Did You Fall Off The New Year Energy Wagon?
It’s the third week, and you feel like 2020 never left. The journal you wrote your goals on is stuck somewhere between your unfinished novel and the incomplete Business Plan.
I can’t blame you. Even if you started planning for this in December as I did, the weight of all those resolutions could come crashing if you put yourself under this kind of chronic pressure.
But today’s different. Today, you’re aware that you need to make some changes. That what you’re doing isn’t going to help you get further.
Just that thought alone is often what you need—the awareness.
But if you’re like me, it would be nice to have a plan of sorts — a map. Or at the very least, a compass with a general direction of how to get back on track.
I’ve failed more times at this than I would care to admit, and the guilt I have carried for breaking promises to myself is too caustic for me to keep making the same mistake.
I want to enjoy every day that I have to take a step forward.
Yeah, some days, stuff happens, and things beyond our control can derail us. But if it involves the plans we made for ourselves and our ability to follow through, then we can still do something about it.
We can still “reset” the clock.
1. Do a Review
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and get up eight times.” — Paulo Coelho
I’ve become relatively obsessed with reviewing my life lately. In the past, I’d assume things were bad — they often were — but I didn't know how much until I started tracking my daily activities. Not everything, of course, only the ones that moved the needle.
When I started intermittent fasting, I noticed that I did better (and even felt better) when I could see the days and hours I had fasted using the app Zero.
I have tried fasting multiple times and failed miserably because I didn’t have a system to track what was working and what wasn’t.
If you’re feeling like “you’re back in 2020” and “there’s no point in even trying,” you could consider looking back at the last three weeks and being objective about your progress.
Did you take on too much? Did you underestimate the goal? Is your system unsustainable? Are there any variables you missed when you started planning?
Although your heart was in a good place when you made those plans to take over the world, the reality of execution requires a more pragmatic approach: What has worked? What hasn't? Why? Where can we improve? What should we subtract?
2. Seek Assistance
“Your legacy is not what you do. It’s what the people who you teach do.” — James Altucher
How many times have you found yourself in a position where a third party pointed an “obvious” flaw in your reasoning or plan?
If things aren't going as planned, reach out to someone who is “killing it”—someone who has been executing for a while and who seems to know what they’re doing.
The cool thing here is that you might be surprised ( and empowered) to find that they’re not very different from you. Maybe they failed a lot too. Maybe they’ve had to find systems that work for their personalities.
Either way, if you ask for help, you will get it.
I’ve hardly ever come across a successful person who didn’t get help and wasn’t ready to help another.
Even if you don’t get the exact strategies and systems to address your current issues, that change in perspective can help shift your current view of things.
Plus, with the internet these days, it can be a very fulfilling one-way conversation through books, podcasts, videos, and more.
3. Take a break
“When you’re in a hole, stop digging.” — Denis Healey
Barely three weeks, and I’m asking you to take a break? Yeaup.
It’s not about the length of the break or when you take it; it’s about what you do with it.
What’s the intention?
A proper break requires disconnection. It needs you to get out of your own way in a manner that makes room for rest to occur.
Although you have a plan, there could be activities that are not only distracting you but draining the energy you could be using.
Take a break from Social Media. Take a break from the News. Take a break from watching TV Shows or playing video games.
Go outside and do…nothing. Call a friend and talk for hours about…whatever they want to talk about.
When you’re stuck, one of the fastest ways to change things is to shake them up. You don’t have to leave the country or sell your property and start living like a monk.
That would be great, though.
Refresh by stopping the machine and restarting when it cools off.
4. Try Something New/different
“Given that we are more dependent on vision than on any other sense, it should come as no surprise that visual cues are the greatest catalyst of our behavior. For this reason, a small change in what you see can lead to a big shift ” — James Clear
The new normal in 2021 is working from home. I am blessed to have a remote job still and aware that many have had a hard time — losing income sources and living under fear and chronic stress.
In the same light, I believe in the human ability to be resilient.
So, if you’re one of those who have gotten into a routine stifling your progress, this could be the solution for you: start a different project.
Yes, novelty can spark creativity. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a trip to Tibet or a bucket list involving a selfie with the Dalai Lama.
That would be great, though.
This is about letting your unconscious take over as you focus on learning. Learning is probably the most powerful tool in our human arsenal. Our ability to pick up skills, to practice, to reflect, to improve, to grow.
But learning is not that simple. In fact, I think most of us — I included — don’t really know how to learn.
With the proliferation of online courses and tutorials online, it’s easy to think the reverse is true — that learning has never been easier than it is in 2021.
Access to information? Yes. Learning and gaining proficiency? Not so much.
Trying something new can expose you to your flaws ( and your strengths too!) You can discover a new interest that, through lateral thinking, helps you solve a problem on your current list of goals for the year.
It takes sustained, regular effort and energy to pull through a lifetime of building towards goals. It’s something we’re blessed with: the chance to take ideas, dreams and bring them to life.
Feeling like we’ve failed ourselves for not sticking to the plan happens to everyone at some point. The important thing is to identify the trend when it starts, curb its effects, and leverage it exponentially.
- Do a review
- Seek assistance
- Take a break
- Try something new/different.
You’ve got time to get back on track if you start right now.