Now that the goals have been visualized and New Year's resolutions are set, what can you do to get started and stay started in order to make what you desire your reality? Whether you've struggled with procrastination ever since you can remember, have a good old-fashioned case of post-holiday sluggishness, or just lack the ambition, if you're having trouble getting started, you are not alone. The only problem is if you don't begin taking the actions that will produce what you want, your goals will likely show up again... on next year's list.
January is typically a month of extremes. There are the intensely focused, high-energy individuals who launch themselves like rockets into the orbit of result-oriented action. Then we have the slightly depressed, or moderately groggy people, striving to adapt to life without the distraction and time off afforded by the holidays, as well as the people in between. Any time during the calendar year is a great time to implement desired change, however, the new year with its corresponding clean twelve month slate maximizes the allure of designing new life experiences. For some of us, myself included, getting started can be a difficult part of the process. With such a great opportunity to set the stage for the rewards you want, why do you suppose it's so hard initiating the process of creating them?
From working with my clients in private sessions, here are a few reasons I've uncovered for why they've struggled with taking action; see if any of them resonate with you.
On occasion someone will tell me they struggle with getting started because they are lazy. I suppose I have bouts of laziness too, especially on cool rainy days. However, accepting laziness as an excuse is simply being lazy about why you aren't taking action. It is also resistant to creating a solution. An excuse is intended to cease all discovery of a situation, so when you say you are just lazy, you end the conversation.
In truth, there is always a reason for not beginning a task; finding that out what so you can overcome it is your first piece of work. When you embark on the journey of manifesting new outcomes, you begin a new passage, which may cause you to hesitate, or see illusionary roadblocks stonewalling your path. At one time you strived to create what you have right now, therefore you do have what it takes to go to the next level. Challenge yourself to stretch beyond what is comfortable. How can you possibly change your results if you won't refine any of your efforts?
Another common block to getting started is fear of failure. When I was in my early twenties, I gained nearly half of my current body weight due to depression stemming from a trauma. Repeatedly without success I set goals to lose the extra weight. There were times when I was a rocket launching myself into new behaviors that would yield success--if only I hadn't abandoned them too soon to reach my goals. Instead of looking deeper at the reasons for not attaining my results, I feared I was doomed to fail and therefore stopped trying. It took me several years to achieve my weight loss and after ten years of staying fit and healthy, I'm so thankful for overcoming myself.
The fear of failure is a convenient excuse for not reaching for your desires. Whether it's a subconscious belief you may uncover, or you are consciously using it as an excuse to avoid getting started, I encourage you to overcome it and choose to create the results you want.
Next is the paradox of the perfectionist. This is a tough one that I struggle with personally from time to time. I grew up on the work-driven East Coast where everything you produced spoke for you and of you. It was extremely important to be on time, complete things correctly, preferably on your own. While a perfect job done rather than one with mistakes was the only acceptable submission, in the few corporations I worked for, it was preferred you do it yourself without needing much guidance or assistance from others, as everyone was busy. I would come in early and stay late to prove myself performing more than what was necessary without additional rewards in order to be the perfect employee.
My desire to do things correctly extended to the process of how they were completed, which meant I did my best not to interrupt others, even if I had to research information someone in the next cubicle may already possess. The dilemma for the perfectionist is, How can you begin something brand new and do it perfectly if you don't know how to properly perform each step? Yet, how can you determine how to properly perform each step without participating in the learning curve?
I certainly learned later not to fret over asking for help if it gets the job done sooner and more efficiently, though I never lost the desire to complete something correctly the first time around. Hence, if I'm embarking on something new and I must do it correctly, rather than getting started and figuring it out during the process, I have a tendency to want to know each step and how to perform them before I get started. It's no wonder I also became a writer since I'd have to overcome that lesson during the editing and publishing process.
Two things can happen if you are a perfectionist initiating new goals: Either you hesitate getting started because you're afraid you won't do it "right," or you spend all your time trying to prepare yourself to get started by accumulating information that is best gained through taking action with a focus on your goal. Both avenues lead to a lot of time spent without really getting started.
Maybe you're having trouble with the first step, or perhaps you initiated action only to lose steam during the process. Either way, assessing yourself and your underlying reasons for hesitation or lack of commitment, are the keys to unlocking your potential and achieving what you want.
Think of how Playstation or Xbox games are played. If you're like me, you may have to mentally think back to Atari or ActiVision. I remember there was a game called Pitfall, which required me to run through the jungle, avoiding monkeys and other animals. At the beginning, in order to get to the next level I had to jump for the dangling tree branch and swing over the tar pit. If I didn't calculate the jump correctly I'd fall into the tar pit, be swallowed, and have to start all over. We all laughed so hard the first several times I fell into the tar pit, until finally I made it. With rewards of still being alive, bonus points, and a brand new screen with additional characters, I celebrated my achievement knowing there would be another challenge along the path designed to propel me to a higher level.
Life is very similar to playing those games. Going through the divorce process felt a lot like falling into a tar pit, yet meeting the partner of my dreams brought me to a whole new level of joy and fulfillment. Now I have objectives before me, which will bring me to another new level personally and professionally. What's invaluable to grasp is there will always be rewards as we progress through the levels of our lives just as there will always be new lessons to overcome and raise us to new levels internally and externally. Some of the lessons will be easy while others may land you in the tar pit a few times before you integrate them.
You can keep the controller in your hands until you master swinging over the tar pit, or you can rest for a few days, gather your strength and go for it again. You can embrace humor while engaged in the game of life, or strive to reach new levels with anger and strife--it's your choice. However you choose to go about it, I encourage you to pick up the controller and begin today.
You can maximize your ability to get started with your own private synergy session. Simply e-mail me at Charly_organic@ yahoo.com to schedule a time.
Best Wishes for A Fulfilling New Year!