How many times have you started a project, goal or other plan of action to only find it buried in the attic unfinished or so much time passed that while you remember the decision and goal, you quickly dismiss it because you don’t have the time or space right now to complete it?
Incompletions in your life weigh you down and keep you stuck in the past. They steal your joy.
Some are unfinished art projects, a closet or garage we’ve been meaning to clean out, half-finished book sitting by our nightstand or Thank You’s to send.
Every time we pass that sidewalk we’ve been meaning to fix, we feel the pressure of one more thing not done. Each day we open a closet brimming full of unnecessary junk we are hit in the head with a reminder of the heavy, draining feeling of things left undone.
We begin to let it define us and use it to beat ourselves up day after day.
It is here we can use the brilliant light of awareness and decision to create the momentum we need for clearing up these incompletions and begin to feel mental space again, allowing self-love to flood back into our lives.
If you have more than five unfinished projects, ideas or dreams that are weighing you down, then it is time to lighten the load and break their chains.
1. Brainstorm a list of all of your incompletions. All of them. From the bill you’ve been meaning to pay, the sink you need to fix, story you’ve been meaning to read to your child or dreams of climbing Kilimanjaro. Name them, write them down and own them. This is not a small action and not meant to make you feel overwhelmed. Leaving all of these swirling around in your head will make you feel overwhelmed and uncertain. Acknowledging them and writing them down creates clarity and that becomes a powerful tool.
2. Decide which incompletion matters the most to you and circle it, star it or otherwise make it special. Remind yourself why this is important to you. Look at each item on your list and ask if it is relevent to your life today. That unfinished painting in the corner may feel like a failed attempt at finishing something, but maybe it is simply time to let it go. Maybe that was simply something you tried and it didn’t resonate with you. That is OK. If painting was your passion, you would create time for it in your life. Make a plan to finish the ones that are important.
3. Choose a small incompletion that you can do right now. If you are reading this blog, you have 10 minutes to quickly clean out your junk drawer. Just do it!
4. Go through the list, item by item, and ask yourself why each item needs to be completed. I bet there are items on the list that don’t need to be completed, they need to be donated. Donate the unfinished knitting to a Senior Center and make room for something new in your life. Or donate your to-do items to some well-abled kids. Offer to trade them your knowledge, listening ear or that bicycle in your garage you haven’t used in five years for their elbow grease. Maybe some incompletions can simply drop off the list. Are they “shoulds” that you’ve lugged around on your back for so long but can’t even remember why? Let them go and feel the freeing release.
5. Make a decision and plan to complete those that are still relevant to your life. Incompletions can leave you feeling stuck, overwhelmed and powerless. Deciding why you want to complete them and which ones are still relevant can be one step toward scraping a layer of heavy mental baggage off. You start to feel in control and get back a little pep in your step.
Feel free to share your incompletions in the comments below.