Your Best Year Yet? How Can It Be, When Others Are Suffering?
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~ Francis of Assisi
We all started this year with a lot of optimism for the months to come. We were feeling inspired to make changes and improve some things. You were DETERMINED to have your BEST YEAR yet! Even if you knew that after a few months your drive was going to diminish, you had a backup plan for getting going again. And then things got ugly…
No one was prepared for the kind of changes 2020 has been bringing us…so much loss, so much pain. If you’re someone who is suffering, I grieve with you. And I want to encourage you to hold on and hope for better things, because they will come.
It wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve written off the possibility for making this year “your best year yet”. Some clients have expressed that they feel stuck because they feel too guilty to strive for a better life, while so many other people are suffering. What’s the sense of working on a new routine, when the future is so uncertain?
Or perhaps your world has turned upside down, because the changing circumstances have revealed a new passion for you, so that you need to pivot to a new direction and you’re at a loss to know what to do next.
It is NOT an insensitive act of disrespect or selfishness to continue your personal and professional growth, when others are suffering. It’s actually a beacon for them that they, too, can hope for better times. That they can rise above their present circumstances and know that tomorrow will bring new opportunities. When you show that it’s possible to grow during these challenging times, you lead the way for others to do the same. It’s as Henry Ford said, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
Since we’re half way through the year, it’s time to bring out my 10 go-to techniques for building your best year yet…
1. Deal first with what is in front of you — this is vital because we can get caught up in supposing and worrying about “what ifs”. They’re not real until they happen. And most likely they won’t happen, if you deal successfully with what’s in front of you. Don’t borrow trouble…identify what IS and leave off jumping to conclusions, imputing wrong motives or reading too much into a situation.
2. Double up on self-care — this cannot be confused with self-indulgence because it takes discipline to do what’s best for YOU and others. Real self-care requires mental toughness and a deep understanding of what really matters.
3. Make small, but consistent, changes — this proves you’re undeniably capable of making improvements, giving you confidence and motivation to keep working toward your big dream.
4. Revisit the original goal altogether: it might not be relevant anymore — this is important since the world around you is changing, and your WHY might change along with it. You might need to refine your goals to make them fit the present circumstances.
5. Assess your skills and close the gaps — this taps into your resourcefulness, because you are capable of doing anything you want, either by learning a new skill or delegating a task to someone else.
6. Of course, breathe, and look ahead — this is a way to quiet your life so you can meditatively and mindfully “hear” what your body is telling you about the choices you’re making right now.
7. Connect with helpful friends, mentors, allies, supporters — this need has been highlighted, since we have less structure in our days due to social isolation. It’s easy to give in to temptations to stay in pajamas all day, eat more junk food, binge on TV, etc. We make an extra effort when we know we’re being held accountable.
8. Always acknowledge even the smallest progress — this gives you PROOF that you are growing and will keep you motivated.
9. Focus on nurturing a growth mindset, not on resolutions — this works because you engage your innate capability to change and develop whatever skills are needed, making you flexible and resilient enough to try Plan B, C, D, all the way to Z, when Plan A doesn’t work.
10. Plan for days you miss the mark — this is part of life, so embrace “failures,” mistakes, or setbacks as your body and mind’s way of saying it needs time to regroup. It’s never a failure. I don’t believe in failure. It’s a learning experience. It’s a lesson. It’s not a reason to quit. It’s a time to mindfully reflect, re-center and restore your energy.
To successfully inspire any kind of lasting change takes building a structure that support your habits, rituals, and routines. If you’d like some help in creating sustainable structure in your life, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation by phone or via Skype. I’ll help you find internal and external resources for building your best year yet.