The Do Over - 5 Lessons From a Disappointing Year The Sensory Coach

You know those years where nothing seems to go to plan? 2019 was definitely one of those.

It’s all too easy to get disheartened, and fall down the dark hole of despair, which is exactly what I did, in a big way, for the last few months of the year.

Then along comes the hope of a fresh start in a new year, and, whatsmore, a whole new decade! It feels exciting, refreshing, and filled to the brim with hopeful anticipation of all the things you’ll create and achieve.

But before you know it January is over in a whirl of illness and domestic dramas, and you haven’t actioned the tentative plans and dreams you’d pencilled in to your fresh,  new planner.

You see the new year spiralling away from you in the same way the last one did. The feeling that you’re letting time slip away from you grows, and you start to feel anxiety and panic eating away at your equilibrium. 

Sound familiar?

How do you move beyond the self recrimination?

How do you pick yourself up, dust yourself down, and keep going?

How do you motivate yourself to carry on when it feels like you’re wading through treacle?

1.Use An Encouraging Mantra

On the front page of my planner I’ve written:

‘I didn’t come this far to only come this far.’

Every day when I see this, it reminds me that a lot of time, effort, energy, money and sacrifice has gone into becoming the person I am today.

I have a lot to give back, and it serves no one, least of all me, to keep it hidden away in my mind and countless notebooks.

Dory in Finding Nemo had ‘just keep swimming’.

Julian of Norwich had ‘all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.’

What will your mantra of encouragement be?

2. Celebrate Your Wins

I can’t stress enough how important this is!

Get into the habit of doing a monthly review, focusing your attention on your accomplishments. 

When I looked back over 2019 and wrote down all the things I’d achieved, I was shocked. 

It felt like I’d done nothing, but it turns out I could list some pretty big wins, including building a new website,  upgrading this one, and holding a live chocolate making workshop.

We tend not to give ourselves enough credit. 

We forget that, over time, small consistent steps add up to an imperceptibly long distance.

What do you need to celebrate? 

3. Give Yourself Enough Time

Very often we over estimate what we can achieve in a certain amount of time. 

This can lead to self recrimination if we fail to meet our own deadlines.

The danger here though is that, if we give ourselves too much time, we can procrastinate to the nth degree, never achieving our goals.

I’m not generally a fan of the notion of balance, perhaps because my troublesome vestibular system means it’s something I’ve always struggled with (a sensory pun for you there!). 

However, in this instance, balance is definitely something to aim for.You want to give yourself enough time to get a task done without burning out, whilst not giving yourself so much time you  never get the job done. 

Self honesty is where it’s at – where might you be tricking yourself about time?

Give yourself more time - 5 lessons from a disappointing year
use your tools - 5 lessons from a disappointing year

4. Use Your Tools

When we’re in the throes of despair, we can forget to use the tools we have at our disposal.

For this reason it’s important to get into a regular self care routine. 

The old saying ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ couldn’t be more appropriate here.

When we use our tools regularly, they don’t have a chance to get rusty. 

When we perform regular maintenance jobs, things don’t tend to get out of hand.

It’s much easier to spend a few minutes every day maintaining our equilibrium, than it is to claw our way back from burn out.

What do you need to dig out of your toolkit and start using?

5. Ask For What You Need

This one is HARD! The fear of rejection can hang over our heads like the Sword of Damocles.

Yes, asking for what you need can be scary, but it can also be incredibly liberating. And here’s something about it that you might not have considered before… 

(Most) people love to help. It makes us feel good to know we’ve helped someone else. So by asking for help (what you need) you’re also giving someone else the opportunity to feel good. Win win huh?

And if they say no, that’s ok. You can survive the perceived rejection. Because you’ve been implementing the other 4 lessons, you’ve become much more resilient and can take it on the chin with greater ease.

What areas of your life do you need help with?

These 5 lessons won’t magically transform life overnight, but bit by bit they will make a big difference.

 And one day, when you’re looking back over your monthly reviews for the year, you’ll see just how far you’ve come, without even realising it.


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