What do you do when everything you’ve planned for and accounted for happening absolutely flops?
Simple. You start from scratch again with a new approach and a new vision.
For most people the thought of starting over is terrifying. Myself included. It sounds simple, to start over, but it’s anything but simple. Starting over means any ground you’ve gained is gone, right?
At the new year I promised myself I was going to get back on track with many things. Some in more easily manageable ways than previous years. This blog for starters. In the beginning of this journey I posted three to four times a week. I joined in the Snippet Sunday blog hop group every week, I tried to write updates and other tidbits every Tuesday and Friday, and I tried to keep up with P.T. Wyant’s Wednesday Words flash fiction prompts. Since I started working full time with crazy hours a few years back this blog started to fall by the wayside, and with it went my writing.
So, this year I promised myself something smaller to get back into the game. I promised myself that this year my goal — at least in regards to this blog — was simply to post once a week, at any point in the week. (I try to stay away from Sunday’s and Saturday’s though.) It didn’t matter what I was posting either. I just had to make one blog post a week. As much as I miss the Snippet Sunday group and would love to join that again, too, I know I’m not ready to jump back into the mix. At least not until there is more coherent and stable writing going on in my life again.
But, as you guys can tell by the little calendar to the right, I haven’t exactly kept that promise to myself thus far. I missed the last two weeks in posting anything at all. I can make excuses for why I missed all I want. I forgot, the work week was too busy, I was too exhausted, college got in the way, blah blah blah. . . But it doesn’t change the fact I broke my promise to myself.
However, it also doesn’t mean I’m a complete failure. Life happens. Shit happens. A lot. I get that more now than I have in previous years of starting over. Did you know that if your goal is to form a new habit it actually takes an average of sixty-six days to integrate it into your routine successfully? No wonder I always fall apart after NaNo months! That’s only thirty or thirty-one days. I need two months, bare minimum, to make that habit stick. Or any habit for that matter.
Along with that habit tidbit I learned something else this year. One night last month while joining a meditation group (the New Leaf Meditation Project — great group, by the way) I was shown a new perspective that has since kept me thinking: You don’t have to wait for a new year to start over fresh. Everyone hangs all their hopes and goals on January 1st. New year, new me, new attitude. Right? Well, kind of. Sure, the change in the calendar year seems like a great fresh start and clean slate but that doesn’t mean the new year has to be the only time you embrace the new.
What about a new month? A new week? A new day? Every one of them is a chance to start fresh with a clean slate. Don’t hate Monday’s because it means life is back to the daily grind, love them instead because it’s a new week and a fresh start all its own. (I learned that from the group, too.) Just because it seems less impactful to pick a Monday, or even a random Tuesday in the middle of February, to start fresh doesn’t mean the energy won’t still be there to begin anew. There is absolutely nothing stopping you, or anyone else for that matter, to embrace the new day whenever you feel fit too.
Energy flows where intention goes, as they say.
So if your intention is to put aside the half-baked successes or complete flops in the middle of a random Tuesday during mid-February to start over with fresh eyes again, then you put aside the half-baked successes and complete flops from the last five weeks and you start over with fresh eyes. Fuel those fires instead of starving them. Find what makes them ignite and then cocoon yourself in the flames. Maybe it’s a type of music that fuels that passion and drive. Maybe it’s a certain practice that gives you the energy to conquer the day. Maybe it’s something slightly more involved like a vision board. Like this one…
Whatever it may be that fuels your fire, use it to the fullest.
Now comes the part you don’t want to hear. You have to want it enough to actively work for it or you’re just going to keep standing still in a repeated cycle.
So that’s my advice for the week. Starting over doesn’t have to be terrifying. You can take from what failed and what kind of worked and rebuild from there with fresh eyes. Or you can completely scrap and begin anew. All that really matters is you make the goals manageable, you put the work in and give it your all, and you stay kind to yourself as you wade and stumble through the deep waters toward success.
Long story aside, this is me saying I’m starting fresh this week and re-igniting my drive for the things I want out of life. It starts with this blog, and from there it’ll be wherever the wind takes me in writing and college.
What do you need to start over on in the new week? Or, how do you revamp what’s only kind of working to make it more successful for you?