We are now into the second month of this year. If you’re anything like me, you are shocked at how rapidly January came and went. You may be equally shocked to find that it did not turn out how you expected or planned. Outside of paying bills and other basic human functions, I did not check a single box of my “stuff to do” list. I did not create my ideal routine or lose 10 pounds or start eating clean. I made very little, if any, progress. It’s too late for resolutions, but it’s too early to wait until next year. How do we get ourselves pumped up for the year when we’re only one month down, with eleven to go?
We all have a story in our heads and it can get a little dark when things get topsy turvy. Learning to spin that story into motivation for change is like giving yourself a mental high-five. Read on for some ideas on how to soften the blow of disappointment and affirmations to pick ourselves back up when life knocks us down.
We start with forgiveness.
We can all cut ourselves some slack, and right now, I know I desperately need it. As tempting as it is to beat myself up for what I didn’t get right, it only serves to make me feel worse. We have a long way to go in this still mostly new year. Let’s try to forgive the mistakes we have made or the things we forgot to prioritize and look to the future.
The story in my head is that this year is off to a bad start and will only get worse.
Positive Affirmation – I will forgive myself for over programming my time this month and work to define more free time in the future.
We can reframe.
Reframing or adjusting expectations has been a hot topic in my life lately, both professionally and personally. One of the principles of agile project management is to break up your large objectives into smaller, more digestible, action items. This serves to shift our focus to what we can control right now and away from distractions. Why worry about something that hasn’t happened yet? (This is easier said than done, believe me!) To clarify, reframing or adjusting or reassessing or whatever you want to call it is not giving up. It’s a tool to seek opportunities for improvement. Every failure or f*ckup is a chance to learn. When we apply our lessons learned, we get smarter and work better.
The story in my head is that I’m failing to manage my time effectively.
Affirmation – I may not have met my goal for being at work before 8 am every day, but I notice it takes me a long time to get ready to leave the house in the morning. I should focus on creating a morning routine!
We can give it another try.
The good news is that we have plenty of 2019 left to restrategize and live our best lives. So what if January was a bit of a doozy. We have eleven more months to keep plugging away and making little changes. The time is going to pass regardless of our attitude, so we may as well try and keep it positive, eh? If we can forgive ourselves, and reframe our expectations, we can find room for self-improvement.
The story in my head is that I should give up on making this year great.
Affirmation – I have learned so much already in this new year about how I manage time. I can focus on small improvements that will add up to make my life easier to manage.
The truth is that failure exposes opportunities.
Failure is not a dirty word. It is defined as “a lack of success”. It is not an abysmal humiliation performed by a dummy. It is not the end of the world. We tried, but it didn’t work. When something doesn’t go as planned, it is very tempting to look at the outcome as bad or a waste of time. But it isn’t those things. It is simply a lack of success, which if you think about it, is a pretty neutral statement. If we fail at something, we can rule out at least one approach that doesn’t get us where we want to be. With a little reflection, we may be able to learn why our effort was a flop and try something new.
The year is still pretty fresh, you guys. If you feel a little behind or a little lost or a little stuck, you are not alone. I feel all those things and I want you to know that it will be okay. We have the power to pause and forgive ourselves for mistakes. We owe it to ourselves to press rewind and reflect on the outcome of our efforts – for better or worse. And lastly, every day we wake up is a chance to try again. To apply those lessons learned and just keep moving forward.
Loving oneself means being your own cheerleader in good times and bad. Do yourself a solid and spin your story into motivation. We’ve got a lot of 2019 left…remember to cut yourself some slack when the ship hits the sand. Look for ways to wise up and fail forward and this just might be your best year ever.
In love, light, and laughter at ourselves,