Shiny penny syndrome (SPS): When you learn about a great idea and jump into action to obtain it…with EVERY great idea you hear about. 

This phenomenon gets the best of us. It could look like opening your planner and deciding to clean the whole house, complete your 15-hour project, prep meals, and achieve world peace all in the same day. 


For my wing-it-and-see people, I know y’all don’t plan a thing! Going into the day, you operate moment to moment. You might decide in the back of your mind that you’re going to accomplish a few loose things that need to get done. You enter your living room and see what a mess it is, so you begin putting a few things away, and when you put the baking soda back in the kitchen – why was it on the couch, to begin with?! –   you notice the kids dumped all their dishes in the sink and didn’t clean a thing. The start button on the dishwasher must be invisible to everyone else! So you begin cleaning the kitchen. You notice the mail drawer is a little too empty which reminds you to go check the mail. While you’re outside, you see your car crying for a wash. Do you see where this is going?


Allowing shiny penny syndrome to take over invites stress to be another legion hanging on for the ride, like the .01% germ Lysol won’t kill. As career women, we want to do it all! We want to level up in our jobs, we want our kids to succeed, so we sign them up for everything and expect them to take on the same shiny-penny spirit with a smile, we want the perfect diet, education, and enriching hobbies. There is nothing wrong with being a go-getter, but not at the expense of your health! The only thing you get at that pace is a coffin or an urn. 


I find myself needing to pause, analyze how I’m spending my time, and reorganize my responsibilities. If I’m overworked, I am never fully present for my kids, my clients, and my friends. How do I do it? Read on, my friend.


Set Goals.


Time is the most valuable investment that you can never multiply, only optimize. Don’t task for the sake of tasking. We tend to have a lot of goals, but arranging them into order of importance increases their achievability. 


Taking it a step further, break your big goals into bite-sized pieces. If your goal is to be the picture of health by this time next year, start by sleeping before midnight every night. Once that becomes a habit, fill up a jug of water every day and get through as much of it as possible. Once you’ve got the hang of that, increase your water intake. And so on. 


Make A Plan To Achieve Those Goals. 


What will you need to achieve the first big goal? New levels come with new devils. We often have to grow in new areas of our lives in order to handle the success for which we strive. List attributes and steps you think you will need in order to obtain and sustain your main goal. Do you need to grow your patience? Self-love? Do you need to grow out of a certain mentality? 


As far as steps, what education do you need? Do you need a coach or a mentor who can help you learn the ropes faster than researching on your own? What resources do you need to acquire? Write these things down. Failing to plan is planning to fail. 


Don’t Try to Remember All of Your Responsibilities.


Now that you have a plan, don’t keep your to-do list in your head. Write your tasks down. Don’t try to write them in order or make them sound flowery. Whatever tasks and responsibilities hit your brain, write them down. Everything from sales calls and conferences, to cleaning your workspace and prepping snacks so you and your family don’t starve. 


Once you have written down every little task, take note of how often it needs to get done and annotate how long it takes to complete the task – not how long you want it to take, but how long it actually takes. From there, organize your tasks by timelines and priorities. 


Find An Accountability Buddy.


This section is so important. If you’ve skimmed through the other sections, please read this part thoroughly. You know how your kid starts to pick up their friends’ habits and sayings as they get older? If you’ve got teens or tweens, you’ve probably heard “that’s cap,” “touch some grass,” or worse; “Bruh.” Half the time, they can’t even identify exactly where the habits came from. 


You are the sum total of the 5 closest people to you. That said, even if you consider yourself a strong-willed person, words are powerful and you need to vet your accountability partner carefully. If they are the embodiment of negative energy, finding problems for every solution, they are not the accountability partner you want. 


If they are daydreamers who dream more than they do, they also are not your accountability partner. You want someone on the same wavelength as you. You want someone who is consistently striving toward their goals. You want a friend who you can trust enough to be transparent with, but that will motivate you to be better, not only with their words but also their actions. When you see them making moves, you’re not going to want to be the weakest link. Friend-power is more important than willpower.


Fix Your Mentality.


Finally, you don’t want to be either of the accountability partners you’re trying to avoid. You attract your energy. Daydreaming is exciting, but wishes and prayers without actions keep you stagnant. Poking holes in every solution that comes your way instead of taking a leap of faith here and there will never bring the results you’re looking for. 


Growth can be scary and uncomfortable, but you have to trust God and yourself to make the next right step. Listen to that still, small voice in your spirit. 


Are you struggling with any step of this goal-setting process? Let’s chat about it!


If you’re looking for a cutesy planner designed for high-achieving women, check out my Reset planner, which has built-in sections for you to track your health, career, and personal goals!


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