Why Stuck In Second Gear Is Just Right

stuck

When is the beginning? What constitutes a fresh start?

Are we all on the same page here? What is the significance of a re-birth, a slate cleaning?

Like many of us, I spent the last few days of 2021 reflecting, tallying up the wins and losses for the year, dreaming up and visualizing what I want for my “next” year, and how to get there.

I believe this is the birthplace of many a resolution. 

Of course, we’re all at the beginning of the new calendar year – the metric most of us utilize with the help of a whole lotta hooplah of celebrations on December 31st. But I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter around the concept of starting a new year. 

there is no official New Year Police who will ticket us for randomly choosing some other “start” date”

Yes the notion of a fresh start is important, but I’ve been hearing more and more that the when can be arbitrary and left to us to decide. Meaning there is no official New Year Police who will ticket us for randomly choosing some other “start” date. As a matter of fact, each new day can offer us an opportunity to begin anew.

Not sure if this is something you needed to hear at the end of a (in my life a nondescript, cold dreary) third week in January. Honestly, those last few days of 2021 had me believing that all my new ideas, my grand goals could all be achievable by mid-January.

You know that never-before-seen person standing in your favorite spot in your gym class the first couple of weeks of January? I promise I am not her. Those “get in shape” resolution people that disappear from the fitness center by Week Three aren’t going to get what they want. We have to commit to staying in the arena, not giving up, despite feelings of inertia.

challenges and stretch goals, by definition, are not easy to attain”

What seemed to me as obvious and an “AHA” moment in December has turned out to involve  some heavy lifting. Not a surprise to any of us. Those challenges and stretch goals, by definition, are not easy to attain.

Not sure what is different about this year. Honestly I don’t remember feeling stuck this early on in the year before. Maybe it’s that the last couple of Pandemic-flattened years blend together for me — making it more difficult for me to discern the passage of time and mark successes. 

So how do I make sure not to remain stuck in second gear? How do I ensure I don’t get tired? It’s not time, for any of us, to take our foot off the gas pedal. 

We all know the adage (and I paraphrase), “If you want something different you have to behave differently.” One of the many wonderful gifts that come with midlife and beyond is a better understanding of self. So in this spirit, I’ve invented a new-to-me system to kickstart some nontypical behaviors within me. It’s not rocket science, but I identified five pillars of success for myself in 2022. 

Once I’ve identified them and cataloged them, I can pursue them with detached involvement.

In the interest of sharing an example, I’ll explain here. I identified: Jack, Monetization, Visibility, Product, and Operations. What I’ve been doing, thus far, when I create my daily and weekly plan is to make sure I have a proportionate balance of activities that support each one of those pillars. Once I’ve identified them and cataloged them, I can pursue them with detached involvement. 

I practiced that action plan this past week and found myself on Friday morning beaming with self-pride. Did I conquer the 2022 beast already? Nah, of course not. Did I move out of second gear? Not so much.

But, maybe second gear is safer to drive in than we think. Maybe second gear is exactly the right speed for this third week of January. Why, maybe it’s not considered stuck at all? Who knows, I may be cruising slowly but steadily for a bit here, understanding that little by little, a little becomes a lot.

And that space I am taking in your beloved gym class? Let’s introduce ourselves. I, for one,  am here to stay.

*Reference comes from our Joy Kuel Category Expert, Nina Obier.

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