We have all experienced instances of stagnation as the responsibilities and challenges of daily life set in. We start excited to change our lives for the better by making grand goals to exercise daily, start that business venture, eat healthier or start that hobby. Then our motivation decreases with the bombardment of hassles from life and unexpected challenges (COVID-19 pandemic) that throws us off our plans. We become discouraged, frustrated, stressed and/ or depressed. However, we all go through ups and downs in life. That is what it means to be human. Instead of beating ourselves up for “failing” we need to appreciate the slow moments in our lives as a time for rejuvenation and an opportunity to recharge. Change your perspective and change your world.
Now that we have established that it is normal to go through periods of growth and periods of stagnation in life, we can now allow this cycle to work for us. How about using our low energy period to set your goals. Think about it: if we set our goals during this period of our lives, they are likely to be more realistic and achievable. Instead of saying I will exercise every day or hit the gym five times a week, you might say, I will exercise ten minutes three times a week. Maybe I will go to the gym and check out the classes they have and maybe run on the treadmill for a few minutes twice a week. This might seem small now, but it is an achievable goal when we feel unmotivated, tired or stressed. During our peak period, we can act upon and push those goals further. When we are back at the peak of motivation, you might feel inspired to exercise for fifteen minutes, five days a week or meal prep healthy meals for the month. Think about that for a moment.
It is important to understand that motivation is not constant or reliable for achieving goals. Your discipline, your mindset and the preparation and systems you put in place will get you to your goal. If you create easily achievable systems, you will be able to get back on track quickly. Remember, it does not matter that the step is small because “A Lil progress every day adds up to big results.”
Strategies to get back into your routine
- Schedule your habits:
- Put it in your calendar, planner or journal: If you are like me, you enjoy planning and organising your days, and you especially love seeing a checkmark next to a completed task. Use stars, create a habit tracker, log it in your calendar or set a reminder on your phone so that you can get it done.
- Link it to a current behaviour: Developing a new habit is challenging and takes time. We forget and neglect it without reminders, so allow your existing habits to act as a trigger. For example, when your coffee is making in the morning, do a quick stretch routine or put a sticky note on your fridge that says: I chose to fill my body with tasty and nourishing ingredients. This will prompt you to choose a healthier option when you open the fridge. Write that note on your shopping list so that it reminds you to choose healthier options when making groceries.
- Stick to with it, even in lil ways:
- Life can get chaotic and hectic as we thrive to meet deadlines and commitments to other people. I know during these times we may neglect those lovely goals we set for ourselves. However, even the midst of our external commitments, we need to value and honour our commitments to ourselves. If you cannot do that ten-minute workout, stretch for one minute. You have no time to write three pages of your morning pages, then write one page. Modify your habit to fit your time but do not neglect it, or you may lose your momentum and break the cycle.
- Get an accountability partner:
- No one likes disappointing others and letting them down. Why not use that to your advantage by finding someone that expects something from you to keep you going. Tell a friend that you want to wake up early and set up an early morning call check-in. Create a 30-day challenge with a social media group where you have to post about the goal daily. Whatever serves to keep you accountable, do that.
- Focus on what you can control
- Stop making excuses. If you have no money to go to the gym or start that art class, then watch a youtube video. You do not have funds to start that business, then focus on writing a business plan and creating a website and researching ways to get donations or sponsorship. If you want to start a podcast but do not have the equipment, use your phone and try the Anchor app.
- Be flexible
- Remember just because it is not optimal, it does not mean that it is not beneficial. Maybe you want to eliminate junk food from your diet however you have a movie night with your girlfriends once a month that involves junk food and indulgence. So you decide to skip it to reduce the temptation. It’s okay to make allowances for special occasions. Eating junk food once a month is not going to be detrimental, and we deserve to treat ourselves and have fun with friends.
- Design your environment for success:
- Refrain from relying on your motivation or willpower to keep you going because they may fail you. Instead allow your environment to work for you. Interested in doing yoga every morning, then roll up your yoga mat and work out clothes at the end of your bed. Put fruits in a basket on the table, hide junk food at the back of the pantry or do not purchase at all. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Please, only pursue a goal or develop habits that you care about and want to achieve. Pursuing anything for the sake of pleasing others will lead to failure and disappointment. Do not waste your time and energy on something that does not bring you joy and fulfilment.
I hope this post offers you some insight and encouragement in your personal development journey. Thank you for reading.
Love generously, inspire daily and learn constantly, and remember
Based off the article above: Get Back on Track: 7 Strategies to Help You Bounce Back After Slipping Up
Thank you for reading.