At this time of year, I think it is important to take stock and look back to five months ago in January when we were all probably budding with new ideas for the year ahead. No doubt, we were full of enthusiasm and motivated to make the year ahead different to that of the one that has passed. If you haven’t accomplished what you thought you would have by now instead of berating yourself, take stock and simply start again. Here is some motivation to get going.
Uncommonly, I have always loved January. I love the start of new weeks, months and the feeling of having a fresh start. This year, in January my motivation for the year ahead was at a different level. I felt so inspired and eager to change my habitual life. I love my job and all that it encompasses however the whole nine to five, Monday to Friday, living for the weekend routine was crushing my spirits. Yes the security of being paid monthly, having paid annual leave days all have their perks but the mundane nature of the constant routine was so mind numbing . The only way I can describe it is like I was living the same year over and over again. I knew there had to be more to life and I made a promise to myself that this year I was going to step outside of my comfort zone and experience new things that moved away from the rituals of everyday life. Don’t get me wrong, I know the reality is that we need to work to pay the bills, but this year I just want to experience it a little differently than before. I figured that providing myself with this opportunity it would also enlighten my practice as a social worker and I hope that I will return to work feeling rejuvenated and re –inspired. This quote is ultimately what has given me the courage to pursue this adventure.
So in that breath, I am taking two months off work this year from April to June to pursue all of the above. I fly to India (Goa) in a few days to commence yoga teacher practice training. It has been a dream of mine for years now however I have never had the courage to take the plunge. I have always wanted to travel alone also so I am combining the two and I am so excited for all the learning and inspiration that will hopefully unfold.
As highlighted, this January something changed I shifted gears and instead of having all of these wonderful dreams and aspirations I knew it was time to take action. To achieve this I did a few things to continue the momentum, which I hope by sharing, may ignite some passion within you also.
- Having a good morning time routine is so important.
Insuring that you have a few hours to yourself before having to engage with the world is crucial to productivity and self-care. Being an early riser comes naturally to me now and morning time is definitely my favourite part of the day.
- Write down your goals and most importantly give yourself a time frame for achieving them.
Physically writing down your dreams and aspirations is really powerful as it makes them tangible. Setting a time frame also concretes the commitment you have made to yourself to achieve these goals. Having a notebook to look back to use as a reference point when you have achieved your goal is also very inspiring for future goals as it increases your self-belief. When you see concrete evidence of what was once a vision, turn into a reality you see what you are capable of achieving when you put your mind to it.
- Schedule three monthly reflection dates with yourself.
I go to my local favourite coffee shop (where I am sitting now), order the most delicious porridge and green tea and sit down and review the previous three months. I figure out if I have been living my life in accordance with the goals I set. Look at the positive steps taken towards the goals that you have made (do a little happy dance about them) and then look at any barriers which you may have experienced which prevented you from achieving the anticipated outcome. Following this, make a plan to get back on track with which ever goal may have gotten sidelined. I have to admit I was highly impressed with Pippa’s new journal as this system is naturally incorporated into the plan of the journal. Any excuse to compliment this lady will be taken because I am her biggest fan and I’m not even going to try to hide it.
- Work backwards from December to current month
This is really helpful in planning out what you want the year to look like and what you want to achieve by certain time frames. I work my way backwards through the year and ask myself what I want to have achieved by December 2018. This approach really helps me plan for the year ahead and breaks down what might seem like a very large task into something manageable and achievable. ‘Step by step we get ahead’.
- Develop and stick to having unconditional actions every day
Pick one thing that you have to achieve no matter what happens each day. These actions build up and you can accomplish a considerable amount by committing to doing one thing every day to advance with your goals.
To provide context, I have a few every day, like I have to drink three liters of water a day no matter what. I also ensure to dedicate an hour to myself a day whether that is through exercise, mindset work or treating myself. I know some may see it as being excessive and think I don’t have time for that but I often have to get up at the crack of dawn to insure this is achieved. ‘Where there is a will there is a way’. I have prioritised this because my job requires me to be fully present with the people I meet in the same way that most jobs do.
- Figure out your why.
When you set a goal ask yourself, why is this important to me? Why are you inspired to achieve this? What does it mean to you and your family? When you think you have the answer ask yourself again but why is it important to lose weight, to start a new business, to commence a new relationship etc. When you have found your real ‘why’ this will inspire and motivate you. On the days when you are lacking in motivation you can then use your ‘why’ to push yourself.
- Let go of the fear of failure.
Last but not least and possibly the most difficult to achieve. As humans it is in our nature to seek approval from our family and friends and to care what people think of us. I was so nervous to put my content online, available for everyone to see despite having loved writing since I was a little girl. I am so afraid of going to do yoga teacher practice training because I compare myself to people who are so much more advanced than me at yoga. I am petrified of travelling to somewhere so far away on my own. I am heartbroken leaving Hugo and Bruno (Doggy babies) and Ian for a month but the possibility of the self-learning I hope to achieve inspires me to just keep going.
What has changed is that the fear of failure is not as scary as the fear of not trying is. It got to the stage where I had no choice but to move forward and do the things that scared me because anything less is no longer an option.
Think about some of the most successful people in the world they started with one tiny step forward and have built empires. Listen to the voice that whispers inside you. It knows what you are capable of.
I hope that by reading this I have ignited a little spark in you to go back to the goals you set at the start of the year, re-evaluate them. Are they still important? Do you still want to achieve them? If so, write down a plan as to how to get there and remember small baby steps. It is a new day, a new week, a new month you don’t need to start at the start of the year. Start now, Start today.
Thanks for reading and good luck.