Getting Back On Track

Getting Back On Track

“You never fail until you stop trying.”
~ Albert Einstein

It’s my firm belief that there are certain things in business that require a certain level of consistency in order to support your business growth. Creating valuable content for your audience on the regular is just one of those things. Others might include regular outreach, sticking to a sustainable work schedule and other business growth activities.

That said, we all struggle with consistency some of the time. Why? Because we’re not machines. We are human, who have a life to live beyond our work that can include ups and downs, personal challenges, emotional upheaval and rough patches. We all know what it’s like to set yourself a goal or commit to a habit only to fall off the horse at some point down the line.

I used to let falling off the horse derail me, it would impact my confidence and mental fortitude and I would find myself giving up on whatever it was I had set out to achieve. Thankfully, I managed to change that many years ago and now firmly believe in the age old idiom that it doesn’t matter how many times you fall off the horse, what matters is how many times you get back on. Easier said than done, I know.

So, I thought I would share with you the process I have followed to get back on track with my content creation habit.

1. Getting honest with ourselves

With all that we have to deal with in life and business, it’s pretty easy to let ourselves off the hook with certain things. If we are busy with other work, parenting, life challenges etc, then it makes sense that certain things slip by the wayside. But we always have a choice. I could make every excuse in the book for not being consistent with my weekly newsletter but if I’m really honest with myself, I know that I’ve allowed a really important business activity to fall by the wayside, which, if left unaddressed, is only going to cause me more headaches down the line.

When I have no new content to repurpose my entire marketing strategy dries up, which will lead to reduced visibility of my business, which in turn will lead to less clients and less income. Not a good look for a business coach!

Being honest with myself and acknowledging that there is a problem I need to address has been the first step in taking action to resolve it. It has also helped to share what’s going on with others. I recently shared my content struggle with my group mastermind and one of the women said that my honesty around my own struggle, is precisely why she likes being in my group. I also know when I hide these things from others, it’s easier to hide them from myself.

2. Understanding why the problem exists

It’s easy to let excuses come into play here, it’s been the summer holidays, I’ve had children at home, I’ve been away, I’ve been sick, my 3 year old isn’t sleeping well, so I’m not sleeping well and so on and so on and whilst many of these are valid reasons for reduced output, I also know this isn’t the full story when it comes to why I haven’t been creating content. The time has been there but I’ve been choosing to do other things instead, some productive and others not productive.

As I sought to really understand why I’ve been struggling to write my weekly newsletter, a few things came up.

  • I’ve made it in my mind that every newsletter I write has to read like a blog post that I can later repurpose. That’s my content strategy after all, but sometimes I don’t want to write an article style letter, sometimes I want to write whatever and however I want to write. Recognising that I’m putting this pressure on my creativity is important.
  • Because of all of the life, parenting and work responsibilities I have going on, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and feeling the need to disconnect and retreat. This has meant that on my content Mondays (I have much of the day blocked off for content creation) rather than get up and work on my newsletter, I have instead been going back to bed or numbing out with TV or social media. Recognising why this is going on has been huge.
  • And on top of this, I’ve long been a believer that the longer we go without practicing a habit, the harder it is to get back into it. This has definitely been a factor for me over the last few months. I know that when I am showing up consistently with my content creation, it feels a lot easier to be consistent. Getting back on the horse requires substantial effort which can be hard to muster when you’re feeling depleted.

3. Giving yourself permission

Once I identified the real reasons behind my lack of action on content, I didn’t give myself a good talking to and force myself back into action — if you’ve tried this, you’ll know it doesn’t work! Instead, I gave myself permission to lean into my need to disconnect, rest and sleep more. But I did these activities consciously. I wasn’t unconsciously avoiding my schedule and my commitment to weekly content, I was allowing myself to take the time I needed to feel better. I still held the intention to do my tasks but when I didn’t, instead of beating myself, I got curious, I noticed how I was feeling in my mind and my body. If I decided to disconnect by scrolling on social media, I did so knowingly and noticed how it felt as I did. I was actively raising my awareness of the resistance I was feeling and loving myself through it. The effect of this felt nourishing and kind and also was eased any feelings of guilt.

4. Prioritising well-being

As well as allowing myself to be unproductive, I also started to focus on feeling better. To this end, I’ve been going to regular yoga classes for the past few weeks as well as taking part in a 21-day breathwork programme. I’ve restarted my daily gratitude journaling, committed to being in bed by 10.30pm and I’ve been working on being more present with myself, my family and my work. All of this has worked to help me feel more energised, nourished and present. All key ingredients for increased levels of creativity. Unlike shame, self-criticism and guilt which are creativity killers, to say the least!

4. Getting organised

With time, I began to feel the energy and desire to create coming back, so the next thing I did was to get organised. I wrote out my full to do list so I could get out of my head and onto paper all the niggly things that were getting in the way of me focusing on content. I tidied and cleaned my office, which had started to reflect my busy mind and I made a plan.

5. Finding accountability

To execute that plan, I joined my favourite co-working group, I’m actually sat writing this piece in a co-working session with several other lovely people, also working on their own personal and professional goals. I find that this added element of accountability super useful when it comes to being focused during a working session. Without it, the temptation to give in to distractions can be too much.

It’s important to note that I couldn’t have skipped straight to this step, without doing all of the other work I’ve done to get back on track. For sure if I had attended a session like this a month ago, I would have wasted it and left feeling even more disheartened.

So there you have it, the exact steps I’ve taken to go from not getting a weekly piece of content created to creating my first one in a good while.

Do you have something business-related or personal that you deeply desire to be doing on a consistent basis but try as you might you just can’t get back to it? If so, my hope is that you find the steps I’ve outlined above helpful. Feel free to let me know.

Conscious Business Mastermind

If you are looking for more accountability, direction and support for your business in 2024, you might want to look at my yearlong group program for conscious business owners. I’m now enrolling for the 2024 cohort of the Conscious Business Mastermind at www.carolineleon.com/mastermind