Let’s face it, 2020 has been a difficult year. When things get hard, it’s very easy to become discouraged. You’re left with thoughts like, “will it ever get any better?” or “when will we just get back to normal?”
Though these are both valid questions, if we want to stay the course in our personal growth and development, we must find a way to continue forward.
Every Friday I spend about an hour with my sister, Lindsay, on Facetime. I’m so thankful for how technology has progressed so that we’re able to stay connected even in an isolated, quarantined world.
During our most recent Facetime call, we discussed how to manage long-term goals or expectations when the short-term, day-to-day grind, is so blurry.
When discouraging news and events hit from all directions nearly every day, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a high level of motivation. This often causes us to slip back into old habits, forget about the progress we’ve already made, or just feel flat out depressed.
One phrase I’ve consistently used over the past few months both in working with others and working on myself is, “habits don’t change based on circumstances.”
Think about that for a second…
Let’s say you’re a coffee drinker. Even though the world went into quarantine mode, you probably didn’t stop drinking coffee in the morning. Sure, maybe you couldn’t get your usual Starbucks drink for a few weeks… but you probably had something stashed at home.
How does that play into being consistent on a nutrition or exercise plan? Or, continued growth and progress with your career?
Remember this phrase…
PROGRESS > PERFECTION.
For many of us, if one thing goes wrong, we often have the tendency to just stop altogether. You missed one workout, soon that becomes two, then three, then you’ve missed a whole month and are left wondering where the time went.
So, how do you stop the pattern?
How do you not only maintain what you’ve gained but continue to improve and thrive?
Here are 3 ways you can continue to grow during a difficult season:
- Take Action!
Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do, you just need to do something! Maybe right now you don’t have the time or capacity to complete an entire workout. Ok… then try just doing 10 pushups! We often set extremely high expectations for ourselves based on what the world says.
I’m here to tell you to stop doing that. Celebrate the small victories! Now more than ever, keep track of the little wins that you experience each day by simply taking action (even if it’s very small…).
- Work on Your Mindset.
A growth mindset is one that believes change is possible through consistent effort. A fixed mindset is just the opposite.
Which kind of mindset do you have? Take some time for some introspection. How can you alter the way you think to produce consistency in your day-to-day life?
Let’s go back to the pushup example…
Most people (including myself) have a poor history with pushups. However, that started to change for me when I adopted BJ Fogg’s Behavioral Model based on Tiny Habits. Instead of trying to do 100 pushups every day, I started doing 2 pushups after each time that I washed my hands. Then, after completing the pushups, I would celebrate by pumping my fist in the air (feel free to insert your own form of celebration).
By doing this, I rewired the reward center in my brain towards enjoying doing pushups! Now I routinely complete 100 to 150 pushups every day… and I love it.
By intentionally shifting your mindset away from negative thought patterns towards positive ones, you are setting yourself up for success regardless of the environment you’re in.
- Develop Consistency and Routine
Whether you’re working at home or in an office, a routine is essential. Since the shutdown, many people have taken their jobs home.
This simple shift out of the normal caused new problems in distraction, stress, and time-management. However, by developing consistency in your daily routine, it doesn’t matter where you are… you will thrive.
Before you go to bed each night, script out your next day. From the time you wake up until you end the workday, have a plan.
By writing out the activity you will be doing, you’re saving mental bandwidth for deep-focused work. Rather than thinking about what you’ll do next.
Example: 6:00 AM – 6:45 AM: Yoga and Stretching / 6:45 AM – 7:15 AM: Eat Breakfast and Take Shower
- Daily Checklist
Another strategy for building routine is through developing a checklist. This is a good method for someone who prefers to work on a more project-oriented basis rather than the small details of a daily script.
Example: For the Week of Sept. 11 – Sept. 18
Write Blog Post Finish Laundry Run 10 miles
By implementing these three practices, you will enable yourself to overcome any situation you’re in and continue on your path towards peak performance.
Have questions? We’re here to help! Visit our website at www.tigerpi.com to learn more about how you can continue to thrive even in the midst of a difficult season.