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  • Writer's pictureEvangeline Lawson

My New Year Started Off Slow. Here’s How I Got Out of My Motivational Rut.

It’s officially February. And even though being a month into the New Year is bringing all of the pressure, I am trying to breathe easy into 2023. I realize that we often find ourselves in the intersection of world events, personal moments, varied emotions and I, like many, am not immune to feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what I have to mentally process throughout the run of a day.

I experienced some great accomplishments last year, but I definitely finished exhausted—limping out of December 31st in a shiny royal blue two piece set and slipping into my robe (which ironically is also the same hue of blue), with just enough time to watch the fireworks officially bring in January two-thousand and twenty-three. Despite my exasperation, I did enter the turn of the calendar with a renewed sense of enthusiasm, looking forward to all that could potentially develop. But honestly, it started to wane with every glimpse at my planner, which was filling up sooner than I projected. So I did what I typically do. I took a break.

A break? Not even 30 days in? I know. It seems dramatic. But perhaps it is how we view these pauses that brings the drama.

I did not check out. I didn’t just curl up in sweats and refuse to get off of the couch. Not like there is anything particularly wrong with choosing either from time to time. I opted out of specific daily plans and just reset by doing three things. Reflecting. Organizing. Finding joy.

Reflection is not only important, but necessary. It helps me to recognize the great I have achieved, as well as where I may have missed the mark. But it allows me to bask in the gift of memories. I spent time thinking about the new places I visited last year and what I learned, as well as who I met. I remembered comical conversations, and the emotionally vexing ones too. I also recalled those instances where I pushed myself too hard or thought I was not going to meet a goal or expectation, and I was able to somehow find success anyway. In doing so I was able to tap into my power. And not just in my own might, but the power of community.

Organization is something I love, but I admittedly can put it off in favor of other duties. A pile of clothes can be daunting, but give me a great soundtrack and a few hours and I will end up in ordered bliss. Since I despise not being able to find things and I pride myself on being able to pull together a cool outfit in under 20 minutes, I enjoy fine-tuning my personal spaces. So after clothes, I moved on to cosmetics and then books, saving the dreaded paperwork for last. But oddly, in doing so, I sparked a bit of motivation, and was able to make room for the new.

Joy is something I set out to create daily. But it isn’t as simple as doing something fun. It has more of a spiritual connection for me. These moments become those memories that I can draw on when life is not so enjoyable. And sometimes securing that joy is work. Oddly though, the action itself is invigorating.

In January, that took the form of cooking. After traveling so much, I challenged myself to cook at home more. Meaning, not only did I have to research and plan, I had to also buy, prep and execute. I eat primarily plant-based, so keeping things interesting is a task. I set out to try some new dishes and surprisingly they all worked out.

When I put my calendar down and stepped away from the pressure of output being the marker of a successful year, I was able to get out of my motivational rut and actually achieve some things. And most likely, set the foundation for an even stronger February. Sometimes moving outside of the ordinary way of doing things can produce some extraordinary results.

©Evangeline Lawson Feb 1, 2023 2:15pm

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