Blog | Intentional and Mindful Living

How to Begin Again, When Starting is Difficult

“Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.”
Robert H. Schulle

Have you ever fallen out of a routine, and found getting back into it is neigh on impossible? Or have you just stopped doing something, even something you liked, and just can’t get back to it?
I certainly have. There have been many times when I fell out of a rhythm, and the days ticked by, and getting back to it again got progressively more difficult. Sometimes I felt such stagnation, I thought I’d never start again.
Things like exercising, going out or meeting people, getting work done, eating well, and filling time with positive stuff such as crafts, reading or meditating, instead of endless TV and internet browsing.
So being someone who is prone to mega trips off of the path, I have found some helpful ways to get back on. And getting back on is the most important thing – plus it doesn’t have to be painful, or difficult.
Whatever you want to get back to, here are some great ways to get going again.

First – address the underlying cause of having fallen off, and the reason you find it difficult to get back again.
For me, there are a number of factors that stop me getting going again but the biggest and most pervasive are; self-doubt, fear, and confusion.
And the reasons that I wandered off the path to start with are; lack of motivation and the doubt that goes with it, not aligning with an identity, chronic procrastination, and not seeing instant results or achieving perfection.
Here’s what I do to get up, get going and walking the path towards my goals. And you can try them too:

If you don’t know why you are doing something, then why do it at all? To do anything that is beneficial to your wellbeing, be it eating less junk food, walking more often or being a bit more sociable, you need to believe, at a gut level, in the benefits of doing it. If you are in doubt, then you are feeding that voice inside; that critical gremlin who would much rather you stay safe and locked away in your comfort zone.
To counteract that, you need to get some facts lined up and ready to dazzle your doubting self. Read, ask questions, join forums online, watch documentaries or go to talks. If you are trying to eat better, then study the reasons why sugar is detrimental, or plant foods are so health supporting. Get educated, keep up the study regularly and keep it broad. Don’t focus on one superficial reason for doing something, i.e. losing weight , but read up on other factors such as living a long and healthy life, waking up feeling fresh and positive, or less chances of illnesses. Make the reasons to do something meaningful to you at many different levels and you’ll find a new well of motivation and inspiration to get you back up.

If you can’t picture yourself in the role that you are trying to achieve, then you will find it very easy to give up. Saying “That’s just not me,” is one sure-fire way to walk away from rebooting your goals.
To keep to a well-known comforting routine and inside a familiar persona is to do yourself a disservice. And you know that. That doesn’t get you healthy, that doesn’t get you fit, that doesn’t get you all those things that you actually would really like to get.
So how to give your self-belief a boost?
Get rid of all or nothing thinking. Rarely has anyone ‘always’ done something, or ‘never’ done another thing. At one time in your life you were different to who you are now, and at some time or other, you did things in your life differently.
But that is the past, to prove it to yourself today you need to work at getting very small gains in the area you wish to work towards.
For example, if you want to get back in touch with friends, or go out on the weekends again, then ask yourself, “What is the smallest step I can do?” Perhaps it would be sending some e-mails and starting up a conversation again. Maybe it could be meeting someone at a place that feels comfortable to you, perhaps a neutral afternoon walk in the park, or tea at your own house.
Start to visualize yourself in that role. Not as someone else, but as you are. Really imagine what it would feel like to do those things, and keep it positive. Add rich details into your visualization, see yourself feeling good, and handling everything fine. Affirm to yourself that everything will be okay.
Once you do those small things, you will find that it gets easier to see yourself as you want to be.

To counteract procrastination, you have to fine-tune some of your thinking.
Anyone who has experienced procrastination knows the stress that it can bring. Like a constant tapping at the back of your head. You can just feel stuck.
Why does it happen in the first place? There are many reasons, but for me it is usually a lack of information and disorganization.
Get away from the image of yourself as a procrastinator. You are not a procrastinator, but someone who procrastinates as times. Then; get organised in your mind.
Making lists is unbelievably powerful. List-making is a way of finding solutions, and solutions is what you need when you are stuck. List everything you need to do, and then write what information is missing. Get back to bare basics and fill in the smallest steps. Perhaps you need only one piece of information before you get going again, like re-reading an e-mail from a client so you’re clearer on the work objectives.
Stop scaring yourself so much, and have some faith that you can do it, and even if you make a right mess of it, who cares?
And that’s why perfection seeking stops processes in their tracks. It’s a lack of trust in yourself. You are not a bad person if you sometimes have poor performance. Performance can improve and it WILL improve if you keep doing it. Keep in mind that the most important thing is to do something, even doing it roughly, rather than wanting instant perfect results. Get comfortable with creating things at any level, and give yourself a kind dose of appreciation for being creative.

Keep this mantra in mind, and you will find that the smallest step can have a wonderful positive effect on your ability to get back on track, no matter what you want to achieve.
You can do it!



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