Beginning Again. . . .

December 5th, 2009

I have a couple questions I like to ask myself when things aren’t going MY way.  In this case, I find myself really tired during the day and pushing to get things done. . . . seeing myself ramp up that adrenalin again and feeling pressed, irritable and tired.

Rather than “talk to you about this” I”m actually going to ask and answer my own questions on this blog so you can see how it’s done.  In some fields they call this experiential learning. . . . I prefer to refer to it as my brain dump.

So, here goes.  I prefer using blank paper and a pen for this rather than typing it out.  Definitely don’t recommend doing this in your head as it’s harder to hear yourself think it through.

Total time investment in this whole process is probably less than 10 minutes.  You can use a timer if you want and time each question for 2 minutes.

First Question:  What’s not working for me?

A hint for answering this question is to do it in your sloppiest most inarticulate way without trying to “figure it out”.  Whatever falls off your pen and onto the paper is perfect.

  • I feel tired and wired at the same time.  Too much adrenalin, hyper focused and not being able to unwind

Next:  What are the signs that something isn’t working for me?’

Another little tip here is that these are YOUR own personal signs, not mine.  Though you are welcome to get ideas from looking at my signs, remember we’re talking about YOU not me here.  I’m just the example.

  • Poor sleep schedule
  • On the computer too much
  • No fruits and vegetables to speak of
  • Salt and sugar cravings
  • Not weighing myself daily
  • Exercise falling off
  • Constantly checking email
  • Too much time focusing on what’s not working for my kids whether I’m giving or keeping my opinions to myself
  • Considering cancelling important appointments
  • Having separate lists scattered all over the house and trying to find them rather than working from one centralized list
  • Disorganized bedroom and office
  • No menu plan
  • Losing my bite splint
  • Needing sleep medication
  • Not walking the dogs
  • Spending too much time doing laundry which is one of my favorite escapes (I know. . . . there’s a real problem when that’s the case)
  • Not enough water

Next:  How many of these things have actually happened in the last 24 hours?

This tells me whether I’m making these things up or whether they are really true

  • Every single one of these things has happened in the last 24 hours.  So, I’m right on clue

NOW comes the clincher question:  What are some possible steps I can take to make things run smoother?

What I’m looking for here is no more than 5-6 small actions to encourage myself to feel less tired in this case.

  • Walk the dogs
  • Off the computer after writing this blog post and no later than 7PM
  • Limiting computer usage today to 4 necessary emails
  • Upstairs by 10:30PM regardless of who wants to talk to me
  • More water
  • Cutting up some veges and putting them in the car as I run errands.

What I’ve now accomplished by sharing this with you is something that in the coaching world we refer to as gentle accountability.  What that means is that in layman’s terms is that I’ve brought some things up that are bugging me, identified the reasons why and come up with some small steps to move forward.  I’ll check in again and let you know how it’s going.

As I mentioned initially though, this post isn’t really about me but is here to help support you through whatever is going on for you.  You can answer these questions while you’re sitting in a waiting room or grab a cup of your favorite brew and do them at home.  You can schedule them into your life to ask regularly or ask them of yourself on a regular basis.  You choose.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, feedback, ideas, etc. so please feel free to share them here.

14 Responses to “Beginning Again. . . .”

  1. Sarah Marie Lacy Says:

    This is really great. Next time I feel like something’s not working for me, I’m definitely going to use this!

  2. GirlPie Says:

    What a useful set of questions… I usually stop asking as soon as I ask the first one because I don’t want to think about what’s not working, I like to avoid it ~ ha!

    But the question that I never think to ask is your “what are the signs…?” and that’s very intriguing. I might reverse it and ask myself: “what have you been doing in the last 24-48 hours…?” and then circle all the little things that I do when I’m avoiding (forums), or irritated with TheBoyPie (clean the kitchen), or in a funk (nap & snack)… to see what area needs attention…

    Oh man Char! You’ve opened a can of worms…! I don’t really want to think about any of this, but I guess that since I’m commenting on blogs I must be avoiding my billable work, so back to it for me — thanks!


  3. char Says:

    I love how you added – what have I been doing in the last 24-48 hours?
    That can really give you some good information about what’s up with you.
    The big thing here is not to MAKE you think about anything you don’t want to – it is to invite you to find another way to deal with whatever it is that isn’t working so hot for you.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know your thoughts.

  4. Kelly Says:

    Char, I love the keyword “possible” in “What are some POSSIBLE next steps I could take.” That makes it so much gentler and less guilt-inducing than simply jumping to those ominous NEXT STEPS I COULD TAKE, which makes me freak out. But the “possible” makes it more like I’m just playing around with the idea of trying stuff, rather than making myself do something.

  5. char Says:

    Kelly –
    Good point. Possibilities only. . . . nothing hard. . . . no major leaps here. A sip more water, one big yawn or stretch, so do-able it’s almost impossible not to do it.

    Thanks for bringing this up.

  6. Kimberlee Ferrell Says:

    What a great approach to tackling those nagging problems that seem to creep up on us! So hard to identify, so hard to nip in the bud. 😉 I’ll definitely be trying these out.

    BTW, I found you through Havi’s VPAs. I love those! And I’ll be back for more.


  7. char Says:


    Hi – so nice to see you here. I’m glad you stopped by and that you’ll try out these quesitons. And I’m so thankful for Havi’s VPA’s at – for those of you reading, this is an amazing blogger who has the gentlest most effective ways I know to identify what’s getting in our way and help us move forward. Her Sunday Virtual Personal Ads are how I find the best resources for web designers, etc in my business along with meeting up with compassionate colleagues. Check them out!
    Thanks Kimberlee – again, let me know how it goes if you want!

  8. Jennifer Louden Says:

    I love these questions and did when you shared them at the Comfort Cafe and I love how skillful you are at self-inquiry. You are offering amazing comfort to people in crisis of illness and health challenges and doing it beautifully. Brava! And now to go ask myself these questions – or use them in the Choose Life Monday blog post~

  9. char Says:

    Hey Jen:

    Thank you for this. Jen’s got this amazing forum called the Comfort Cafe at where we toss around stuff like this all the time with reference to our personal and professional lives. She’s been a major influence on my life.
    I’m glad you found the questions helpful and I know you’ll find the answers that are “just right” for you in this moment. Thanks for stopping by – so wonderful to have your presence here.

  10. Polly Says:

    Char….articulate, compassionate, grounded and wise.just like you dear friend! Thanks.

  11. Char Says:

    Hey Polly:

    Thank you so much for such a beautiful compliment. You’re amazing.

  12. cooper17 Says:

    December 5th, 2009I have a couple questions I like to ask myself when things aren

  13. Char Says:

    I’m curious what questions you’d like to ask yourself when you have time.


  1. Choose Your Life Mondays – The Char Edition » Comfort Queen

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