Start As You Mean To Go On

Welcome back! It’s been a while, how are you doing? Good, not so good, so-so?

Maybe you’re edging towards being down in the dumps because you already slipped up with your resolutions. Perhaps you feel just a bit ragged around the edges from finalizing the little things that come after the end of a year… a little run-down chasing after the trickles of grunt work and red tape, and snipping loose threads threatening to snarl your work flow.

Frustration mounts. Resentment ignites. “This is a new year, it’s supposed to be different. It’s just the same old problems, popping up like weeds! It’s no use.” *gives up*

First, walk off the defeatist attitude. Don’t rag on yourself too, it’s already hard enough out there.

“I tried,” is a good start, but just leaving things there without any resumption of effort lessens it. “I tried, it didn’t work, so there,” doesn’t get anything done, either. Thinking like this cheats you. It also cheapens you. “I finished this today,” is better. It’s done. You did it. Tomorrow is another day.

When a decision sputters off in a ‘so there!‘ you need to understand that no one else but you will live in the aftermath of your none-efforts. When you honestly want things to change for yourself, you have to make sincere, sustained actions to change them. No one else will give a damn, they’ve got their own problems. And even if they care, caring won’t do things for you.

You have to walk towards your goal under your own power. Things don’t change by themselves. You have to get the ball rolling, and keep it in motion until it gets to where you want it to go. You just need to do it one day at a time. Just today.

Second, you have another chance after today. Prepare to take advantage tomorrow.

One mark of wisdom is being able to accept the good and bad things in one messy ball and just go with it. No ‘fixing’ it, no making things fit in tidy boxes. Just working with what you’ve got and making it work. There’s no such thing as ‘perfect’ when it comes to living. There’s always something extra– a spill here, some carry-over there, unfinished business. Use that. And while you may experience something as the ‘same old-same old’ from your memory of similar situations, today is an opening for you to keep starting fresh. You have a reboot button. It’s right there after ‘hibernate’ and ‘sleep’. Start fresh in the morning.

Do the work as it should be done, and let go. You’re not a machine. Three things every day — eat, move, sleep. Your body need it, and you need your body. It’s not just transport.

 

You can’t iron out familiar beliefs and a lifetime’s worth of old habits overnight, or even in a month. That effort put another load of stressors on top of the ones you’re already used to, so rely on your current useful habits to carry you through the adjustment phase.

It’s counter-intuitive, but habits are habits for a reason — they’re convenient for you. So while you’re struggling to revamp the ones that don’t work for you anymore, let the ones that do support you carry you through the growing pains.

  • You have a schedule and a calendar– use your sense of order and planning skills to keep things under control and keep a handle on what’s going on. To-do lists, reminders, tracking apps…don’t rely on your memory alone to support you, you’re changing things around, remember?
  • You have productivity methods that need blocks of time to be fruitful — block off the hours needed and move the rest of your workdays around them.
  • You have access to software, tech and apps that enhance productivity and can automate many functions — use them (refine them if you have to) to lighten your workload of the fussy bits. Automatic back-ups for your data, VPN and firewalls for your protection and convenience…use what works for you.
  • You probably have a regular to-do list handy and a work-week, with scheduled occurrences of things like work, chores, grocery shopping and whatnot…stick to it to keep order in your life.

Don’t expect issues to be resolved in one fell swoop. Some bad situations have been months or years in the making, influenced by forces and environments beyond your control. Focus on slow and steady inroads chipping away a week at a time, and check in with yourself regularly on your progress.

The point of making changes is that we need them. For whatever reason, we’ve realized we’ve outgrown some aspects of our lives and need to leave these behind, which is something easier said than done.

  • When you want something different to happen, you have to do some things differently.
  • This will cause discomfort and a period of adjustment. Build in pockets of rest in that period.
  • Keep track of your progress. Also note that this can be a vulnerable time for you. Most adjustment periods can leave people extra-sensitive to stress, so take precautions and preventive measures to keep yourself on an even keel. Take care of yourself.
  • Work on your changes step by step, one day at a time. Don’t catastrophize. One thing at a time.
  • Educate yourself on your progress, and make regular assessments. Compared to before, where are you now? If you don’t keep up your efforts, where will you be a year from now?

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