New Year, New Me…Right?! How are those resolutions going? While the turn of a new year is generally a time of rededication, focus, and energy, this year seems different, busier. It seems that keeping all those promises we made to ourselves is even harder than normal. Are you experiencing this? Are you feeling stuck?
It seems that getting in a funk is just a natural part of being a human. We all get it from time to time, but how quickly we recognize and move past it is what’s important.
I must admit that this article IS NOT some revolutionary list of ways to change your life and it’s definitely not some “quick fix” guide. You must do the work every day. This IS a list of tried and true tactics to generate some momentum to get you back on track!
But is being stuck really a bad thing?
Sure, not everyone can be a superstar. And living a life of just going with the flow, not having to deal with anxiety, stress and frustration sounds great, right? Sure, there probably isn’t a lot of excitement in this life, but it’s definitely much easier.
So why do we have that nagging feeling that there’s just more that can be done? Why do we feel like somewhere deep inside us that we are stuck and we need to break loose? Because being stuck makes us unhappy.
This time last year, I was at a Tony Robbins event in Palm Beach (IT WAS FANTASTIC) and one point he stressed over and over is that “Progress equals happiness.” That’s because reaching a goal is satisfying but only temporarily. Life is not about achieving the goals, life is about who you become in pursuit of those goals. There’s ALWAYS another goal, so reaching one goal is the answer.
Enjoy the journey
Shadi Issa, one of my mentors and COO of South Capital Partners (our asset management company) has this “Enjoy the Journey” line in his email signature. I always thought of it as some flippant “feel good” quip, but it has now become a major part of our mindset as a company. Life is hard, change is hard, and growth is hard, but that’s what makes it SO MUCH FUN!
PROGRESS = HAPPINESS; you’re either growing, or you’re dying, there is no stagnation. Time is always moving, so you can’t stand in one place. Sure, that comfort zone of just going about your day may seem great at the time. But as you get older, you begin to realize that your productive time as an adult on this planet is quickly slipping away, and you haven’t achieved anything you once desired in your younger years!
10 Ways to get UNSTUCK
So, are you feeling stuck? Want to get unstuck? Let’s do it! Below is a list of some of the tactics that I use in my weekly life. These breaks keep me moving and growing through a Constant Process of Improvement (CPI). All of these are ways I have improved and continue to improve my life. Make sure to make it to #10.
1 | Show up every damned day!
They say that 90% of success is just showing up. Don’t want to go to the gym, DO IT! Hell, writing this blog is ALWAYS a pain in the butt, but I keep after it anyway. Set your goals, hold yourself accountable.
While you most certainly have to show up to get anything done, I like to take this a step deeper: Show up for the rest of your team, family, or friend group, not just yourself. The act of putting other people’s needs ahead of your own will further determine you to success.
2 | Morning and Evening Routine
This is a subject I am adamant about because it’s improved nearly every facet of my life. I have also made several posts about it, so take a look if you want more info. The bottom line is to WRITE IT DOWN, MAKE IT HAPPEN!
3 | Break a sweat!
There’s no better way to get out of a funk than by working out. There’s a title wave of information regarding the link between exercise and mental health and well-being, but I’ll let the professionals do the talking. The Mayo Clinic says that exercise increases endorphins (feel-good neurotransmitters), relieves stress, and puts you in a better mood. I can say that without a doubt, any time that I am in a funk, getting out and moving my body changes my mind.
4 | Make time for Journaling.
Self-Reflection time is paramount to identifying areas of improvement in your life. There are many ways to do this, but the act of journaling gives you the time and space to figure out what the ACTUAL cause of the problem is. Identifying the problem is the first step. And the second is putting together a plan of attack through your journaling.
Take 10-15 minutes each morning talking about what was successful, what was not, what you’re grateful for and what you’re struggling with each day. This time of self-reflection will generate all sorts of energy and ideas of how to solve problems you may be facing.
5 | What are you consuming?
