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Bumps in the road? Here's how to get going again

How has January been for you so far?

Are you feeling energised and uplifted or is January feeling long, dark and difficult?

How have you been getting on with those changes you set for yourself at the beginning of the month? Are they becoming part of your routine or are you struggling to stick to the goals you made?

If you find that you're struggling, you’re not alone. I read a statistic a while ago that validated my own previous experiences of New Year's resolutions. Most resolutions fail within a month and almost all have failed within 12 months. Then we start the cycle all over again the next year, and the next...

I’m sure most of us have been there. You start the year with zeal. There’s something about yourselves you want to change. You might have made a list. You might even have listened to my recent podcast and set yourself some SMART goals.

You’ve been willing, you got started and now you’re running out of steam. So what can you do if you need to pick yourself and get back on track?

Reflect without judgment

Pause and reflect on how you’ve been doing this month. Instead of dwelling on what might have felt like failure, see if you can view what's happened (or not happened) as an opportunity for growth.

Reflecting on the past without judging yourself can help you to gain insight into what worked, what didn’t and show you how you can adjust your approach in the future.

Check your plans

Perhaps your initial goals were too ambitious or not specific enough. Take some time to refine your goals and see if you need to make them more realistic and manageable. Break them down into even smaller steps to make them more inspiring and do-able.

Shift your perspective

Are you viewing your progress from an ‘all-or-nothing’ lens or can you look at it through one that celebrates continuous and gradual improvement?

See if you can soften into the process of learning and adapting as you go, recognising that every step forward that you take is a victory in itself.

Embrace setbacks with compassion

You will have bad days. Life is unpredictable and setbacks are a natural part of life. When you encounter challenges – and you will – be gentle with yourself. Remember that set-backs are not permanent roadblocks and you can get through them.

Instead of criticising yourself when things don’t work out, see if you can apply some self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same kindness you would offer a friend facing difficulties.

You’re trying and that’s enough. Self-compassion creates an environment in which you can grow – and it helps you to become more resilient. Double win!

"So why is self-compassion a more effective motivator than self-criticism? Because its driving force is love, not fear." Kristin Neff

As you continue to move through the year, be kind to yourself and remember that every step, no matter how small, helps you to grow and development.

Every bump in the road is a chance to discover new strengths within yourself. You can always begin again.

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