05 Apr 10 ways to get unstuck
We’re now well into 2019 and if you’re anything like me, you might already be feeling the year is getting away from you!
It can feel as though there’s never enough time to do all the things you want to do & you might be feeling a bit anxious about achieving the goals you’ve set yourself this year.
Or you might be feeling overwhelmed with your workload and personal commitments.
We can be hard on ourselves when it comes to expectations of what we ‘should’ be capable of achieving.
We set unrealistic timeframes and forget that goals can take longer to achieve than we expect them to.
These feelings of overwhelm can stop us in our tracks, making it difficult to move forward.
Here are 10 ways to boost your energy, reboot your focus and get you out of feeling stuck:
- Decide & Define. Do you have too many goals on your list? I ask my clients to limit their goals to one professional and one personal goal over a 6 month period. When setting goals, ask yourself WHY you want to achieve that goal. What skills, strengths, habits or behaviours do you need to work on to achieve your goal? Are you clear on the outcome you want? If not, it can be hard to follow through & do the work required to make it happen.
- The power of No. If you’re tired of being overcommitted then it’s time to start saying ‘no’ to new demands on your time, and reassess how you are spending your time each day. “No” to mindless social media scrolling, no to some social engagements, no to meetings you don’t need to attend, no to distractions that don’t serve your goals and the life you want to live.
- Adjust your timeframes. Habit change takes longer than we think. Be realistic about your goal and how long it will take to achieve it. Be kind to yourself. Recognise you are doing the best you can & try not to beat yourself up if things take a bit longer than you’d like them too. Like most things in life, anything worth doing takes time.
- Create space. This ties into no.2. You need to create space to create change. It’s as simple as that. If you continue doing what you’ve always done nothing will ever change. Creating space to reflect, re-evaluate, recognise your progress and Do The Work. It can be as simple as taking yourself to your favourite cafe for an hour and writing in your journal to record your progress. This has the added benefit of reinforcing how well you are doing, keeping you focussed when the going gets tough.
- Re-evaluate. As you progress, continue to re-evaluate whether your goal is still important to you. Does it still feel good? Do you feel on purpose & invigorated by your progress? If not, re-evaluate & pivot if necessary.
- Check your self talk. We are harder on ourselves than anyone else will ever be. As you go through this process check your self talk. Are you being negative? Are you beating yourself up about what you ‘should’ be doing? Do you have blocks that are standing between you and the things you want in life? Change is hard. By practising loving kindness & compassion for ourselves we will have more energy to achieve our goals & be happier in the process. Go gently.
- Pay attention. Mindfulness is at its essence about paying attention. Being aware and in the moment, the now. What are you giving your attention to right now? Where we place our attention is where our energy goes. Are you giving attention to the things that fill you up? Or is your attention on things that deplete you? Who are you spending time with? Do those people support you or hold you back? By paying attention we start to tune into what it is we want in life & start to ease some of the pressure we put on ourselves by constantly thinking about the future, feeding anxiety.
- Enlist a buddy. Having someone by your side supporting you, offering encouragement & giving you feedback can be enormously rewarding when embarking on any process of change. Holding yourself accountable to someone else (buddy, mentor or coach) has been proven to help us reach our goals. Yes, you need to do the work yourself, but a buddy will remind you that you are not alone, that you’ve got this.
- Small steps. All change is a series of small steps. Take imperfect action toward your goals as often as you can. If it all seems too much, simply ask yourself, “what’s one small action I can take today to lead me in the direction of my goals?” For example, if your goal is to start meditating, instead of going from zero to 20 minutes a day, aim for just 1 minute of quiet solitude with your eyes closed. If your goal is to detox your digital use, start by giving yourself 30 minutes before bed and on waking before checking your phone. Take the smallest possible step.
- Face your resistance. “The more scared we are of something, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” Steven Pressfield sums this up in his book, Turning Pro. Resistance & fear are two sides of the same coin. We can say we want something, but given the work required we can sometimes experience intense resistance to doing the work. Face your resistance, stare it down, acknowledge it. Then get to work.