On New Year’s Day, I woke up to find nearly 10,000 dollars’ worth of bikes and equipment stolen from our garage.
With the celebratory air still lingering, our hearts sunk with the uneasiness of moving forward after such a violation.
Only 24 hours before I had made resolutions, intentions and goals for the new year.
Only 24 hours earlier I had been filled with gratitude for the year past and enthusiastic about the year to come.
Yet there I stood, just one day later, stopped in the tracks of my newly minted resolutions.
How quickly life can change. How often we learn this.
One simple text, “We’ve been robbed,” and gratitude turned to grief, enthusiasm to worry and fear.
This was the curveball.
Coming at me quickly, asking me how I was to show up. Demanding my attention, even as the ink of my 2016 resolutions dried in my journal.
Because here’s the truth: Life doesn’t always seem to care about our intentions and resolutions.
It throws curveballs of every form (financial, relationship, health), and sometimes even the most heart-wrenchingly important intentions get rattled right away in the new year.
So I started 2016 with two questions:
How do we keep resolutions even as the curveballs keep coming?
How do we move forward even after falling off track?
Enter the bootstraps.
What I’ve learned in my own life and in helping hundreds of clients toward their own health goals is that the path to any goal—health, fitness, financial, relationship—is rarely linear.
Actually, for most of us, most of the time, accomplishing our goals looks more like a roller coaster ride where we start and end in about the same place.
So here’s the deal: Given life’s inevitable curveballs, our ability to actually achieve our goals lies in how we recover and recommit over the long term.
Recovery is what happens when we fall off track and then choose to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and move forward.
The ability to achieve our goals depends on the strength of our bootstraps.
This is the three-step Bootstrap Process I teach to clients and use myself to recover:
The moment you become aware that you’ve fallen off track you have the opportunity to refocus your thoughts and actions. This is the time to check in with yourself and invite yourself to recover.
Do one thing that is nourishing for your body. Drop into self care. Choose something gentle and comforting like lighting a candle and taking a bath, enjoying a relaxing walk or going to bed early. (Avoid choosing something that is going to take a lot of energy and further deplete you, like making a complicated organic meal or doing extreme fitness.) Be gentle, inviting yourself back on track in a loving way and not as a harsh critic.
Take the next few days to get back on track. Read your journal. Revisit your resolutions and goals for the year. Reflect on what’s been going well. Step back and think about what is truly important to you. Take a deep breath and recommit.
Another truth: Curveballs will keep coming. Always.
So, truly it’s about allowing the emotion while engaging in the recovery. It’s not about throwing our big goals out with the bathwater.
It’s about moving through challenges with the conviction that we can recover and rise up to achieve our highest health and life goals even as curveballs whiz by.
So, mon cheri, I raise my lemon water glass to you and toast…
To a Sweet 16: May you catch your curve balls with grace and pull your sweet self up by your bootstraps with gusto. May you continue to move towards your dreams and desires and may 2016 bring you a deep sense of joy, a wealth of happiness and a most love-filled year.
All my heart,
Author: Kyle Anne Willets
Apprentice Editor: Taija Jackson / Editor: Toby Israel
Image: Caden Crawford/ Flickr