Have you ever “fallen off the wagon”? You know what I mean, right? You had a plan, you had goals. Everything was going great. And then one day, you didn’t do the plan. And then you didn’t do it the next day. And the next. You end up in a puddle by the side of the “Road of Goals”. You fell off the wagon and you fell hard.
Believe me, I feel your pain.
The last 6 months of my life have been chaos. (Please tell me you can relate.) At first, I tried to keep up with all my goals. I really did. But all my efforts didn’t even come close to working.
I have fallen off every.single.wagon.
*I fell off the exercise wagon. I haven’t had a decent workout all summer long. In fact, I fell off even before the summer hit. I am a mass of lazy-bones-flab.
*I fell off the diet wagon. Oh, yes, I did. Sugar? Check. Fast-food-madness? Check. Potato Chips? Check. Chocolate? Double and Triple Check!! I can’t even believe the way I’ve been eating. What is wrong with me!?!
*I fell off the 7-8 hours sleep wagon. I don’t even try anymore. I just sleep when it seems to work – and it doesn’t work often enough. Believe me.
*I fell off the ProjectTHINK wagon. I haven’t read a book for months. More about that in my next post.
*And the Blog wagon? What blog!?! I didn’t post all summer long. I’m sorry.
Sigh. I don’t think I have done a single thing “right” for months. Just in case you think I always “have it all together”, let me disillusion you. I don’t. Not even close. Right now, I’m just hanging on to the tiger by the tail. I’m just trying to get the most important things done. Everything else has had to wait.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who has ever done this. Please tell me those women who “always” have their act together are just an illusion.
So, what do you do when you’ve fallen off every single wagon all at once?
1. First of all, take a deep breath. Acknowledge that there is a reason you aren’t keeping up.
2. Pour yourself a cup of tea and take a look at what has really been going on in your life while you haven’t been keeping up with your goals. Look for the root cause. What is the REAL reason you aren’t keeping up. This isn’t judgement day. It isn’t the time to decide if you are a good or bad person. It’s just time to look at what got in the way of your goals.
*Sometimes the reason is the season. (Sounds like a corny Christmas commercial, I know, but bear with me). Perhaps your goals list worked before, but the season of your life has changed (That’s my life right now). Your old goals may not fit in with the new season. What worked when your kids were little may not work when they’re teens. Our lives are constantly changing. Our goals need to change to match our lives. Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your goals.
*Perhaps the reason is that you are trying to do too much. Are you being realistic about what you can really accomplish each day? You need to be honest with yourself, and maybe let some things go. Maybe you can do those things in the future, but it isn’t realistic to think you can homeschool, go to college, work your career, write a blog, keep the house, read through all the classics and make absolutely everything from scratch. (Ahem. That was my list last year. I dropped the college idea. Then I pared down how much I made from scratch. My blog fell by the wayside. Yet, my list still isn’t exactly reasonable or doable. Do as I say, not as I do, right?)
*Are you wasting time? Maybe you spent the last 3 months on a Netflix binge, and it’s time to take responsibility.
Whatever your reasons are, you won’t be able to change things if you don’t know what needs to change.
What you DON’T need to do is beat yourself up. I have never seen that behavior lead to productivity. In fact, it saps your energy. It leaves you with even less to give to your goals. That doesn’t sound like the way out to me.
For me, there have been unexpected ministry needs, family needs and all around chaos. It won’t last forever, but it does mean re-evaluating (again).
So, How am I Digging Out?
Honestly, I am monitoring and adjusting as I go. I don’t have a “3 Step Plan To Complete Order and Perfection”. I am just taking things one chaotic mess at a time.
For instance, school starts for us on Monday, but I had barely begun to get ready for it. Thanks to the help of a dear friend, I had a couple child-free days to plan out our school year. What I usually take a month to do, I managed to condense into a few days.
And that’s my strategy right now — Condense.
Instead of cramming an exercise program in on top of everything else, I am joining my kids’ martial arts class. I have to wait for the kids there anyway, so I might as well make that time more productive, right? Condense.
My ProjectTHINK reading will have to be replaced by my school pre-reading. (I always try to pre-read books before I hand them to my kids, anyway.) I have a stack of books waiting for me from the school reading list, and I just don’t have time for extra reading right now. Condense.
As far as food goes, I’m just trying to make it nutrient dense, and not worrying too much about the rest. I’ve stopped, at least for the time being, making Kombucha, Water Kefir, Sourdough bread and all the other things that take forever. I’ve even started buying some ready-made health food, since I don’t have time to make it from scratch. Condense. Don’t send the Health Food Zombies after me, okay?
Will life ever go back to what it was before? I don’t know. Life evolves and changes. We have to be willing to flex and change with it. Otherwise it will crush us. I don’t know what the new school year holds for us, but I know we will be okay. I will get done what I can, and I won’t beat myself up over the rest. I believe the same for you, too!
Have a Great Day!