February 9, 2021

MAKE TIME FOR LOVE

Farah Ali

Have you ever felt like you don’t have time for your relationship because you have too much to do? Is there a project you want to get to but never find time? This was happening to me and affected my enjoyment of my personal time with my partner. As a relationship coach, I know that being productive can positively impact your relationship. It translates to have more room in life for love. The sense of agency and competency helps you to be really present with your partner. 

Have you ever abandoned a project or a goal or a resolution shortly after you excitedly promised yourself you would get it done? Join the club. Most people lose momentum within a couple months, despite initial enthusiasm and commitment to get stuff done.

Mid February is the time of year when most people end up losing momentum on goals/projects they envisioned for the New Year. 

There are a lot of factors to take into account for why this happens.  One obvious reason is: not scheduling time in our calendars.  It’s not always simple to find time; we have full lives before we set goals.  Yet, being intentional about making time is fundamental to get things rolling.

You can tell someone’s commitment to their goals by looking at their calendar.  Looking at my own calendar in 2020 definitely reflected my commitment, but in a way that was embarrassing to admit. 

At the start of the year, I’d worked hard at crafting a list of goals.  Research shows that if simply writing goals can give you a greater chance of actually getting it to come true. In one study, researchers found 46% of people setting goals were continuously successful after 6 months as compared to 4% of people that didn’t set any goal.

True to the scientific evidence, having a written record did help me.  It served as a reminder that I did refer to (less than I planned to but enough to keep it in my sights).  It felt to me like my subconscious was always weighing options with these goals in the back of my mind so I was moving in the right direction in subtle ways.  The problem was that I never actually made intentional space in my calendar for my goals.  Instead, the actual steps I took were haphazard.  Other priorities filled in my regular calendar before I’d ever get around to planning time for my goals.  I felt this nagging need to get on with my goals, and that made me feel guilty to have quality time with my romantic partner when I knew I was behind on my goals. It was like a vicious cycle of ever increasing guilt that interfered in my ability to get things done, and have a life outside work.

As I was nearing the last months of the year, I got real and admitted to myself that I needed to shift.  It wasn’t easy but I began to make appointments for myself so that I could actually sit down and do things. 

Around the same time that I took on being serious about putting in calendar time, serendipity stepped in: I found great supportive resources that taught me how to really use my time.  So I had the double benefit of both putting time in, and using that time more efficiently than I’d ever done before.

Interestingly, I didn’t even have to focus on the big picture. just what I could do with the hour or two or three that I’d set aside. I realized that while I had some strength in critical thinking, I had never really learned to focus.  Practicing small strategies to improve focus and tracking my focus progress made a huge difference.  I started to let go of self-recrimination for the quality time I was giving to my relationship when I was not working because I knew I had plans to get back to the task in my calendar.

I know I’m not the only one. I work with a lot of clients on helping them move on something they want to get done.  Even with help to get past emotional barriers that are in the way, they still struggle because actual skillsets for putting in time, and being laser focused, don’t come easily to most of us, even when we are motivated.  We’re not taught how to focus and on top of that, modern life is anathema to building focus.  An article in Time Magazine said that humans now have less attention span than a goldfish!

Your focus capacity is still there, yearning to help you. You just need to get a little help creating a personal rhythm and ritual to achieve optimal focus. I run productivity workshops to bridge the knowledge gap, spend time working on goals/projects collectively, and reinforce skillsets to build capacity and competency.  We do group coaching to clear emotional barriers that block us from achieving our goals. Honing skills at focusing is the secret sauce to moving from being scattered to being ready.  Its not as hard as you think, and it’s a lot of fun to do it in a group setting.

Join one of my virtual drop-in group accountability co-working sessions and experience it for yourself.  We put focus time into our goals.  I’ll be running these weekly in February to help people get the momentum they want, and continue them from time to time throughout 2021.

As a relationship coach, I know this ultimately helps relationships thrive.  Getting focus helps you trust yourself to get to your priorities.  Doing it with focus frees time through efficiency gains.  This translates to feeling better about yourself,  This gives you more bandwith for your personal relationships and love life. 

Have you ever felt too busy for your relationships? Frustrated that you weren’t able to do more for your own ambitions in life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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