So ... It's January 3 and You're Already Off Track?

(Photo by Anita Patterson)

Remember that feeling we all had just two days ago?  It was January 1, and we were ready to conquer the world - or rather, our goals. Now it's January 3, and doubt is slowly creeping in.  Don't let it.  To quote Gloria Estefan:

"You say I know it's a waste of time
There's no use trying
So scared that life's gonna pass you by
Your spirit dying
Not long ago
I could feel your strength and your devotion
What was so clear is now overcast
With mixed emotions
Deep in your heart is the answer
Find it, I know it will pull you through."

 

Get on your feet!  Try these six tips for getting back on track.

 

1. Take your goals out of your head

 

If you have not typed or written down your goals, take one hour today to do so.  For many people, including me, taking your goals out of your head and writing them down makes them real.  After you've done that, go over your goals and decide if you've got too much on your plate.  Trust your instinct, because it will tell you if you do.  Then change your goals to goals that are manageable for 2012.

 

2. Take a daily walk

Get out of the house, even if it's cold out, and walk.  Walking is a great way to think about your goals and how you plan to achieve them.  This is especially helpful for people who have husbands and/or children in the house who occupy a large portion of our thinking time.

 

3. Listen to motivational music

 

Songs such as "Get on Your Feet," sung by Gloria Estefan, are good sources of motivation.

 

4. Read motivational books

 

There are lots of motivational books out there.  There are the classics, such as How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie, and there are others, such as one of my favorites, Do It! Let's Get Off Our Buts, by Peter McWilliams.

 

5. Avoid toxic people

Stay away from whiners and complainers.  If you belong to Facebook or writers' forums, you're going to run into people who get off on complaining.  These people will do nothing for your goals and motivation, because they're more interested in seeing how many people they can get to whine and complain with them.   

I read this today in one of the best articles on advice for writers I've ever seen - "Complaining — like worry, like regret, like that little knob on the toaster that tells you it’ll make the toast darker — does nothing. (Doubly useless: complaining about complaining, which is what I’m doing here.) Blah blah blah, publishing, blah blah blah, Amazon, blah blah blah Hollywood. Stop boo-hooing. Don’t like something? Fix it or forgive it. And move on to the next thing."

 

6. Forgive yourself

So you didn't write that chapter today, because you got into an argument with your husband and after that you just didn't feel like it?  It's okay, tomorrow is another day.    Every morning you wake up, realize that you can start again and get back on track.  And know that the only way you will lose is if you quit.

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