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

happy girl start today

This is my first post of the year, and I am hoping it will help anyone who is currently feeling stuck. I have to confess that I just recently experienced the feeling of being “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 just flowing. I had set goals for the new year that inspired and excited me, but I just didn’t know how to start. I was feeling overwhelmed. 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 traveling and eating 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. Yep, those famous baby steps we often hear productivity gurus talk about. How does one take baby steps? By breaking a big goal into small achievable goals, and taking it 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 amazing huh?

I feel like I am building momentum and slowly getting back to my natural work rhythm. Don’t get me wrong! I love traveling, taking breaks, and resting. What I do not like is feeling stuck. I function better when I am doing creative things like writing, drawing, or taking photos. I think we all experience this feeling of not doing enough or being stuck, and it’s OK. It is OK to feel stuck. However, it is not OK to blame ourselves for feeling like this. So, don’t judge yourself just because you’re not hustling like everybody else. Instead, take a moment (a day, or even a week) to reflect on what you can do to change this feeling.  Remember that we all have different rhythms, and each of us goes at our own speed.

Another thing I realized is that setting very big goals can be overwhelming. The goals on my vision board didn’t scare me, they overwhelmed me. I consider myself a goal getter, and fear wasn’t a problem here. But my goals were too big to achieve in one year. So I went over each area of my life again, making smaller actionable goals, and this is what I came up with.

vision board
My new vision board for 2018

Some things remained the same, like my desire to go to San Francisco this year. I also still want to learn to speak Dutch. However, the book publishing goal that was on my previous board is not there anymore. After having done some research on book publishing, I realized I need more time. I want to enjoy this journey and learn the most I can about writing and publishing, so I decided to enroll in a writing course this year. This doesn’t mean I am not going to work on my book, it just means I am not going to rush the process.

Another thing that I removed from my vision board is getting married. My boyfriend and I have no doubt we want this in our lives, but we have other priorities at the moment. Getting married will come when it is time.

Now that I’ve broken down my goals for this year into achievable ones, I feel so much better. I feel relieved and there is more clarity when it comes to my vision. And in the end, action comes from clarity. Now that I know exactly what I want, I can take a small step every day to see those goals on my new vision board happen, little by little, and one by one. My to-do list is filled with things I love to do and things that excite me. I am back in the game my friends.

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. All that matters is that you keep moving forward.” Click To Tweet

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

My name is Jessica. I’m a writer and illustrator living in the Netherlands. I write stories based on my life experiences and I also create colorful illustrations that entertain and inspire many. It’s my hope that this blog serves you as a simple reminder of the power you have to choose, create, and live a life that you love.

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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