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New Year off to a "POOR" start? Four Tips For Getting Back On Track (Even if it’s Earlier Than Expected)

Well it's only January 4th and already our desired New Year progress got derailed!

I'm right there with you!

Consistent social media posting, a weekly blog, daily exercise, and a cleaner, healthier diet all got F'd up while bringing in the New Year.

Now don't get me wrong, I had a great time overindulging a bit with my buddies down in South Florida. However, sometimes overindulging leads to underproducing. And underproducing leads to, you guessed it, F-ing up your goals.

So what is one to do?

Call it a year?

"Welp, I guess 2021 isn't going to be a good one either?"

Hell, no! You gotta right the ship! You gotta get the train back on the tracks!

Listen, 2021 has 365 days to get better and maybe you're off to a slow start. But that doesn't mean the next 360 have to be a wash.

Below are four tips to right a ship, that you feel is already sinking.

1. Pause

When things are off to a rough start it's very easy to get back into old habits and negative mindsets. We can actually spiral and all those funky thoughts we have about ourselves can creep in. 

Especially when we had such positive intentions, getting derailed so early in the process can feel incredibly defeating.

So the first step is to pause. That's right. Just pause. Don't continue the "bad." Don't try to force yourself into the “good.” Take a moment. Breathe. Pause.

2. Offer Forgiveness

Now that you've taken a moment to pause, which hopefully slowed down the spiral of self loathing, we now need to offer ourselves some forgiveness. Perhaps our natural tendency is to be incredibly hard on one's self, but I encourage you to try to add in a little forgiveness instead, or as a supplement.

Remember, you're human. Human’s aren’t perfect.

Even when we have the greatest, most positive intentions, we can still slip up.

Obviously we don't want that to be the occurrence all the time, but I trust we are all dedicated to growth and that long lasting derailment is not in our DNA.

As such, save some of that energy spent on self loathing for getting back on track. And you save that energy by offering yourself forgiveness for being human.

3. Organize Your Thoughts

So we've breathed. We've offered ourselves forgiveness. Now we want to get closer to getting our shit back together.

We need to organize our thoughts.

Perhaps you already had a game plan in place that you just didn't follow. If that's the case, cool, just remind yourself of that game plan, give yourself a personal motivational speech, and then start where you left off (aka never started).

Though if you feel like you're back to square one, take some time to consider what it is that you wanted to accomplish. What are the outcomes you seek?

Don't over complicate it.

What is the easiest thing you can do tomorrow to make movement towards your goals.

Now, this may end up being more complicated than you'd like it to be.

Trust me, I've been there.

So this is often a great opportunity to get these thoughts out to someone else. Sometimes trying to sort these thoughts on our own, inside our own head, can be maddening, instead of manageable. If that's the case, consider performance coaching or stress management counseling to air your thoughts to someone else, who can then help you organize them.

4. Re-engage

Got your game plan?

Feel a little more organized again with your path?

Great! Now re-engage with the plan.

Sometimes an early derailment can actually be a good thing. It helps remind us that growth isn't easy and that there are many obstacles that can arise. By having this early "failure" you can more accurately predict the potential obstacles and re-engage with greater purpose and awareness.

So as you re-engage keep this in mind. Stay realistic. Start small. Keep things simple. Avoid or appropriately manage obstacles.

Remember that pursuing goals does not require perfection, it simply requires progress. And getting .05% better everyday will lead to some pretty incredible outcomes 360 days from now.

Let's Put This Into Action:

1. Pause

  • Take a moment and pause.
  • Ask yourself, what's going on? What are you feeling/thinking/doing or not thinking/feeling/doing?
  • How do you know you're derailed?

2. Offer forgiveness.

  • Fill in the blank. "Even though I ______________________(whatever derailment occurred), that doesn't mean that I can't progress. It means that I am human and that humans aren't perfect. I still have more opportunities ahead."
  • Any other offering of forgiveness you want to provide yourself?

3. Organize your thoughts:

  • Let's keep it simple, what is the ONE thing you want to focus on this month to right the ship, to get back on track, to create movement?

4. Re-engage

  • Now that you know the ONE thing you want to focus on, identify the easiest step you can take to make movement towards it.
  • Identify that step.
  • Keep it in your awareness.
  • And then complete the easiest action necessary to complete that step.

Final Thoughts:

Listen...human growth and development is a multi-billion dollar business for a reason.

We humans screw it up SO OFTEN!

But just because we screw it up, doesn't mean we can't also tighten it up.

And if you get nothing from this post today, just remember that it's OK if you've derailed. Just get back on the track again.

Not perfectly. Just on it.

Yes we've identified some solid steps in this post, but if they're too overwhelming, just start with the pause and giving yourself forgiveness. The rest can come later.

Don't lose your go-getter spirit. Change can happen for you. Growth can happen for you.

And if you need support, please reach out to me or some other mental fitness coach or counseling resource to guide you down the path.

Here's to the next 360 days...even if you've had a POOR start.

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