We’ve entered the second month of 2017. It’s usually around this time that people start wavering on their New Year’s resolutions. Bad weather prevented you from making it to the gym last week, and this week you had to work overtime and were just really tired. Multiple people at the office had birthdays, which means cake, and you didn’t want to be rude and not have a piece, or two. Then your friend was having a hard time so you comforted her by having a girls’ night complete with pizza and booze. Or, if you’re like me, your demons got loose and you decided to go to bed at 8pm, foregoing the stretching and dance practice you were going to do.
It’s incredible how easy it is to get off track with our goals. As easy as it is, that’s also how hard it can be to get back on track. When you realize you’re way off track (like you can’t even remember when you last did your weekly workout), you might find yourself tempted to just give up and say “oh well, I tried.”
When we create a goal and a subsequent plan to reach that goal, we usually plan in a straight line. Steps are done in order, like step 1, step 2, step 3. But when does Life ever go in a straight line?? My competition goals for instance start with my “comeback” comp in April. Then I aim to do another one in July and then go to USDC, a.k.a. Nationals in September. Those main goals are broken down into steps to reach each one. Lessons and solo practices at the studio, plus daily stretching and more practice at home are scheduled. I’m using my projected budget spreadsheet from Ballroom Budgeting to track my finances and save for the first comp. Everything’s accounted for; I can’t lose.
Oh, wait. Taxes are also due in April and I think I owe this year. The day job requires occasional overtime (that I don’t get paid extra for). My demons don’t care about adhering to my practice schedule. I’ve already mentioned how easily I can get overwhelmed when I start thinking about my dance goals AND my writing/business goals. My straight line has turned into something you get when you give a toddler a crayon and a piece of construction paper.
Luckily, I’ve planned for that too.
Getting off track and then back on track is part of the master plan. It has to be. Otherwise, I would have given up a long time ago. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time getting off and on track than I do actually moving forward. It’s ok.
Mentally, I had a bad day yesterday. I got depressed and instead of a really productive evening of reviewing my tango choreography, doing my almost daily stretches and working on homework for a branding course I’m taking, I watched Groundhog Day and crawled into bed by 8pm.
This morning, after a poor night’s sleep, I didn’t feel much better. Through the day though I considered whether the night before was really a “failure” to work toward my goals or if it was just part of the path. I get the blues. I realized that expecting myself to be able to progress like someone who does not deal with depression didn’t make much sense. Like the day job and the taxes, I needed to account for my blue days in my plan.
Today progressed much better than yesterday. I had a lesson right after work and worked on a complicated but really cool silver tango routine choreographed by Teacher. I never really got off track, but the dancing helped me feel more on track. Dance always makes things feel better!
Lucky me, I have another lesson tomorrow to make up for one cancelled earlier this week. Two days in a row! It’s good timing because my “second job,” i.e., the last company I worked for which kept me on the books in case they needed me to fill in, has asked for my help this weekend. I didn’t hesitate to agree because we all know I could use the extra cash, but a dance lesson will still be a very welcome diversion.
For whatever goal you made for 2017, don’t stress is you feel yourself get off track. It will happen, but you also will get back on track. Don’t doubt that you can. Keep your eyes on the prize, as they say, and you will. Just think of the delays, the detours, and the diversions as part of your master plan. Know you will meet them, you will be able to deal with them, and then you will move forward. Include getting off track as part of the path toward your goal.
I know accounting for my blue days means my path is a little slower. I won’t reach some goals as quickly. But I know I will still reach them. It’s all part of the plan.
Happy planning (and dancing)!
P.S. – Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a copy of Competing Like a Pro! I’ve added a new way you can enter every day, so be sure to check it out. Giveaway ends February 10!