So you’re trucking along, kicking goals, smashing that to-do list when suddenly (take your pick): You have fight with your partner. Your kids get gastro. You get snowed under at work for three days. Your cat dies. Your mum decides to visit. A tree falls on your roof. Your best friend breaks her arm.
And even though you only take a few days “off” from your normal routine to deal with whatever has arisen, the end result can be complete and utter chaos. You know, the kind of disarray that leaves you with your head in your hands wondering a) why on earth you even thought you were capable of whatever dream you are chasing and b) how in the name of all that is good and holy you will ever get back on track.
Well, here’s how you do it. Start small. Really, really small. People sometimes have a tendency to try to pick up where they left off, but that doesn’t always work. You need to get yourself sorted, mentally and physically, so you can find the clarity you need to move forward.
For example, I’m still recovering from pneumonia. It was a no holds barred illness that well and truly kicked my ass, and forced me to rest. I haven’t been able to CrossFit, my eating has been erratic and way more carb heavy than usual and the antibiotics have destroyed my gut. The upside is that it has been an amazing opportunity for embracing surrender (that’s a whole other post!) but the reality is that as my energy slowly returns, I’m staring at a list of business, personal and household ‘must-dos’ that feels a mile long.
So where do I start? By making my bed. Then taking a gentle walk. Then laundry (wash, dry, fold and put away. I admit I’m super-weak on the putting away part). Then a meal plan and grocery shopping. None of these things have a particular sense of urgency to them, but I know from experience that I will tackle the ‘big picture’ stuff with more energy and focus when the little things are squared away. When they are, then I get to work on the more cerebral stuff that requires full attention.
Sometimes, the Great Big Goal needs to be shelved for a bit so you can rebuild a solid base by taking smaller more doable steps. When you are running a business, nourishing a family and creating a life you love, it’s easy to get off track. And yes, I understand deadlines (I’m a freelance writer). But I also know that almost any deadline can be changed if it means that the end product will be better and more thorough, instead of some half-assed rush job.
Power Prompt: How will I create momentum this week?
If you are feeling scattered and disorganised, examine which daily habits have started to slip. Are you drinking enough water? Eating when you’re hungry? Reading a few pages of something that inspires or entertains you?
Make a list of baby steps, no more than 5, that you will commit to for the next week and then use that “I’m winning” energy to go a little bigger with your focus.