Hi There!I’m curious. Have you ever made a decision to stick to a plan and then a few days into implementing your action steps for the plan, something interrupts and distracts you from it? This happens to me all the time and while I find it extremely frustrating, I’m shifting how I react to interruptions. In fact, one of those “interruptions” is cuddling on my lap while simultaneously chewing on my hand as I type. This is a moment where I can admit the interruption is a blessing in disguise (see, I kinda like having a little furry buddy with me at the house). A dear friend of mine was sharing about a similar experience she was having and she came up with the phrase that I kindly asked her if I could use: “Life is all about interruptions.” Have you ever noticed those interruptions seem to show up at the most inopportune times? You will be on your way up to a metaphorical mountaintop, then some distraction will show up and take your attention off of the good progress you’ve made and bring you back down. This has played out in my life over the last couple of weeks in the forms of getting sick right as I was gaining momentum on a new at-home exercise routine, gaining a surprise puppy (aka- sort of like having a small child) right as I was getting into a routine around the house with Ellie, and dealing with challenging conversations, right before I was about to speak at the Women of Faith Conference, which was a proud moment for me to feel like I’ve come full circle since Andrew’s death. In the past, I would allow those distractions to completely take away from my experiences and consume my thoughts, but I didn’t do that this time, which shows me I’ve grown. Today I want to share with you some of my tips and tools for not letting life’s little interruptions keep you from accomplishing what is most important to you. If I can do this, so can you!
- Jump back in – I used to think if I committed to something and didn’t implement the plan for one day then I had to start completely over, which was really discouraging. For example, when I would be doing my workout videos in the morning and Ellie would wake up halfway through I would just throw in the towel and be done. This is where it all started going south. Instead, I’ve challenged myself to jump back into the workout routine. Just keep moving. Interruptions are inevitable, but don’t allow your mind to tell you that you should quit because you got interrupted. Just jump back in as soon as you can and FINISH. If you are trying to eat healthy and in a weak moment you are distracted by a sweet treat, just start back on your plan immediately. Our minds are going to tell us to keep making poor choices since we already got off the plan, but don’t listen— get right back to it.
- Stand in your power – I shared this before in a previous post, but it’s during moments of interruptions when it’s really important to have a big WHY: why are you wanting to stick to this plan? For your family? What is this plan going to do for you? Find out WHY you really want to make the commitment to yourself to stick to this plan. Because when moments of temptation come to throw you off course, being anchored in your big WHY is going to keep you motivated through the times of weakness. One of the things I did during my weeks of interruptions was to remind myself why I’ve made the choices I’ve made and to stand in my power and own my choices. That helped anchor me to why I was not about to let someone or something distract me from my course.
- Celebrate you – It’s so important to show yourself compassion when you are committing to a plan. We are human and there will be distractions, so there’s no use in beating ourselves up over it. We will have more success with finishing our goals when we are kind to ourselves then we ever would have by beating ourselves up when we make mistakes. Being able to make and keep a commitment we’ve made to ourselves is so important because integrity starts with keeping our own commitments and that’s something to celebrate. So don’t forget to celebrate every little victory you have along the way, because the journey is just as important as the destination. You are creating a relationship with yourself where you are following through with what you say you’re going to do and that’s no small thing.
- Blessings in disguise – Not all interruptions are bad. Some, if not all, come into our lives for a reason and they all teach us something about ourselves. When I got sick for a couple of weeks, I was really frustrated at first. Then I realized I don’t get sick often, so what might this interruption be teaching me? I took it as an opportunity to do the opposite of what I wanted to do, and I rested my body. I thought about Andrew and what it must have been like to be sick day in and day out for 10 months, practically confined to a bed. At first thinking about this made me extremely sad, but then the sadness turned into gratitude because even though I wasn’t feeling well now, I knew I would get better. I felt grounded because no matter what we’ve gone through, we can always use a little reminder that we aren’t guaranteed anything. Remember to be present and grateful even for the things to which we might feel entitled.
These are some of the tools I use to help me stay the course and jump back on the horse after I get bucked off. I hope these tools will be a support for you as you face the many interruptions life brings. If you resonate with what I’m sharing in my blogs and would like to do an exploration call with me to see if we are a good fit for coaching, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS – I want to encourage you with one more thing before I go: I often hear, “You are so strong, I don’t know how you do it,” and, “I could never do that.” To that I say, “Hogwash.” I am not stronger than you, you could get through what I’ve come through. I allowed the experience of my husband’s life and how he faced his final days on earth to inspire me. It is by tapping into this knowledge on a daily basis, as well as my belief and trust that God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives, that I find my strength. You can do the same! Sending you so much love. Blessings. – Bailey