It’s been almost a month since I blogged. I have lots of “good” excuses. I’ve been super busy- teaching two classes, home stuff, work stuff, etc. I’m not one for excuses, but I really have been running around with a lot on my plate recently. So, I could easily make the case that I just needed a break. I did. I’ve actually been stepping back from some other responsibilities too- not out or away, just taking a break. I really want for that to be ok. I am a broken record preaching to people about the importance of self care, setting boundaries, and learning to say no. I’m generally good at doing all those things and making a great case for it.
I am frustrated with myself too. I have all these thoughts swirling around in my head. Maybe, if I had planned better (like I said I was going to when I started this!), I wouldn’t have gotten behind. Maybe, if I had been more disciplined, I would have simply MADE the time, even if that meant an hour less of sleep or TV or aimless internet browsing. Maybe, if I were a *really* good blogger, I would be completely inspired and blog posts would be flowing freely. Frankly, each of these sentiments could potentially be true. I can’t know for sure, but they certainly feed the criticism that kept me away for 3 weeks instead of one.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt the frustration of being stalled, and then struggled with how to get back in there. It happens to us all the time. We get in a groove, get excited about something, and then we have a setback. What starts out as a hiccup becomes a long pause, and maybe even becomes a hiatus. If we’re not careful, all that momentum could be gone. When we realize it’s happened, we have lots of possible options. You could beat yourself up for your failure. You could take it as a sign that you were never meant to do the thing in the first place. You could pretend like it never happened. Or, you could get back in there. But, how do you do that? How do you get back in there? Here’s what I’ve committed to trying:
Acknowledge that you messed up, and it’s ok. Many of us are great at at acknowledging our shortcomings, but not always good at accepting those. Truth is, you will not get it perfect. When mistakes are par for the course rather than signs of ultimate failure, you can keep going, rather than getting stuck in the rut. Forgive yourself. You deserve it.
Figure out what happened. It’s important that we take on this question with curiosity rather than criticism. Try to take an objective perspective: what got in my way? What factors contributed to my getting off track? Any time is a good time to reevaluate what you need to be successful. As we change and develop, so do our needs. Maybe, the things that got you started simply aren’t working anymore.
Address what got you off track. Once you understand what caused the rut, you can plan to get out of it. Maybe, you need to set a more realistic goal. Maybe, you need to enlist some support. Maybe, you need to take some time to address your motivation level. Whatever you need, do it.
Get back out there. Lao Tzu said it best: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Re-initiating the journey you’re on may be daunting, but remind yourself why you decided it was important in the first place. One thing you know for sure: if you don’t get started again, you won’t ever finish. So, here’s what you can do: take one step. Just commit to the first step. Then, after that, try again. Take one more. Before you know it, your journey will have begun again.
So here’s my plan. It’s going to be ok that I fell off the wagon. I’ve taken some time to understand what happened, and I’ve planned to address it. This is my first step. What’s yours?