2020 so far might not be the year we envisioned counting down to midnight on the 31st of December, but when we look back at this extraordinary experience in half a year's time, how do you want to feel?
Getting started on whatever your goal is can often be the biggest hurdle to overcome, but staying motivated and disciplined day in and day out despite uncontrollable circumstances is a skill only the strongest of us will learn to master. Think about that DIY home project that you embarked on in the spring, with all the materials now laying somewhere in the shed. Think about that new diet you promised yourself to stick to a few weeks ago, before all the restaurants started offering amazing discounts on delivery and takeout. Think about that personal development course you were so excited about, skimming through the first few minutes of the video, before pausing it for the newest episode of your favourite TV show. It's almost impossible not to get sidetracked by everything else life has to offer, but here are some practices to get you re-started on the path to success.
1. DON'T EXPECT PERFECTION
It's almost impossible not to hold ourselves to a higher standard than the people we care about, but that can often do more harm than good when it comes to building the confidence and momentum to get going. If you want to try something completely out of your comfort zone, don't expect results similar to someone who's been practicing for ages. Instead, expect mistakes, and expect a lot of them, because they're the ultimate sign of growth.
2. START NOW
Perhaps you've successfully convinced yourself that you'll start the next month, the next week, or the next day even. How many times have you actually stuck to those deadlines? If there's something you want to accomplish, take a small step as soon as the thought occurs to you, otherwise it'll remain just that, a thought. Momentum builds as you take action, and soon you'll be well on your way to achieving success without a hint of desire to pause for a break.
3. LEISURE CAN WAIT
There's a difference between self care, and mindlessly robbing yourself of valuable time, time that will never come back. Figure out which activities are most effective as a reset button for yourself, make you feel better, and further invigorate you. A tip to follow is that these activities should renew your enthusiasm for getting back to work, rather than induce dread at the idea of it stopping. Schedule start and stop times for breaks, so that a 10 minute pause doesn't snowball into 3 hours of scrolling on your phone.
4. SAY YES
One takeaway we should all have in response to current events is that time and opportunities are limited. Think about all the projects, activities, and hobbies that you would usually say no to, and reflect upon the reason behind your reluctance. Patterns and habits are great for maintaining routine, but if you're finding your day-to-day a little dull and discouraging, sign up for something spontaneous or agree with no questions asked the next time your friend extends a questionable invitation.
There are so many ways to spearhead change if you're finding yourself butting heads with internal or external resistance. Keep in mind that nothing is permanent, and you have all the power you need to make a difference. Cheers to the second half of 2020!