Unexpected events can throw anyone off track in life. By taking the time to regroup and think about the positives in your life, you can find your motivation to overcome those bumps in the road. Follow these six tips when you find that your life is heading in the wrong direction and you too will be recharged and back on track.
By Ellen G. Goldman, M.Ed.
Did you ever notice that when life is going along smoothly, we feel accomplished and pleased at the end of the day? We are taking care of all that needs to be done, and moving forward towards our goals. Whether it’s career advancement, weight loss, or building a new home, as long as there are no huge bumps in the road, we easily stay on track.
I took a break from writing articles during the past few months, lightened my client load and truly enjoyed the extra free time. I was gearing up for the fall, excited to get working on some business and personal goals, when those unexpected bumps occurred.
Discomfort from a pinched nerve caused me to feel distracted and unfocused. Visits to the chiropractor and rehab were time consuming. Just when I began feeling better, Hurricane Irene paid us an uninvited visit and flooded my basement. Our basement housed my exercise studio, a home office, family room and guest room. The loss of it left us feeling displaced and overwhelmed.
Recovery, construction workers, insurance adjusters, clean up crews and contractors were demanding of my time and attention. We had months of rebuilding in front of us and I had an unexpected job on my hands.
After weeks of attending to all of this, my business was being neglected, and I was lacking the motivation to get back to the things I normally do to keep it thriving. I didn’t like that feeling!
So I took some time and went through the steps I use to help my clients when they lose focus and desire. It feels really good to be back on track, and I’m excited to share some ideas to recharge your motivation the next time you see it wavering.
1. Self-care first. When life throws you a curveball, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, stressed and unfocused, don’t let self care slip. Getting the sleep you need, eating healthily and exercising regularly will keep you feeling strong and in control. No matter what was going on, my doctor’s appointments and daily exercise were planned first in my schedule. A few lunch dates out with my girlfriends lifted my mood and kept my spirits high.
2. Look for the silver lining. What is the lesson to be learned from your current situation? What possibilities and promises might lie ahead? The flood in our basement will mean a new paint job, something I’ve been procrastinating for a long time. It feels good to clean out items that we no longer need. And finding things long forgotten, such as my kid’s old camp letters, left us rolling in laughter.
3. Adopt an attitude of gratitude. When my pinched nerve had me uncomfortable and frustrated, I reminded myself to be grateful that this is an acute injury, not a permanent disability, and it will eventually get better. Overall, I am healthy and well. The flood in the basement was upsetting, but I am keenly aware of how many others suffered much worse damage. In nearby towns, people lost their homes and precious mementos. Many businesses had to shut down, and were subjected to a loss of income. We are actually one of the lucky ones.
4. Wherever possible, simplify. Ask yourself what must get done, and let go, even if only temporarily, of the rest of your to-do’s. Meeting with my clients and showing up for speaking obligations was non-negotiable (and actually helped keep my sanity). Waiting one more month to publish any new articles and delaying the promotion of a new group program wasn’t a big deal for my business.
5. Reexamine your visions and motivators. Ask yourself why you set your goals in the first place. What is the meaning and purpose behind them? What will it mean to you to accomplish them? Reviewing my business mission and goals reignited my passion and excitement.
6. Take one small step at a time. Once you begin to feel the desire to get back on track, ask yourself what is the one small step you can take right now to begin the process. Schedule it and commit to it. Getting back to writing was my first step. I planned time to create an outline, then my intro, and then another time to write the tips. And here you go; I’m back on track and I hope it will help you the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and derailed.