A few days ago, Nancy and I were chatting about how we’re both struggling with restarting something important to each of us. We discovered a few things about the difficulties we’ve encountered and how we’ve dealt with them.
First, we both realize it is much harder to restart than it is to begin something for the first time. When we restart something, it lacks much of the excitement and novelty we felt the first time. Second, we already know how hard it is, otherwise, we wouldn’t have quit. But, we both agree if it is something important to us, it is obviously worth starting again. So, this time, we added the wisdom from our earlier experiences and learned:
1. Failure is part of the process. A steady solid line upward towards success is not realistic, there are going to be ups and downs, it’s normal. Just don’t stay in the ditch, get re-started.
2. Restarting is hard, so what–Feel the pain at the beginning and do it anyway. It takes awhile, but you will feel better about what you’re doing the more you do it. It does get easier.
3. You don’t need to be motivated to take action, you need action to get motivated. Instead of waiting for the perfect inspiration to get back to writing my book, I just started writing again period. Interesting thing happened, I started to get more excited and motivated to work on my book. This really works!
4. Find your community to share this goal. I now have a writing community to get and give support, as wel as share my challenges and successes about my book. For Nancy, it is a Fitbit challenge with her accountability buddy where they support and see what each of them are doing daily. (Notice for us both, we need people connection to help us.)
5. Schedule the actions you need to take in your calendar and into your life and honor that commitment to yourself. Value yourself and what is important to you by honoring these commitments you have written into your calendar. Just as you schedule commitments with others into your calendar and show up, do the same for yourself.
It’s not easy to restart anything, whether it’s a health program, a book, a relationship, or a dream that’s been on hold for years. We also discovered that talking about the difficulty and what’s working (or not working) for each of us now has made it much easier. Will we quit, fall out of our new routine, fail? Probably, but we also have a better sense of how we can get going again. After all, if anything midlife has taught us how resilient we really are and that laughing at ourselves with friends lessens the pain of stumbling.
Please comment below about what you’re struggling with and what has worked for you in the challenges you’ve faced when you’ve restarted something important in your life.