Sometimes January can be a rough month. You are coming down from the high of the holidays or maybe carrying over the low from not getting your connection and celebration desires met. January can be cold. And then this year… we all have very high hopes 2021 isn’t going to be like 2020, but the political insanity isn’t helping.
If you’re like me, motivation comes and goes. I find myself procrastinating with nonessential tasks like organizing drawers. It takes me a bit of time to get clear on what’s really important.
So, I created a new approach for myself and I hope you find it helpful.
First, I plan for my January procrastination, allowing myself some buffer (and time for drawers to get more organized).
Then I start my 3-step reboot process.
Even if you’re clear about your intention, goals, or New Year’s Resolutions (whatever you want to call it), I encourage you to do a check-in before the motivation starts to fade out. This insures it’s right for you, which means you’ll likely keep the motivation longer.
Step 1 – Brainstorm a Future Vision
Imagine anything is possible. ANYTHING! Really. No constraints from your current reality. No limits imposed by your mind of what you think is possible. None at all. If life were exactly as you dreamt it, what would life look like for you in the future? Say, 5 years from now.
Consider the following areas of your life to help you create a more detailed picture of that future vision: Work (paid and unpaid), Play (hobbies, fun, what you’d do more if you worked less), Love (friends, family, your passions), and Health (physically, emotionally, spiritually).
Write it ALL down! Don’t hold back, this is a full and complete brain dump. Don’t edit yourself or restrict yourself from what you ‘think’ is possible. Use poster paper and colorful pens to get it all out. And go here if you need tips on how to brainstorm.
The objective is not to create a perfect picture of your future vision, because you could have many different future visions that you’d be very happy living. Instead, use this as an opportunity to see what comes up… what sticks out… what feels good and where you want to focus next.
Step 2 – Follow Your Energy
How many times have you created a goal, only to have it go nowhere because you felt it was something you ‘should’ do?
Please don’t ‘should’ on yourself! It’ll only make you feel bad.
Instead, follow your energy. What in your future vision are you most energized by? What area of your life is it in? What’s most important to you right now?
This is where you focus first.
For me, I realized how much I like finances. Sure, I knew I could do it and always have been decent with money, but I just put it in the category of something I had to do (it’s part of running my own business). But this year, I realized how much I actually like playing with my spreadsheets and forecasting. So, one of my goals this year is to explore it and I’m starting by taking a Finance class with Stanford Continuing Studies to learn more. Who knows where that will take me next.
What is one small step you can take to get you close to your future vision or explore what energizes you?
What do you need to do on a consistent basis to make this happen?
Step 3 – Chunk it Out
Even if you’re not clear on what you want to achieve or explore over the next year, chunk it out. If you are clear on your goal, then break it down into 3-month chunks and just focus on what you need to do in the next 3 months.
If you’re exploring, like I am, then what can you do in the next 3 months to help you get more information?
By just focusing on the next 3 months, you’re breaking things down into achievable steps. This keeps you from getting overwhelmed and helps you create a plan that is hopefully doable.
Be realistic. Be kind to yourself by creating steps you can achieve to help you build momentum.
If you’re like how I used to be, you’ll jump in with both feet and want to do it all from day one and then quickly fizzle out. So make a plan to integrate this goal into your life.
Every goal will need time and space in your life to be accomplished, so get out your calendar and ask yourself the following:
- Is this a goal I need to work on every day, week, or month to be accomplished?
- Do I want this goal accomplished by a certain month this year? Does it need prep-time?
- What time of day works best for me to be in the right frame of mind and body to work on this goal?
Now time-block on your calendar when you’ll work on this project. You may need to go back to this step a couple of times and really play with time until you figure out what works best for you.
Also schedule time on your calendar to do a goal review every 3 months. You can check progress, determine what’s working, what’s not working and check in if you still want to pursue this goal.
Bonus Tip – Find a Fan
Do you like helping others? Being seen as an expert, or someone others can rely on? Probably. Most people do.
We all need help. We may not like asking for it, but we all need it. So, have confidence that others really do want to help you succeed. Collaborating builds community and connection, something we all want and need.
Ask yourself what resources are needed to accomplish this goal. Who can you call on to help you bridge the gap in those resources?
And don’t forget about the most important resource needed for any of us to be successful: support. We need a fan, an advocate; someone who is rooting for us. The person we turn to when we are running into roadblocks and need a little empathy or maybe perspective shift. Who is your biggest fan? Does that person know it?
Know that I am a HUGE fan of yours, so if you need the support, I’m here for you.