Have you ever been in a situation in life when you realized you’d been doing the same thing over and over again…. Yet expecting different results?
I think we can all get caught on the proverbial treadmill in many aspects of life from time to time.
Sometimes our routines become so… well… “routine” that we don’t see the forest for the trees.
I’m not saying that sticking to a routine is bad. It’s not; in fact it can be very beneficial.
The problem I see though is often the routines will only take you so far and when we feel to be stagnating, we should pay attention and take it as a sign to change things up a bit.
These last few weeks… perhaps even couple of months I realized I had hit a plateau and decided to work on making some exciting changes. (That by the way is why I haven’t posted as often as I usually do).
I guess you could say I had an epiphany… or perhaps a couple of epiphanies and I just knew it was time to do something a little different to get to the next level.
You see, I started to feel like a bit of a hamster on a wheel. My business was cruising… not climbing.
It was ok I suppose but when measured against the work I put in each and every day… (vs. the growth) It was plain to see that things were no longer working in my favour and gleaning the result I desire.
I seemed to spend the majority of my time writing and posting on my blogs and although I love my community of friends (readers and people I follow)… I knew I had to limit my time on these activities for a while to get the ball rolling a little faster.
I realized that “tickling” my blog every day was not going to pay the bills.
I also took a hard look at my primary business opportunity as well, (one that I have enjoyed for four years) to see if it was still meeting my needs.
I’m pleased to say that I still feel passionate about the value it brings and in fact it was the one thing that got me through some very difficult times both personally and financially. I still know it will do the same for others so I won’t be making any changes in that particular area.
Even though it was worth addressing and I’m glad I took this time, I still felt there was something missing.
Upon further analysis I was prompted to dig down deep within myself and revisit my root purpose and ultimate goal to see if I was still on track.
I realized that through all the growth I had experienced myself, without realizing it, I had come to the end of the ‘incline’. In other words by doing the same thing over and over again I was no longer getting ‘different’ results in fact I had even managed to get off track a bit.
I had put less effort into marketing activities, my creativity had waned yet I still felt to be working my proverbial bottom off.
Though it was a bit of a hard pill to swallow, this shift was necessary.
For me the change was somewhat personal. I had to reorganize both myself and my time in order to implement some new activities.
For others, it may be a little different but likely still boil down to recognizing the need to alter mundane routines and the need to develop determination to do something different.
My significant other (for example) has been on a weight loss challenge for a few weeks.
He hit a point where he felt tired of feeling tired due to carrying 40 extra lbs. around with him.
Luckily he is a big guy so he carried in ‘ok’ (ish)… but it gets old after a while. After all, complaining about ‘things not fitting’ won’t do a thing!
Thankfully his turning point occurred when he realized this and the fact he had done nothing to change his eating habits or exercise routine.
When he had his own epiphany, he made the decision to lose weight, get on the treadmill and has even joined Hot Yoga with me! He also took on the weight loss challenge I mentioned and the lbs. started to roll off fairly quickly.
When he hit 26 lbs however, he hit a plateau. It was frustrating at first… that was until he realized he had to change it up and do something a little different once again.
You see, he is on a ‘shake’ program where he has a shake for breakfast, a healthy snack mid morning, another shake for lunch and a healthy snack mid afternoon. He finishes the day with a sensible evening meal.
When the weight loss slowed, he decided to start eating breakfast for a while (instead of the shake). He still had one for lunch but replaced the evening meal with another shake instead.
Thankfully, this started the ball rolling again in his favour!
I’m not saying this change was ‘subtle’ … but sometimes small changes do make a difference.
For me however, because I’m running a business I have had to put in a little more effort and work quite hard… but not to the point that’s its been ‘earth shattering’.
I made the decision to get better organized and manage my time more effectively in order to fit more into my days though I did have to cut back on posting to my blog to make way for focusing the things I had put on the back burner.
I also had to take the time to sit down, shut up and be still in order to think things through. This allowed me to hone down and re address the reason I’m in this business in the first place.
I was able to review not only my purpose but also my BIG WHY as well as consider the people I attract in my business and their ‘big why’s’ and needs as well.
Once I got back to basics, I put my blinders on to make tracks in the direction I have always intended to go.
These tasks included completing my Life Coaching Certification and preparing for my exam, completing my Certification as a Self Esteem coach for both adults and children.
I also have a book that’s been hanging on the clothesline for quite a number of months, and I’m pleased to say it will be completed in fairly short order.
Because the lion’s share of my clients is entrepreneurial women, I started a new site specifically to coach them and put together a few affordable coaching programs as well.
I wont say it’s been ‘easy peasy’ but making this effort and blocking the outside world for a while has gleaned impressive results and not to mention boosted my own self esteem and inspiration as well.
Though I have yet not jumped in full tilt on the number of marketing activities I have in store, I have already seen positive movement and just know I am on track.
Within the next two weeks, I plan to finalize these loose ends and then re adjust my schedule once again.
My point here is if you are feeling similar, it will pay to pull back for a while to determine what you need to do differently. If you’re serious about success, you just have to roll up your sleeves and do the necessary work to make the adjustments.
You will be surprised that other things in life will maintain themselves while you are in ‘shuffle mode’.
Getting clear on your goals and doing new things is always necessary to maintain momentum.
After all, it makes no sense to flog a dead horse and keep on keeping on doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. You’ll soon realize it does nothing for your business (if you have one) or your moral!
I found it ironic that while I was going through this realization myself, a friend of mine, Steve from Ending the Grind had a similar experience and had his own light bulb moment … or perhaps he more accurately had a wake up call. (Or butt kicking… depending on how you take it)
While his epiphany didn’t surface solely based on his own feelings (although he was aware he wasn’t getting the results he desired) instead it boiled down to getting a tongue lashing from Penelope Trunk on an interview he did with her.
While I cannot say I applaud her for the way she expressed herself. (At all) I will say I think in a way, she did him a favour to help him put his mind in motion to determine where he wanted to be as well.
You can listen to this ‘rather uncomfortable’ interview here.
I am sure you will feel the same as me… that Steve handled this first class and the fact he had the
balls goolies to share it with the rest of us just may have helped others in the same boat.
Sometimes we are fortunate to see what’s missing by ourselves, sometimes it needs to be pointed out by an outside source and sometimes you may even need to get to the point of agitation to ramp up your determination.
The bottom line is, that it doesn’t really matter what it is. If you are making little progress or seeing fewer results, it’s just important to change things before you become worn out, discouraged or put off all together.
Tweaking your actions to better manage your time will make a huge difference to taking you to where you need to be.
What do you think? Have you been doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results?
Are there areas in your life that might need streamlining and changing up a little? What might you do? Please leave me a comment below!