There is a popular saying goes something like ‘insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results’.
But what’s worth understanding is that sometimes you need to do the same thing over and over again.
Take meditation for example, it’s very rare that you get it the first time. It could take ten times, that doesnt mean you should stop.
Or, maybe you’re an artist taking your work to galleries, or a writer pitching to publications. Just because things don’t work out the first or 15th time, doesn’t mean you should stop. But, of course if you’re doing something that costs money don’t go broke trying to make things work.
I think it’s good to have the determination to keep going even when things aren’t working out.
But it’s also important to know when to pivot. The end goal doesn’t need to change but maybe your approach should.
Sometimes you reach a point in life where you need to make a sacrifice.
What are you willing to give up in order to reach your goal?
And are you willing to give up the right things?
Maybe you need more time to work on your book and so you decide to give up your 30 minutes of exercise a day. Yes, you’ve made a sacrifice but perhaps the right thing to give up would be 1.5 out of 2 hours you spend on social media each day.
The exercise positively contributes to your wellbeing but it’s unlikely you can say the same for social media.
And so when it comes to making a sacrifice in order to gain something, think about the things you currently do that benefit you the least.
Those are the things you should be willing to sacrifice.
I’ve always held writing to a high esteem, to such a high esteem that I always considered it to be out of my reach.
It’s undeniable that in the 9+ years I’ve been sharing my writing online, I’ve improved quite a lot. Yet, I always told myself that I could never be a proper writer.
But over the past year or after reading articles online, I’ve thought to myself, I could write something like that or even that’s similar to something I’ve already written. Suddenly writing no longer feels so out of reach.
And it’s not that I now plan to quite my job and become a writer, I think it’s more than fair to say I already am one.
There are many things in life that are hard to imagine however, it’s worth remembering that this has no impact on the possibility of these things becoming a reality.
This time two years ago you had no idea of what 2020 would bring and almost a year since the first lockdown we’re still in the midst of it.
Of course the pandemic isn’t a particularly pleasant or positive thing that we want to think about when it comes to the things we imagine coming to life but you can apply the concept to other things.
Right now it might feel like a goal, dream or plan that you have is totally impossible. However, if you decide to be brave and choose to pursue it, six months, a year or maybe even two years from now you could completely bring that to life. All of a sudden months have gone by and you’ll find yourself living a life doing something you love but were once afraid to pursue incase it didn’t work out.
As much as it’s a cliche, you really never know unless you actually try because as much as something might seem impossible it doesn’t really determine it’s possibility.
Most things that we want to do in life are often things that have already been done (even if it was in a slightly different way) and that should be enough proof or evidence that you need.
If it’s been done, it can be done again and what’s to say that it can’t be you that does it .
If you set any sort of goals, plans or intentions for 2021, now is the perfect time to check in.
You’ve had a month to live the year so far and maybe what you thought you wanted to do or ahcve has now chnaged.
The ‘magic’ of the new year has now faded, perhaps your thoughts on what you want have become much clearer.
Read through what you wrote last month and see if it still fits with the your overall vision for 2021.
Perhaps you’ll find that you were putting too much pressure on yourself to make up for 2020, maybe you haven’t been ambitious enough or it could just be that you made plans that you’re no longer interested in pursuing.
Setting goal or making plans for the coming year might seem like a waste of time. We’re in a period of great uncertainty and many of us may have already experienced a long list of things we planned to do in 2020 remain undone.
However, I think a lot of people did much more than they thought they would but in different ways. There was less focus on social activities, in person events and travel but perhaps more emphasis on wellbeing and personal growth.
Maybe this year you started a business, started a project, volunteered, overcame unexpected challenges, read some interesting books, discovered new interests, learned a new skill, developed your confidence, started a new job, got a promotion, visited a new city, bought a house, made new friends, tried some new recipes or figured out what you really want to do with your life.
Some of the things you did this year might seem small or meaningless but you still did them. It’s easy to forget afternoons spent catching up with your favourite people in a cafe, solo dance parties and endless laughter with siblings when you’re focusing on all the concerts you booked that got cancelled or all the places you never got to travel to.
And so for 2021, don’t be afraid to make plans or set intentions for the kind of year you want to have.
The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to at least check-in, recalibrate and ensure that the life you’re living is leading you in the direction that you want to go in.
If someone asked you why you didn’t achive a particular goal it’s likely that not having the opportunitiy would be one of your reasons.
When you’re far from where you want to be it can be difficult to realise that you are capable of making things happen. And it’s not that you’re in control of everything but more that you don’t have to rely on external things all the time.
You can create your own opportunities.
I think that statement has been true for a long time but with Instagram, Youtube, Podcasts and really just the internet in general, that has chnaged.
The person that wanted to be a talk show host can gather a few friends and put something together for YouTube or the person who wants to be a stylist can share images of their work on Instagram.
But opportunities can be created offline too in your everyday life. They might not be so obvious but they’re there. Often it is just a case of being open enough.
When you tell yourself that you will do something, it’s quite easy to just not commit. Afterall, there is nobody else that knows and nobody to hold you to it.
On the other hand if you share your aims or goals with others, you have to be willing to accept being called out of if you don’t follow through with your words.
If you write a daily blog, you don’t have to declare that it’s a daily blog, you can simply hold yourself to it. Make a promise or commitment to yourself that you will publish one post, every single day.
But maybe you think it is better to tell people, maybe you need others to hold you to your words and struggle to do it yourself. I don’t think thats a bad thing and in some cases a group of people that hold each other accountable is a great thing.
However, when it comes to some things, you shouldn’t become reliant on other people reminding you of the commitments you made in order to get things done.
When starting something new, whilst it’s great to have a long term strategy, it is also important to focus on the present.
The last thing thing you want to do is get overwhelmed or distracted with where you want to be in a few years time.
The long term strategy gives you something to focus on and can help you figure out what you need to be doing day to day in order to achieve the bigger goal.
But what can end up happening is that you’re so focused on the little things you’re doing each day that you aren’t actually moving any closer to your goal.
And so it’s important to ensure that you regularly check in to keep things moving forward.
There are some cases when, if you don’t know what to say the best thing to say is nothing at all. But that doesn’t apply to every situation.
In fact, in some scenarios saying nothing is one of the worst things that you can do.
Sometimes we hold off from speaking up because we think that less than perfect is not good enough. However, the perfect composition of words shouldn’t always be the aim.
At times it’s better to speak up in the moment, to perhaps let someone know that you care instead of staying quiet. The alternative is to wait until what you have to say is closer to perfect but by then it will be too late.