Well, that escalated quickly! Doubling the days since last I wrote, the primary lesson here is that while an Osteopathic Health Policy Fellow, one is still responsible for all the other personal and professional roles life requires. The secondary lesson, for me at least, is the impact of external accountability on prioritization and follow through. Through the course of these four months I have completed assignments, read books and articles, researched policy, listened to recordings and made the travel arrangements to arrive prepared and participate fully when present. Professionally, I have sustained full time clinic, managed, coached and trained at my gym while continuing podcast recording. Personally, I have nurtured my family and friend relationships, navigating practices and games, play dates and dinners, attending school events and pursuing leadership roles in the community while launching into a new meditation practice.
Through these cascading waves of activity and assignment, the writing of this entry as a daily practice has only rarely crested the surface and sailed in to completion. I can see logically where there was simply not time on certain days or energy on others. Truth be told, however, if there were a formal deadline imposed by other than myself, I would have, perhaps with some grumbling, experience of stress and a little less sleep, routinely completed an article.
I have long identified as a writer. Writing brings welcome opportunity to analyze, draw connections, honor words and share ideas. I write for myself, for others, for the health of all things and rarely have an external expectation. I have not, however, defaulted to writing in the time that I do have between the breakers of busy. My natural inclination, that which buoys me day after day, is physical activity.
I have held training, racing and coaching in parallel to my medication education, training and practice over the better part of the past two decades. I default to a run or a workout under a wide variety of circumstances. No one has to implement a deadline or demand – I gear up and get it done completely of my own accord without delay, grumble or stress, though occasionally with a little less sleep.
On initiation of the fellowship, I extended the daily entry as an offering to my directors and they encouraged me, advising it as a personal journey and contribution of my own will and timeline. Looking back, it seems I was seeking the external accountability I knew I would need to be consistent in the process. A deadline or expectation would keep me on track – something I never needed for athletic training.
Why can I so easily maintain the non-negotiable status of one aspect of our life and not so another? Is it simply the love of an activity? The ready access to results? The endorphins? Habit? Is it possible to harness the unbridled enthusiasm and endless motivation from our favorite tasks into areas of life that do not captivate us as readily?
Moving into the second third of this program, I am going to test the mindset of treating the entry with the non-negotiable status that a workout has had and monitor for the result. I invite you to consider a goal or task that has evaded you in part or in whole. Next, reflect on a daily activity that you are sure to complete and assess what motivates and empowers you to consistently move from “to do” to “done.” Can you utilize your enthusiasm to move closer toward that evasive goal?
May we trust our inherent ability, celebrate our victories and use the energy of daily successes to fuel the drive toward long held goals.