Mentally and physically, what we consume changes the way we think, feel, look and act. There’s a mountain of research on this and I’m not a doctor, so I’m not going to go into detail, but changing your diet to clean foods will change your mind and body. Listening to positive and educational podcasts or books will change how you think, which can change your mind and your body. What you are consuming in your mouth and mind has a DIRECT effect on all facets of your mind and body.
Reading is a KEY habit for most successful people. But luckily, nowadays, you can listen to audible, listen to a podcast, watch CNBC for market news, masterclass, YouTube, etc. There’s an unending supply of knowledge out there, you just have to put the work in to find it. I like to do it while walking (double time).
6 | Cut out Bad Habits and create New, Healthy ones.
I’m in the middle of rereading “Principles: Life and Work” by Ray Dalio, which I highly suggest to anyone looking to be better. In one section, he talks about habits and their effect on our lives. One of the suggestions he gives is to write down three of your worst habits (you know what they are) and rank them from the worst habit down. Then write down three of your best habits, or things you want to become your best habits, and rank them as well.
Now for this year, focus on eliminating your worst habit and acting on and making your life revolve around the absolute BEST habit on the list. Just this one exercise will create so much positive momentum in your life, you’ll want to repeat it!
Aside: watch this video as well as it boils down a lot of the concepts into a 30 minutes video:
7 | Make yourself uncomfortable.
“Variety is the spice of life.” Comfort frequently leads to boredom, self-absorption, and downright discontent. Any of the things on the list so far can make you uncomfortable. But if you’re already doing these things, maybe try some of the following: climb a mountain, speak publicly, sign up for a marathon, be a guest on a podcast, trying a new workout (AHEM, TRY BJJ), volunteer for a new project at work, or have a challenging conversation that you should have had a long time ago.
Discomfort is the catalyst for growth. You CAN NOT GROW without discomfort. Putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation develops your emotional resilience, blossoms creativity, and shows you what’s really out there. It pushed you to stretch, adapt and change for the better.
8 | Find a new mentor/friend group.
If you can’t change the people around you, change the people you are around. This is probably one of my most profound realizations over the last few years. If the people you surround yourself with aren’t living the lifestyle that you want, you need to make a change. Believe it or not, you are ABSOLUTELY a direct reflection of the people you spend the most time with- make sure they are living to your standard. Now I’m not saying drop friends from your life because they don’t have the same goals as you, just make sure to surround yourself with a network of supportive, uplifting people. Hell, those best friends are the very few people in this world that will actually shoot you straight and keep you in line.
Taking it a step further, create a group of people who make you better and hold you accountable to your standard. Mentors are awesome in that capacity as they are probably older and have lived through whatever issues you are facing and can provide the direction you can’t see.
9 | Join a new Community.
Taking the previous number a step further, there are an innumerable amount of communities you can join to help you shape your life in the direction you desire. I struggle mightily with getting up early as I’m a night owl. So I found a group (led by a buddy of mine Watts Dantzler) who runs and does boot camps at 5:30 every morning with a mental, physical and Christian development. So, want to be a more active person? Join a running community. Want to become a more Godly person? Join a Church community. Want to be able to improve your self-defense? JOIN A BJJ COMMUNITY! Ha
Seriously though, if you’ve got an interest that supports your development, there’s almost certainly a group that you can join to help you achieve your goals faster!
10 | Find your Purpose.
We FINALLY made it! You’ve now made it to the best part. While this is last on the list, it’s the most important of all. None of these items matter if you don’t have a purpose in your life. It’s easy to get caught up in the grandness of creating a “purpose,” but it’s actually very simple. Find out what makes you excited or what other people say you are really good at. Now design your life around those qualities.
For me, my purpose is to develop people and provide more opportunities for those around me. Everything that I do daily is to try and be the ABSOLUTE BEST I can for those around me. This blog, for example, is to further that purpose. I work out and eat well, so I have the health and vitality to engage my people. Reading books and listening to podcasts help me grow, and they inspire me to create content for those around me. I have a mentor because they already have seen the issue I am currently and will face and will help me navigate those quicker and more efficiently. And the list goes on.
Find your purpose, design your life around achieving that purpose, set goals, and work like hell on making it happen. If you do this, you won’t be stuck any longer!
GO and GROW