Getting Back into the Swing of Things

June was such a cray month for me. In a three-week period, I slept in my own bed only 4 times! I was off and gone out of state or out of country for most of the month.

Because June was so travel-heavy, I didn’t really feel like I had time or opportunity to do most of my normal routine. I didn’t use my bullet journal pretty much at all, and I didn’t exercise or eat as well as I normally do. It honestly really threw me off quite a bit. I like my routines, and not really having that was crazy.

So with July, I decided to get back full-force into the swing of things. I have a consistent daily workout routine. I made sure my bullet journal was almost entirely ready to go for the month of July and I’m making an effort to use it every single day. I’ve definitely broken the habit of using it, and I have to continually remind myself to track my habits, mood, and exercise every night.

That’s what I want to write about today. Getting back into the swing of things is hard. But if you’re at a point in life where you’re trying to get back to where you want to be, then I want to encourage you.

It’s not easy for me to want to be motivated to exercise every day or write in my bullet journal each night. I’ll admit, it was easier when I was traveling. I could spend about 15 minutes writing in my positivity journal and be done for the night. But easier doesn’t always mean better. Each time I flip through my bullet journal, I see my written note that says I won’t track the month of June. And every time I see that, I feel a little pang of guilt. I could have done better. I SHOULD have done better.

But that being said, I don’t regret it. I would take the time with my family any day. I use that pang of guilt to remind me to do better. And honestly, I think that makes my bullet journal a little more “human.” Life is full of mistakes. For my bullet journal to reflect my life, there need to be mistakes in it too.

Progress is very rarely linear. We take two steps forward and one step back. We miss days, we eat poorly, we feel the same amount of grief as we did four months ago. Trust me I get it. I can’t pretend to know what you’re going through. I often say the only story I’m allowed to tell is my own. If I include other people, I keep it vague enough that unless I tell you, you aren’t sure who I’m talking about. I also work not to air their “dirty laundry,” so to speak.

So again, I don’t know exactly what you’re going through, but I can generalize. We are all human and make mistakes and have setbacks. But setbacks do not put you back at square one. I read once that progress is essentially a spiral. When it seems that you are back at the beginning, you’re really not. You’re now equipped with the knowledge from previous times, thus making you better than before.

I’ve seen this in my own life. While it does take more concentration to remember to use my bullet journal, it takes less concentration than it did in January. My brain has already made the synaptic connections. They haven’t been used in a while, but they’re there. I’m not having to reprogram my brain to do this new thing.

I mentioned earlier that I have an exercise plan I follow each month. This month, one of the exercises is lunges. Because my body hadn’t done them in a while, I had to remember (by testing) how many I could do at a time. Turns out, I could do a lot more than I used to without getting as out of breath. When I first started doing lunges again a while ago, I was incredibly sore the next day. I’m not as sore doing them now. I haven’t done them in a couple of months. I haven’t done much of any regular exercise since the first half of May. I should be incredibly sore doing lunges. I’m technically back to square one. But again, progress is not linear. I’m doing lunges with resistance bands to provide more of a workout for me.

Getting back into the swing of things is hard. It takes work, concentration, and discipline. But I’ll tell you this: it’s a lot easier than starting out the first time. I’ve made a ton of progress with myself in the past year, and looking back overall I can see it. However, if you were to look at it a month or even a day at a time, the progress would not be as evident. I’ve made mistakes and had my setbacks. But I keep going and working.

I don’t know what you’re going through. But I can encourage you to keep going. You’re making progress, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Any setback you face will look insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Progress is not a straight line. It’s a wavy spiral. Sometimes you’re up on top of the world, and other times, you feel in the depths of despair. But even when you feel you’re back to square one, you’ve got the knowledge of your previous attempts. Keep going, You’ve got this!

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