I have a tendency to over-commit myself. Anybody else? One goal I had this year was to get to the gym before work each day and I was feeling extra motivated to get there today because I spent most of my Labor Day weekend shoveling BBQ food into my mouth. But, when I woke up this morning, my body had a different idea. I felt sluggish. I could tell I had been clenching my teeth in my sleep and I immediately began thinking of the million things I had to do before returning back to my bed later that night. I wanted to scream "shut up!" at my alarm clock and sleep through the day. Again…Anybody else? This is a sign of your body and mind being overworked. And it’s a sign that you should not ignore. Something had to change.
The new fall season was upon me and I used that as an opportunity to start fresh. Here's a tip: The seasons don't have to be changing for you to do this. If you had the week from hell, feel free to use the start of the next week as your "new season" to start over with a fresh mind. Regardless of what you choose to be your reset button, you can follow these steps for clearing your slate, getting motivated again, and slaying the life game:
1. Set new goals. Remember that these goals should be attainable and clearly defined. The idea is not to set yourself up for a nearly impossible routine, but to set up your goals in a way that they will be sustainable in the long term. For example: It is much easier to commit to working out 20 minutes a day and sustain that goal for a long period of time. If you say you will work out for 1.5 hours every day, you will likely see results quicker, but who has time to work out for 1.5 hours every single day? Not sustainable. Try this model: I will accomplish this by this date by doing this.
2. Get rid of the old ones. Throw out those old blah crappy goals that are crowding your mind. Maybe you decided that you were going to set a goal based on hearing that another person had set that goal. It sounded super awesome at the time, but you realize that it doesn’t actually make sense with your life or fit with your motives. That goal is a free loader. It takes up space in your brain, uses your little cells of energy and give you no payback. Throw it out. Get rid of it.
3. New happies. Add one new thing into your daily routine (Put 3 drops of lavender on your pillow before bed each night. Listen to a great podcast on your drive to work instead of listening to people on the radio talk about dumb YouTube videos. Do 2 stretches in bed before you get up and get ready for the day. Give yourself one encouraging complement each morning when you look in the mirror.) Anything that can disrupt your daily thought pattern is a great spark for creativity. Tip: If you have a hard time remembering to do these things, set a calendar appointment that will buzz when it’s time.
4. Spend some time alone. To reflect, to create these goals, to throw out the ones that aren't relevant, to get over any insecurities from the last few months or weeks or days. Use this time to think of 3 things you are grateful for. Use this time to think of 3 things that you are doing well. Use this time to think of 3 new ways that you can be more positive in your everyday life.
Remember- You can always repeat this process after a tough day or a tough week. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way- no matter how small they are. Most importantly, move past your failures and focus on learning from them.