The end of the first week of 2021 is upon us. I had a completely different post planned for today, but instead I wanted to address this week. This one was pretty long for being just 7 days folks. With that in mind, I know that I was thrown off of my game for how I planned 2021 to go already. So, I knew that others must be feeling the same.

Weeks Like This Test Your Resilience

When weeks like this happen, it can really take the wind out of your sails. It did for me. Of course, I wasn’t expecting the date on a calendar to suddenly resolve the pandemic, social unrest, racial and wealth inequalities, etc., but it was nice to just be able to turn the page and look forward to something new. 2020 taught us how we all survive in crisis mode. I know that it taught me a few things about myself that I’ve used to try to set myself up for success this coming year.

One aspect I’d learned was what my natural rhythms are for my daily schedule. For example, I tried for years to make myself run in the morning and I hated it. I thought I might hate running, but turns out I am much happier if I keep my mornings calm and then run after work or during lunch. Just like that, the fight to get myself outside wasn’t nearly as bad. I’d changed this along with other parts about my daily routine in the last month of 2020 and felt empowered heading into 2021.

So, I was completely thrown off of the good habits I had started over the last few weeks. For example, I’d wanted to go running every weekday. I didn’t make it Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. Honestly, I was unhealthily doom scrolling; first over the Georgia election and then over the insurrection at Capitol Hill. However, I made it Thursday and I am certain that I will make it today as well. Three out of five is still great when my average in 2020 was MAYBE one run per week.

Be sure to give yourself a break as we start this new year. We all want the new year, new me switch to just happen. It won’t. What keeps you on track for your goals, be they finance, fitness or anything else, is how you come back when something knocks you off your path.

We Need Resistance to Thrive

I’d recently heard a story about the Biosphere 2 experiment that took place at the University of Arizona. There were many discoveries as part of this experiment, but one I found interesting was related to the trees. The larger trees were weak to the point where some would fall over. One of the reasons for this was that there was a lack of stress wood build up in the trees. See, the team could only create gentle breezes inside the biosphere that were not strong enough for the trees to build this stress wood. The trees need strong winds in order to build up their resistance. This strength allows them to grow stronger and taller than they otherwise would. We, just like the trees in the biosphere, need some resistance to grow stronger and reach new heights.

Credit: Simon Berger via Unsplash

So, in building up your wind resistance, be kind to yourself and don’t expect that you will hit your goals everyday. Strive for it, yes, but allow yourself room to falter. The plan for our household is to focus on our locus of control and commit to making small gains daily. If we miss a day, that’s okay. We will not be perfect. It just won’t happen. Not even my wife is perfect and she’s the best. It’s about coming back the next day and getting back into it. That what forms the habit.

If your goal is to spend less money on takeout and you just can’t cook tonight, it’s okay to get the takeout this time. Maybe while you’re waiting for the food to arrive though, you do one small thing to prep tomorrow’s dinner. Giving yourself that nudge in the right direction without the stress of getting it all done tonight.

Even small improvements are steps in the right direction.

How are you doing in the first week of the new year? What are your strategies for managing progress in the midst of everything? Let me know in the comments below!

Don’t forget about the reduced pricing on a Take Off Session with me through the end of January 2021. Check out this post for more information!