If your new-year excitement has faded a bit, welcome to the club. While the year is still young, why not use that insight as a wake-up call? Here are three tips to help you get back your enthusiasm and make this a breakthrough year:
1. Review and revise your list of goals. No judgment if you don't have a list.
Have the kind of goals worth writing down. Have goals that make you smile. And go for quality over quantity. As I wrote in my earlier Pep Talk Finishing 2016 Stronger and Happier, "Fewer goals, more focus."
Scrap the goals that sound good on social media but deep-down you don't care about. Goals that are wrong for us are burdensome. They require motivation. Goals that are right for us have a motivation and momentum all their own.
Instead of requiring motivation, good goals give us inspiration. What inspires you? If you're not sure, the next point might help you find the answers.
2. Acknowledge the obstacles.
What gets in the way of your getting more done? Or simply enjoying your life? A messy office, for example, or a messy relationship—the kind that takes too much of your mental energy. (I love that line from Leo Buscaglia, "Don't walk in my head with your dirty feet.")
Whatever it is, try writing it down. Something about getting frustrations out on paper makes them much more manageable. It also points the way toward solutions and next steps.
Acknowledging the obstacles inspired me to leave a comfortable career in Michigan to pursue a path I knew next to nothing about in California. Getting on that path required a few dark nights of the soul—maybe more than a few.
Yet even on the hardest days, I never once thought of turning back. There were too many good things brewing. In the words of my friend Rick, who was going through his own career change, "I've never been more clueless about where I'm going to be two years from now, yet felt so good about where I'm going."
And though it's a whole other Pep Talk for another day, the point for now is this: Your obstacles may well reveal the start of your next chapter. Listen to them. Follow where they point you, and notice all the ways your life gets better.
3. Expect your share of course-corrections.
I owe this insight to the late Stephen Covey, who drew an analogy from taking a plane trip:
“Before taking off, the pilot has a very clear destination in mind, which hopefully coincides with yours, and a flight plan to get there. The plane takes off at the appointed hour toward that predetermined destination. But in fact, the plane is off course at least 90 percent of the time. Weather conditions, turbulence, and other factors cause it to get off track. However, feedback is given to the pilot constantly, who then makes course corrections and keeps coming back to the exact flight plan, bringing the plane back on course. And often, the plane arrives at the destination on time."
Course-correct when necessary. Change course when necessary. But post this where you'll see it every day: You were meant to have a breakthrough year.
You were meant to have a breakthrough year. Make it happen!
— Gina DeLapa