It’s always fun checking my inbox to find people I had connected with asking me where the hell I’ve been. That was pretty much me a few weeks ago after taking a family vacation with the in-laws to Lake Tahoe. Vacation? While getting out of debt? Yea, well, let’s call it a family reunion instead.
Doesn’t it seem like right when you’re getting ahead, life says “SURPRISE!!!” and suddenly all the email inboxes you’re in charge of go from 0 to over 200 unread emails?? Anyone else? Excuses aside, sometimes we all get distracted by life and end up letting ourselves down. Sometimes our goals go flying out the window and we don’t take the time to go outside, pick them up, dust them off, and give them the attention they need for a few days. Or weeks. Or (hopefully not) months.
My point is, I’ve spent so much time recovering from our family reunion trip and I think I’m finally back to where I left them. Almost an entire month later. Which, by the way, isn’t where I’d like them to be but at least I’m not drowning in a sea urgent emails. Getting distracted is the easy part but realizing you’ve let yourself down and getting back on track with your goals is a completely different situation. It’s honestly kind of a dark place to be and trust me, the longer you hang out there procrastinating, the darker and sadder it gets.
On that uplifting note, let’s talk about some ways to pull yourself out of the little rut your stuck in and start accomplishing some serious goals!
Figure Out Why You Got Off Track… Like Really
Was it a family vacation? Maybe. But what was it really? In my case, it was careless preparation for a trip I knew was coming months in advance. I very easily could have scheduled social media for the time I’d be gone, schedule blog posts ahead of time, and then all I’d have to do was check emails for my client each day. That would have been an hour of my day out of every exhausting day in Tahoe.
Instead, I chose to reason myself into thinking I’d have plenty of time to fit my normal 5 hour work day in. If anything, I’d just stay up late, right? Wrong. There was no way I could have predicted how tiring and involved every single day of this trip was. But again, that’s no excuse. Had I taken care of the situation I was aware of, the unknown would have been easy to handle.
So, why did you let your goal go? Were you starting to get really successful and got scared? Were you faced with a really big challenge and shied away from it instead of tackling it head on? These are things you need to investigate so you can prevent the same thing from getting you off track in the future.
Remember Why You Started in the First Place
Once you have figured out why you totally dropped the ball on all your big plans, remember why it was you started going after your goals in the first place. Why did you make them? Why did they hold any meaning to you whatsoever?
I started virtual assisting so I could help provide for my family without having to buy a second car while maintaining a flexible schedule to support my husband’s career. Freelancing was going to pay off debt so we can buy a home one day, stop living paycheck to paycheck, and travel wherever and whenever we want. I started blogging because I love to write and hate working for someone else.
Remembering your reasons might just be enough to get you motivated again to resume your hustle. This is a great interview from Kim Galeta’s blog (seriously read her blog, I love it, she’s amazing) all about finding and following your passion in life. When you get stuck in a rut, be inspired by your dream life.
Aaaaand if it’s not, well then you have some more work to do. Who inspires you? Who leads the life you want to be living? What gets you excited to get out of bed in the morning? Read their blog or book. Listen to a podcast relevant to your goals. Go have coffee with that friend who is always #killingit. Create a Pinterest board full of motivational quotes that give you chills every time you read them. Watch a movie that makes you want to do something incredible and by all means go out there and do it!
Forgive Yourself and Move On
Sometimes it’s not a matter of a lack of inspiration. You could have the best vision board known to man hanging in your office and you still beat yourself up about getting behind on progress. The only thing you need to do is to forgive yourself and decide it won’t happen again. No one ever accomplished anything without a few setbacks. and no one accomplished anything while beating themselves up over the past. Just. Move. On.
Just Dive In and Start Somewhere
Part of why we can’t forgive ourselves and get back to the grind is because we know how gritty the grind will be. I knew there were going to be angry client emails in the inboxes I’m in charge of. I knew my social media numbers weren’t going to be where I wanted them. It felt like no matter where I started, it wasn’t going to be the right place and no matter what I did, I’d never catch up.
Well, that’s just impractical.
Procrastination can be very seductive, am I right? But the thing is, the longer you put off your goals or work, the worse it is going to be. It will that much harder to get caught up. Once you realize this, it’s time to face the fear and overwhelm and just start somewhere to make progress. By the way, if setting realistic goals is something you struggle with, this post might help.