Ok, hands up if you recognise yourself in any of the below:
“I feel like I am just running in circles.”
“My life is boring but I don’t know what I want to do.”
“I am unclear.”
“I am listless.”
“I have zero motivation to get things done.”
“I know what I need to do, but I am too lazy.”
“I am stuck and I can’t see a way out.”
Are you nodding and putting your hand up? Uh-huh. Yeah, me too.
It’s been two months since I decided to not run across America, and in that time, I’ve done nothing. Ok, not exactly nothing, but I’ve been feeling pretty directionless and unclear. You know when you’re just bumbling along? I’ve been doing a lot of that.
The reason? I had everything pinned on the giant-ass goal of not only running across America for 5 months, but the intense training in the 10 month build up to it. I knew there would be little time for anything else in my life during this period other than working, training, eating, resting and sleeping. And I was ok with that, because I wanted to run across America. I wanted it so bad. I was prepared to put in the work.
And then one day, I woke up and didn’t want it anymore. And the next day I felt the same. In fact, I woke up for an entire month feeling like that.
For the first few weeks after making the decision, I felt good. I felt proud of myself for having the balls to listen to my heart, to know myself enough and act upon it – even though I knew that I would let people down, people who were counting on me – and still be ok with the decision. To step up and take it on the chin, no matter what.
Those weeks passed by though.
And the boredom and fog set in.
I felt stuck. Ugh.
You know why?
Because I’d lost focus on the things I wanted in my life – I’d lost focus on the goals that were in the pipeline way before America even came into (and out of) view. Losing focus pretty much ground me to a halt. I was completely de-railed, unsure of what I wanted anymore.
Know what I did? I started to numb the stand-still feeling by eating food that didn’t make me feel good and allowing my running training to become erratic. A glass of red wine every now and then became three glasses and I’d wake up feeling tired and like shit. I’d have ideas about things I wanted to do, but absolutely no energy or drive to get them done. I was talk, talk, talking and yet doing nothing but dicking around on Facebook and Twitter and getting lost in the wasteland of YouTube videos like, “Hey, I was watching an interesting running documentary half an hour ago and know I’m watching…. funny cat compilations? How did that happen? Oh.”
And you’ve been there too, right?
The thing is, this kind of shit doesn’t wash with me. I get sick of myself pretty quickly when I’m bumbling. I feel like I’m sleep-walking and just going through the motions. I knew it was time to re-focus. To start moving again and looking ahead.
So here’s what I did. And it’s very, very simple.
I drew a circle on a piece of paper and wrote down inside the circle everything I want to achieve/do/be in 2014.
These are some of the things I’ll be doing:
Running 50 miles, not as part of a race, but just off-the-cuff, when I feel at the peak of my fitness (my training will reflect this goal).
Host a summer running camp for local teenagers in August.
Launch my goal-setting workshops.
Take Write This Run to the North of England in September.
Offer up some pro-bono support groups in schools for children struggling with their sexuality.
Then, on the outside of the circle I wrote down all the shit I. Do. Not. Want in my life. (One of them was spending time with naysayers, because these people are an energy drain).
Things I want.
Things I don’t want.
Bam. So simple, right? Writing everything down helped me to get my ass in gear again and re-focus. Why? Because I got clear on what I wanted (and didn’t want).
The secret to getting started is getting clear.
Now. Over to you. Go get started.
Draw that circle.