Make a note next to each item (in Step One) about whether you think your accomplishing this task is realistic (given the actual circumstances of your life, and assuming you'll be getting enough sleep to feel rested, enough relaxation and recreation to be enjoying life, and enough time to eat, do chores, work, attend to family and friends without stressfully trying frantically to swim up stream just to avoid getting farther behind). Note if each of these goals/desires/tasks are realistic for you in the next hour, day, week, month, year, or is unrealistic within a year at least. Also note which ones you are already doing at 50% of your expectations.
Then make three lists of these--1) the ones you are already doing (and add to that one as many as you can think of), 2) a list of ones that you realistically aren't going to do for the forseeable future, and 3) the ones you realistically think you can and will do soon.
Label the unrealistic ones with:
"LETTING GO OF THIS FANTASY THAT HURTS ME."
Label the ones you already do 50% or more of your expectations with:
"I MORE THAN EARN MY EXISTANCE."
Of the last list, pick one to three of them that if you succeeded at doing at least 50% of your expectation, you would make a big difference in how you feel about yourself and your life. Put this on a forth piece of paper labelled:
"WHAT I WANT TO FOCUS ON NOW."
Post or put these four papers somewhere where you can see them often.
Then make a step by step plan to accomplish 50% of one of the one to three goals you picked. Break the end result into pieces that are small enough that you are virtually sure you can do them each day, or smaller time-frame if needed. Make the pieces like a bread crumb trail back home, so that all you have to do is step on one crumb at a time, and it leads you to the next crumb and eventually doing that will take you home (or to achieving your goal). Then focus on what you can do today, and don't think about it anymore--it should already be thought through enough. Now just do it.
Then do Step Three
Cynthia W. Lubow, MFT