Gratitude Journal: May

With May has come a certain realisation. In recent months I had been getting overwhelmed by the things that are important to me. But I *may* (fingers crossed) have found a way to get rid of this pit of the stomach feeling.


The bottom line is that there is a lot of things going on. Children and family life, writing and blogging, house renovations and gardening; never mind about time for me.

The trickiness is prioritising any of these, because they all seem important to me. And that I need to achieve notable amounts of substance for each area of these, each day, week and month. These are hard things to balance. And the result of not doing so is being overwhelmed.


I was talking with a friend this month, who also happens to be a life coach. I asked her about a decision I was trying to make, but the conversation turned from the decision itself to why exactly I find decision-making hard (very hard!).


Through this conversation she introduced me to the GROW model of goal setting and decision-making. As she talked to me about it, all I could think of was the million and one goals that I have buzzing in my brain and how to explore how I would achieve them.

That’s overwhelm right there!

grow model ovewhelmed

But overnight my brain took it all in.

And the next morning I realised that the most important thing in my life right now is not feeling overwhelmed. So that I have adequate capacity to achieve what I can and make decisions about things that matter.

The plain truth is that when I feel overwhelmed I feel out of control and panicky. I don’t get things done and the feeling is only perpetuated.


I turned it all on its head.

I made my goal not an achievement, not a thing, but the attainment of not being overwhelmed. Each and every day to be able to wake up and go to bed without this feeling.

Hard to be SMART with a goal that is about a feeling but essentially it required me to re-evaluate my other goals to be realistic and focused about what I can achieve.

I am so grateful that the conversation and the model have allowed me to see my priorities in a different light. I don’t have to be overwhelmed and the only person making me feel like that is myself. I can be kinder to myself.

If I stick to the possible, not the overwhelming, small steps will lead me to big ones.

I am grateful that because of this, on all fronts, I have made moves forward rather than backwards this month. At times it has felt heavy and onerous, and at others exciting and audacious. The difference between the two is how much I have expected of myself.

I am choosing to let go of the expectations. I am choosing to grow. I am choosing not to be overwhelmed.


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23 Comments Add yours

  1. What a lovely post to read. I studied the GROW model while training to be a coach – it really helps you to see the wood for the trees. If only I could apply it to myself more easily…;-) xx #sharethejoy

    1. Alice @ The Filling Glass says:

      It really does help the clarity. If only action was always as easy as intention! But I’m not pushing it, much more going with the flow and self-compassion, and it’s helping. Xx

  2. What a wonderful way to look at it Alice. I think expectations play a huge part in feelings of disappointment and being overwhelmed. As always I have full faith that you’ll find a great solution xx

    1. Alice @ The Filling Glass says:

      Ah yes Renee, and the expectations we have of ourselves can be the greatest challenge. I’m not sure so much it’s a solution I’m after as a whole way of being and living. But I will get there xxx

  3. Carie says:

    Of what a lovely perspective! I think I use something similar – I try to work out what the first step I need to take to being less overwhelmed is, do that, and then go from there!!

    1. Alice @ The Filling Glass says:

      It’s a good perspective isn’t it. My problem before was almost that I didn’t recognise the overwhelm, so it’s been a huge step forward for me. Xx

  4. maddy@writingbubble says:

    Hooray! What a great idea! It is so easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you want to do and everything you need to do and it’s such a sensible idea to make ‘not being overwhelmed’ a goal in itself. That kind of feeling undermines everything, doesn’t it? I’m glad your idea is helping you and I’m totally taking this message on board for myself too. Thank you! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting too. xx

    1. Alice @ The Filling Glass says:

      *Doffs hat*, glad to be of service, Maddy! Yes overwhelm is a really insidious but nasty taste in the mouth. I’m glad I can see it for what it is now, and focusing much more on not getting that was is proving positive. Xxx

  5. Right on, Alice! This GROW approach sounds really interesting. This could be a whole post on its own about the model. I am so happy for you that you found something that helps with the overwhelm in which so many of us get bogged down. That is certainly something for which to be grateful! Thank you for sharing with us on #ShareTheJoyLinky!

    1. Alice @ The Filling Glass says:

      You’re probably right Regina, about there being a whole post worth of content there to be written. I think I need to use for a little while first, but watch this space! It’s so nice not to have that overwhelming feeling though so I won’t be rushing! Xx

  6. Nicola Young says:

    I agree that you can definitely overwhelm yourself if not careful and I’m glad you’ve found such a great way to look at it.

    1. Alice @ The Filling Glass says:

      Thanks Nicola, I really don’t like the feeling of overwhelm so not having it is making me much happier. Xx

  7. suzanna says:

    Sounds like a useable approach. I hate that feeling when your head explodes with a million different thoughts and you end up doing none of them. Let us know how you get on.

    1. Alice @ The Filling Glass says:

      Will do, so far it’s a much more positive feeling to my days, and letting some things go hasn’t been as bad as I anticipated. Shows what really matters. Xx

  8. I really like this ‘grow’ strategy and I also love the photo/imagery you’ve used, did you do that yourself? I’m going to take a screen shot of it. It’s brilliant that you’re finding a way to not feel overwhelmed – which is something we all feel at times.#what i’m writing

    1. Alice @ The Filling Glass says:

      It’s good isn’t it! Can’t believe I haven’t heard of it before. I did take that photo, at first just for my Instagram, but I liked it so much I used it on the post. It’s just Post-it notes and *gasp* drawing on my desk! Amazing what filters can do. Xx

      1. You’ve got nice writing. If I did it, it would look a bit pony and trap! x

        1. Alice @ The Filling Glass says:

          Thanks! I did have several goes at some of them.

  9. Michelle Twin Mum says:

    This sounds like it was such a positive interaction for you. Well done. I’ve also always found the GROW model really useful too. Mich x

  10. Morgan Prince says:

    What a positive way to tackle things! It sounds like you’re really making some progress and will end up happier as a result. Great post.

    1. Alice @ The Filling Glass says:

      Thanks! I try to look at things positively these days even when from the outside they look the opposite. It’s really helped me. Xx

  11. I love the GROW model – I used it to do peer coaching work with kids when I was teaching, and have since found it a really positive tool for working through my own challenges – and helping other people with theirs. I hope it continues to help you get back on top of things! The whole ‘overwhelm’ feeling is very familiar – maybe time I did a bit of self-coaching myself 🙂 xx

    1. Alice @ The Filling Glass says:

      It’s always easy to see solutions to others problems but not your own! I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of this model before, but it has been a great tool to get to know, I shall be using it in many ways. Xx

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