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Yesterday I was thinking about deadlines. Deadlines always make me think of my school days and later, my time at Uni. All the hours I must have talked about deadlines for my essays and projects and the many more hours I spent in my head stressing about when the next piece of work was due in and how long I had left to get it done.

I drew planners and under lined things, I had wall charts and post it notes..... but ultimately that was not getting the work done. In fact during my A levels I am pretty sure I devoted more time and focus to the administration of creating a schedule (mostly with multi coloured highlighters) than I did learning the subject matter.

This is not to say that being organised and having a concrete plan is a waste of time and energy as it certainly is not, but I did seem to have a tendency to make the processes around what I was intending to do bigger than doing the thing itself!

There were also times that the plans themselves were simply unrealistic. like the time I was going to lose a stone in a week or the time I was going to save so much money it was more than I was actually earning!

As I have lived through my days I have tried to learn that plans and schedules, whilst certainly having a place, are not the destination. Ultimately, in order to get some thing done, I must quite simply, do the thing. In order to see a meaningful change in my life I must actually make some changes in a sustainable way. Deadlines can indeed focus the mind and create an aiming point but it is important to also look beyond the deadline, the next day, week, year. What will meeting my goals and deadlines mean for myself and my life? Are those expectations reasonable? Are these goals I am setting for myself and the deadlines which boundary them, coming from a place of love? Have the steps I have taken to meet these deadlines been nurturing and positive?

Eventually I put away the highlighters and I now try to simply get on and do the things, minimising unnecessary steps and obstacles in my path, but if I find myself not meeting deadlines and letting my goals slip I try and have a gentle look at my core beliefs and values and just ask if these goals I am working towards are really some thing I want.

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