the distance in my calendar and made a plan with my husband about when I was going to get my miles in (pushing the double jogger was NOT going to happen).
It is that simple and that hard. Once I had my plan in place, I put it into practice. I literally took it one step at a time. It wasn’t always ideal conditions (on my first real run it began to snow) and I didn’t always feel like doing it but I did anyway. The best plan will get you no where unless you put it into action. The garage will not clean itself, nor will the playroom unless you simply start.
Set a timeline to finish.
I think part of what makes any given task seem overwhelming is feeling like the task is so big it will never get done. That is why I think it is so imperative to set a timeline with a finish date. Be sure to be realistic when thinking through and setting this date. I wasn’t going to lose the weight in just a few months. I knew I needed time. On the other hand, too long of a timeline can allow for procrastination. For example, if you’re planning to clean out your very messy garage, you may be able to get it all cleaned in one weekend. Six months would be way too long.
Remember, done is better than perfect. I didn’t lose all the weight I had gained but I found a love for running and I kept working towards my goal. Losing the initial weight motivated me to keep going. The garage may not end up looking like the one on Pinterest but I bet after all your hard work it will look better than before.
No matter how big the task you can overcome the overwhelm by making a plan, starting, and setting a timeline to finish. I can’t wait to hear what you overcome!
I find the following questions helpful when creating a plan to overcome overwhelm:
What is my end goal?
When will I work on the plan?
How will I work on it?
What will I need in order to accomplish it?
Who will I need to ask for help?
How long do I think it will take me to finish my task?
What are the smaller tasks I can break the larger one into?