Monday Motivation: Running Late on Your Life Plan?

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on September 14, 2020

Monday motivation, we need it, stat! We’re all weighed down by the strife in the world and need a boost. Here’s a pick-me-up to launch your week on the right foot. Studies show that your morning mood affects your productivity all day. Grit Daily is here to get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Monday motivation!

Your Life Plan

Okay, there are admittedly some of us who are struggling to find our “why” and others who don’t have a clear plan on what to do with our lives even if we sort-of-kind-of know our “why.” However, most of us do have some sort of life plan. And, as loose as that life plan may be, we’ve somehow affixed a certain date or milestone to our life plan. For example, by the age of 30, I will have had my first child or be promoted in my career to Director. Then, when we approach or pass those dates and haven’t achieved that part of our life plan, we are crestfallen; deeply saddened that we didn’t hit it.

Our Monday motivation column today deals with that sense of being overwhelmed and those feelings of being “behind.” What many of us forget is that these are deadlines set on an artificial timeline that doesn’t really exist. It’s one thing if you are regimented in your daily, weekly, monthly and annual goal-setting and planning and you recognize that you’re falling behind that plan. Even then, what do you do in that case? You make adjustments to make sure that you hit the goal – even if it is slightly later than planned – but you hit it. You’re the Type-A personality who has the focus, discipline and accountability needed to track what you’re doing and stay on track. But what about the rest of us mere mortals?

“What gets measured gets done.” ~Peter Drucker

Monday motivation tips to Lose that “Behind Schedule” Feeling

Over the next few weeks (lucky you – a sneak preview!), we’re going to try to crack all the nuts related to “being late or behind” here on Monday motivation. The first relates to feeling behind, overwhelmed and chronically missing deadlines. The second deals with being chronically late as in the opposite of being punctual for appointments and meetings. Today, we’re dealing with that feeling of being behind schedule on our life plan.

#1 – stop comparing yourself to others

Others haven’t faced the situations that you have. You are unique and you’re the only who who has had the cumulative collection of experiences and the timing of those experiences. You’re on your own timeline, not anyone else’s. Even if you think that you’re at the “extreme” end, either super early or super late on the typical bell distribution curve – you’re still ON the curve! Comparing yourself is a Monday motivation hardship that will wreak havoc on your self-confidence and leave you feeling overwhelmed that you’re somehow behind on your life plan.

#2 – remind your network that it’s YOUR timeline not theirs

We all have those “well-intentioned” members of our inner circle. Sometimes, that’s a parent, or an aunt or big brother or BFF that means well but it comes off as annoying and critical. “When are you going to do X … when I was your age … by the time that I was in college …” or whichever other permutations run through your head. It can get annoying after a while.

Tune them out. If they continue to harp on a timeline or milestone, remind them that you are on your own timeline. If you want to keep things to yourself, tell them that it’s personal and set a boundary. Perhaps you want to open up and invite them in to help keep you accountable? Fine, then frame it so that they understand the difference between a goal that you hope to hit by a certain age versus a goal that you are aiming to hit. That can change the trajectory or your relationship with that person and have a profound effect on your mental psyche around the feeling of being behind on your life plan.

#3 – give yourself permission to slide, allow a “fudge factor” timeline

Fine, add a little fudge time, but not too much. Consider a pre-check-in date (perhaps 6-months earlier?) and then a check-in date. Re-evaluate everything at that pre-check-in date. Ask yourself if you still want to hit that goal. Be honest but don’t berate yourself if that goal is slipping. Ask yourself what you can do to change things so that you can put yourself on a path to be one step closer towards that goal every month over the remaining six months.

Reflect on how important it is that you hit that goal on time versus hit it at all. What happens if you don’t hit it? Will your life be impacted that negatively or is it something that you can live with if your frame your mindset around it differently? Think back, why did you originally set that as a goal for your life plan anyway? Was it truly your goal or one that those around you set for you? Be honest, not critical.

Extra bits of Monday motivation

If you like podcasts, well, wouldn’t you know, we’ve got those, too! Three of them, in fact: 1) Like a Boss with snappy insights; 2) wine down and chill; and 3) Monday motivation. All three are available on all streaming channels including Apple, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more. Tune in! Finally, if you like my writing, check out my new novel, The Battle for Humanity, it’s a thriller you won’t be able to put down.

Join me for my Monday motivation podcast

Have a fabulous week!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels


By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Dr. Loralyn Mears is a Columnist at Grit Daily and a podcast host (The Grit Files, which aims to shine the spotlight on female founders). She is a content marketer, founder of the WORKtech startup, STEERus, specializing in personal and professional development to address gaps in soft skills - communication in particular. In her consultancy practice, she helps clients with content and strategy. Loralyn spent over a decade playing with mosquito DNA, got her PhD, decided she would rather market science than be at the bench and has never looked back. Along the way, she’s wined and dined her way around the globe. She's authored two books, including the 2018 Gold Medal Indie Book award-winning, One Sip At a Time: a Memoir and the hard science thriller, "The Battle for Humanity: How Science Saved Us." 

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