Learning to Say NO.
This past year I’ve had one goal on my mind, which has been the base of how I’ve planned my days. I want to make the Canadian Team in the 800m in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
My coach and I came up with a plan, where I’d extend my graduation date by another year and step back from school a bit to focus on putting my absolute everything into trying to reach this goal. I decided to take two classes this past term for a bit of balance, which was still supposed to be a bit more relaxing and give me time to recover from the intense fall training program.
This all seemed so perfect. I’d be mentally stimulated enough to not be bored, but would have enough time to get adequate sleep and make my meals in between sessions so that I was eating properly.
Instead of this ‘full time training’ plan I had envisioned, I began to make it something it was not supposed to be. I was unable to say NO.
I took on everything else that was offered to me because in my mind, I had the time to do it. I had to work this past term, but on top of that I kept saying yes to every opportunity that I could in terms of community stuff, social gatherings, etc. I found myself just as stressed, if not more.
I was and am extremely happy, but found I was spreading myself a bit thin. In a chat with a friend yesterday, we connected on our fear of letting people down, and being unable to shut down any requests even if we had no more time or energy to spend on other things.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets about anything I did this past year, however as someone who knows that you can’t do everything well, I was still trying to do EVERYTHING well. A great lesson that I have re-understood in the context of this year.
Starting in January I will not be in any classes for the next term, channelling my focus to getting to my goal. I have learned that is okay to say NO to things, if you are taking on things that aren’t allowing you to do your main ‘thing’ best, then what is the point.
A burnout is not fun, where you have expelled so much energy into everything that you have nothing left to give. You can get sick, exhausted, and injured. Think about everything in perspective, prioritize the things in your life, and get after your goals!
Good luck this exam period – keep this in mind the next time you have a million things thrown at you this week but have a major exam coming up that you may need to hide from the world for a bit to study for.