As easy as possible

When it comes to the things we do in our day to day life, I think it’s important to make it as easy as possible.

If you want to read more, have a book on your bedside table instead of tighly slotted into your bookshelf.

If you want to spend more time with friends, make plans in advance instead of getting frustrated that they aren’t available with short notice.

If you want to drink more water, fill up a water bottle and keep it with you wherever you go instead of waiting until you’re thirsty.

A big part of changing your habits and the way you live your life comes from making a conscious effort not simply wishing you could be different.

Not enough time

One of the most popular excuses people make is not having enough time.

Yet you’re able to make time for things that you don’t even really consider to be important.

Meanwhile, it’s your life long dream that you’re willing to put on hold or sometimes put off altogether.

There’s no denying that it can be difficult to make time but surely you’d be willing to find a way for the things you truly care about.

Finding a way might mean getting up a little earlier, watching one episode of that show you like instead of three or even making use of your train journeys.

It might seem challenging but with a little thought and a little effort, it’s definitely possible to make the most of the time you have.

Two types of perfectionists

When you think of a perfectionist, what comes to mind?

Almost every time it’s the type A personality who is incredibly organised and competitive. The sort of person who is particular and also explicit about wanting to get things right.

But there is a different kind of perfectionist too.

The second is the sort of person that procrastinates and fears their best will never be good enough.

Beneath the surface they seek perfectionism too. They have such high expectations that they won’t even try if they think they can’t meet them. This sort of person feels disappointed if they produce something that isn’t ‘perfect’.

The difference between these 2 people is that the first is willing to try.

Slowly building

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were helpful habits.

If you want to start reading more, getting up at 6am every morning, eating more nourishing food or committing to your creative projects, one day won’t make a difference on it’s own.

It’s a series of days, one by one, bit by bit that make the real difference.

One day isn’t enough to build a habit but that’s where things start. That one day will become 30 days and then 90 until that thing you’ve been doing each day is now part of your daily routine.

When you’re getting started, it’s worth remembering that change takes time. Don’t be disappointed after 3 days if you don’t feel like it, your brain is still getting used to your new way of doing things. Instead focus on it one day at a time and remember that you’re working towards something long-term.

And on days when you don’t feel like practicing your new habit, it won’t matter in the short-run but in the long run you’ll probably be glad you committed to it.

Breaking up the day

If you”re working on a laptop from 9-5 and spend your evenings scrolling social media, watching youtube and binging the latest fantasy thriller series, you’ll have spent most of your day staring at a screen.

You aren’t going out to restaurants, going for drinks, visiting museums, catching up with friends in a local cafe or going dancing like you used.

When you’re spending your days staring at a screen, it’s no wonder the days will start to blur into one.

Obviously you can’t eliminate the 8 working hours from your day but being at home means you have some level of flexibility when it comes to how you choose to structure your day.

What are you doing in-between work, emails, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, Facebook, Netflix etc?

What are you doing to break up your day?

Now might be the perfect time to find some offline hobbies that you can easily do from home, things that don’t require a screen.

It could be hand embroidery, baking, gardening, reading, drawing, making body butter, mixing essential oils, writing in a notebook or sewing on a machine.

It’s not about ditching your screens but instead acknowledging that you might get more fulfillment from an hour of baking in the afternoon instead of an extra hour on social media.

Things to be grateful for

It’s easy to be grateful when things are going your way.

But when times are uncertain and life has thrown a spanner in the works gratitude often becomes a little more challenging.

Suddenly the most prominent things are the bad stuff and you’re not thankful for your life being turned upside down.

In these times it’s even more important to practice gratitude.

The real benefits of the practice come when you’re able to make it a part of your lifestyle, independent of your circumstances.

And so maybe it used to be I’m grateful for getting to be apart of this exciting project or some other major thing that you feel like shouting from the rooftops. But now it’s more like I’m grateful for these cosy socks, the flowers in my garden and running water.

 

Making space for what works

Things that take a small amount of effort in the short term can end up providing great results long term.

And in the moment when we make the choice to give more, it can be easy to question whether or not it’s worth it.

Things like:

Ironing your clothes for the week ahead

Making your lunch the night before

Answering an email the day you receive it

Having a night routine

Meal prepping

When you don’t feel like doing something it’s always useful to think about how good you’ll feel in the future. You’ll feel more relaxed, prepared and organised.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Boredom and avoidance

If you think you’re bored you might find that there’s actually something you’re avoiding.

So often we find ourselves feeling like we have nothing to do, when in reality we’re just putting off what needs to be done.

When you don’t want to do something, it feels easier to avoid it in favour of something else, even if something else is doing nothing at all

Building habits

I’ve recently developed a new habit that I’d previously had difficulty implementing.

When I initially tried to add this habit to my life, I kept falling flat. I wasn’t doing it as often as I wanted and my commitment to it was half-hearted.

After a short while I gave up on the habit because it clearly wasn’t working. In hindsight I can see that the problem was my approach but I didn’t realise it at the time.

Despite this I still held the intention of the thing I wanted to become a habit but I’d stopped trying.

Weeks later whilst lost in thought I realised that I’d unknowingly implemented the habit I’d previously been working towards. I think it happened because the intention was in my subconscious.

Granted at the time, I was only less than 2 weeks into the habit so it was more of a practice but I couldn’t help but notice that things felt so much easier.

When you don’t feel like it

So here’s the truth, you’re not going to always feel like doing the thing that needs to be done. And if you wait until you feel like doing it, it may never get done.

You have to find a way to commit to doing the work wholeheartedly so that you’re not reliant on how you feel in order to get it done.

Once you manage that you’ll see things start to change. You’ll also be better at creating new habits.

If you never feel like studying you might fail your exam.

If you rarely feel like doing the dishes, you’ll run out of plates and your place will be a mess.

If you hardly feel like going to work, you might end up getting fired.

Instead of focusing on how you feel about doing it, focus on why you’re doing it.

You’re studying so that you can get good grades in order to get onto a particular course for a particular career.

If your why isn’t enough to get you to do what needs to be done, then maybe you should try ding something else.