How to Overcome Feeling Stuck at the Beginning of the New Year

Woman sitting by the water facing sunlight
Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

I recently experienced feeling stuck for the first time in a while. But how could this possibly happen? Before Christmas, everything was going very well. I made many sales, I had a great workout routine, and my writing was flowing. I had set goals for the new year that inspired me, but I just didn’t know how to start. It was January 2nd, and I was sitting on the couch thinking, “Now what?”.

I started to ask myself questions in order to figure out how this feeling of “stuckness” landed in my living room. I then realized that I had lost what I call “success momentum.” After having taking two weeks of no work at all, I was feeling a bit of a “hangover.” And when I say no work at all, I mean it: no emails, no writing, no marketing, and no exercise. Most of what I did for two weeks was stuffing my mouth with delicious food. So this was my diagnosis: a holiday hangover. I wanted to exercise, but I was feeling heavy. I wanted to write, but I was feeling blocked. There was no way I could get 45 min of exercise done or even write 500 words. I realized that if I wanted to be back in the game, I had to execute a plan.

First, I started to take baby steps. I broke big goals into small achievable goals and worked on them one day at a time. When it comes to my workout routine, my baby steps went like this: on January 3rd, I started out by waking up my body with a beginner’s yoga workout on YouTube. On January 4th, I did 15 minutes of this 45 min cardio workout. Phew! That one was hard, but I made it. On January 5th, my body asked for 30 min of the same workout video. And guess what happened on January 6th? I completed the whole video, and got 45 min of exercise done!

I then applied the same idea to my writing. I didn’t feel like writing an entire blog post at any point during the past week, so instead, I wrote short posts for my Facebook page. One day I wrote 300 words, and the next day I wrote 500. And now, this post contains 980 words! Pretty good huh?

I came to realize that setting very big goals can be overwhelming. The goals I had set for the new year didn’t scare me, they overwhelmed me. What’s more, my goals were too big to achieve in one year. So I went over each one of them again, making smaller actionable goals this time. For example, “launching online shop” was a huge goal. So instead I wrote, “come up with three art print designs.”

Now that I’ve broken down my goals for this year into achievable ones, and that I started to work out, I feel much better. My vision is clear and my to-do list is filled with things that excite me. I am back in the game my friends! I feel like I am building momentum and slowly getting back to my natural work rhythm.

The takeaway

We all experience this feeling of not doing enough or being stuck at any given point in time, even in the new year, when we’re supposed to feel the most motivated. But we are not machines and we won’t always perform at the same level. There will be highs and lows and we have to remember that we all have different rhythms. The last thing you want to do when you’re feeling stuck is comparing your productivity level to someone else’s. When you understand that you get to go at your own speed, you will feel more at ease with your low seasons.

I’d like to conclude with this thought:

It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are starting off this year. Life isn’t a race; you can walk, jog or run. Your pace is your pace. All that matters is that you keep moving forward. 

I would love to hear from you. Did you also feel behind when the new year started? Or have you been slaying your goals since day 1? What does your work rhythm look like? Leave a comment below!

 

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Author: Jessica Araus

Jessica Araus is a mixed media artist and illustrator living in the Netherlands.

4 Replies to “How to Overcome Feeling Stuck at the Beginning of the New Year

  1. Thanks for such an honest post! I’ve been feeling a little unsure of where to start also, and I haven’t been getting much writing done. I’m glad I’m not the only one! Just recently for the first time, I made written goals and a vision board in my journal. I’ve never actually had any goals before- just some wishy-washy wishes. It was a little scary to set goals- what if I don’t achieve them, will I feel like a failure? Will it kill my spirit and kill my momentum? But so far so good and taking small actions each day to reach them.

    1. Thanks Brittany. I am thankful this post resonates with you. It’s good to know we are not alone in this thing. 🙂
      Consistency is key, just do what you can. Like you said, one small action each day. I wish you success with the goals you’ve set for this year. <3

  2. I fell out of my rhythm over the holiday and still have not gotten back on track in 1 important area of my life. But I referred to your article “Don’t Wait for Monday…Start today” which has motivated me to get back on the horse. Love your words, love your talent…

    1. Thank you Erin for your comment! I am also not totally back on track, but I am doing what I can, and feeling more motivated little by little. I am glad you enjoyed that article, it’s one of my favorite too! And I’m so happy to have a fan in Seattle. <3 Sending you so much love.

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