It’s usually around mid-January when our energy and motivation for our new year’s goals begin to dwindle. Our grand ideas of going after big, meaty goals for 2020 and our promise to take better care of ourselves; like managing our workload better, eating the right foods, abstaining from alcohol and hauling our asses into the gym on a regular basis starts to feel unrealistic and unachievable. In fact, the thought of having to keep up everything we set out to do at the start of the year is feeling overwhelming as the same daily demands from 2019 are still here in 2020; our bosses and clients are unpredictable, our own moods are unpredictable in response and our energy levels are not as high as we imagined they would be from healthy resolutions. Getting to the gym 4 times a week is becoming a chore and a half, and that damn number on the scale is not dropping despite our best efforts with eating the right things, drinking a tonne of water and exercising the willpower of a titan.
The same triggers from 2019 are still here this year and they are pushing you towards the same crutches as last year. Demotivation is setting in, it’s setting in fast, and it feels as though it’s all about to all come down like a house of cards!
So, let’s just STOP.
Take a few breaths and clear your mind as much as possible in this moment.
Now, give yourself a pat on the back from making it this far, in fact, give yourself a hug, wrap your arms around yourself and say “well done you!” – and say it out loud.
OK, so, things aren’t quite going how you imagined. Hey, that’s fine and totally normal – things in life don’t often go exactly how we imagine them to, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to our overall plan.
You’ve got to step outside of yourself now and look at the bigger picture here. This is something a lot of us don’t do as often as we should; we get caught up in the nitty-gritty of day to day and obsess over the small details that we feel we have more control over rather than the overall vision which relies on multiple elements (people, things, circumstances etc.) as it feels far less controllable. By focussing so hard on the small things that are not happening to our liking we cut ourselves off from noticing all the other stuff that is going right and we miss opportunities that present themselves to support our growth and attainment of our goals.
We need to take a step back and gain perspective. We need to take stock of what’s working and what’s not. Some wait until the end of the month to take inventory, some do it every quarter, some only do it once a year! But by not regularly pausing and assessing where we are at – What is working for us? What is working against us? – We are unable to identify where we may be standing in our own way pushing through a plan that in theory should have worked, but when put into practice, it’s just not viable. So we need to adapt our methods. And if we don’t pause to look at how things are going and recognise the error of our ways then we aren’t able to tweak our behaviours and actions so that the goal attainment process works harmoniously with us and the environment we live in.
Perhaps you’ve planned to get up an hour earlier to exercise or plan your day ahead but after trying this out the last 2 weeks you’ve realised you are just NOT a morning person and exercise would work more harmoniously with your schedule and your body clock if it was done in the evening or at lunchtime?
Maybe you’ve realised that tasks that you hoped to plan out a week ahead can’t actually be planned that far in advance and will need to be planned out daily so you need to factor in 10 minutes each day to work through that instead of planning those tasks with the rest of your weekly schedule?
Or maybe the opposite is true and actually things can be scheduled a week in advance and you can free up some time and mental energy taking daily scheduling out of your calendar each day?
Take note of the last few weeks and redesign your days so that they work for you, not the other way around.
Quite often, a new year has us putting a huge amount of pressure on ourselves to achieve so many things for the year ahead. But we can’t do it all at once, we need to break it down into steps, actions and processes that fit in with our lives and not all of it can be achieved this month so it needs to be realistically scheduled in our minds and our diaries for the year ahead. Even if someone has the same goals as you, taking their steps of action to attain them may not fit in well with your lifestyle and trying to achieve things the same way as them will just feel like an uphill struggle the whole time. There is absolutely no point in living in misery trying to make something fit that just simply won’t – that would have me reaching for the vino, and has done many times in the past.
Perhaps when you visualised how you wanted 2020 to go you did break it down meticulously and felt you had a foolproof plan, but it hadn’t been put into practice, it was all in theory and now that you’re living this plan out in reality there are some things that you overlooked that are causing friction and it’s just not working for you. That’s OK! It doesn’t mean the goals are unobtainable, it just means you need to go back to the drawing board and manage your steps better now that you have learned more about the process.
So, please don’t throw the towel just yet, see where you have got to now as a learning process (which is what our daily lives consist of – countless opportunities and experiences to learn and grow from) and listen to your body’s response to your actions the last couple of weeks and respond kindly to it. Give it the tools it needs to support the attainment of your dreams. Do not compare yourself to others and do not punish yourself for not progressing the same way as other’s have. You have your life, they have theirs. Work with yourself, not against yourself and create your successes in whichever way is right for you.
Don’t over complicate things, you know what is right for you and the best way to go about it. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
Keep shining, Keep smiling x