When we’ve had a not so productive day, get derailed, distracted or pulled away, it can be hard to get back to it, yes?
All we want is to be consistent, and be able to do what we say we will.
And when we’re not, we feel guilty (like we should have done better), ashamed (like we should be better), frustrated and saying to ourselves “Ugggh what’s the point!?”
I’ve been working on creating a 5 day challenge (about how to identify your priorities) for so long now. I had planned to launch it months ago, but other things kept coming up. I got derailed. By obligations that I couldn’t ignore, other biz priorities that took me longer than expected, family get togethers and a holiday at the cottage, being sick for a few days….you get it.
Some of you have kids, or spouses with different schedules than you, or a day job. Life is happening all around you.
First, here’s what I want you to know:
– Everything is going to be OK. “Off” days happen to literally everyone. You’re not alone.
– Unexpected things will come up. No question. And a lot of it (but not all of it) will be out of your control, so make an intention right now to accept this as the reality that it is.
– Life is far from perfect. It can get seriously messy. But do you really want every day to go exactly as planned? Sounds a bit boring, sterile and uninspiring. Be open to surprises and the unexpected.
– Part of being consistent, following a routine and staying on track is being able to bounce back and jump right in again.
– I guarantee you can achieve your goals in little bits over time. It doesn’t have to be done all at once, right away or on consecutive days. Is it better to make a snails pace in progress, than none at all? Ummmm yep.
And here’s what you can do to get back on track:
– Remind yourself of all the work you’ve already done. Are you really OK with quitting and letting all that go? Would you really rather stop and give up completely, than work on it bit by bit, or when you can make the time?
– Write down all the details of your goals and what you’re working on. What is it, why is it important to you, what will be the outcome when it’s finished, everything that needs to get done. Schedule some timelines and deadlines in your calendar – this will reset the intentions you had, get you focused and motivated and give you accountability to take action.
– Break down your plans into tiny, bite-sized tasks. You must make ambiguous tasks more specific and concrete, so they’re easier to follow through on. And when you come back to it after being away for awhile, you’ll know exactly where you left off and what you need to do next.
– Start talking to (supportive) people about what you’re working on and what you’re going to do. This will help you stay excited, be motivated and add another layer of accountability.
If you still can’t get back on track, ponder these Q’s:
– Was that thing you were working on truly important in the first place? Why was it on your to-do list? Why were you working so hard on it? Maybe it doesn’t line up with your overarching goals or vision anymore. Maybe it was something you thought you “should” do because someone else told you so, but it doesn’t really excite or matter to you. Things change, so reassess.
– Are you putting too much on your plate? Overwhelm is real, and a lot of us stretch ourselves too thin. No wonder you can’t stay consistent if you’re trying to do all the things!
– Check in about what pulled you away in the first place. Did something distract you? Maybe you need to remove it (a person, phone notifications, whatever) from your environment. Were you sick and tired of looking at your messy desk so you walked away? Maybe you should clean it up and create a more inspiring space. Someone asking you for a favour that you really didn’t have time for? Practice saying “no”. What are your triggers?