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.
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
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?
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
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.
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.
In the company of one as in you, yourself and um you, there are many valuable lessons to learn.
A significant one being Who am I?
It’s much easier to gain an understanding of yourself when you’re not having to consider others. I think that the aspects of you in solitude should be the aspects of you that show up when you’re in the company of others.
Things like being able to say what you want, contribute opinions, take the lead and just be you.
For example, when you’re doing things alone you have to make decisions, you can’t rely on others to choose for you.
But for some despite how they are when they’re alone, in the company of others they end up being ‘them but less’, perhaps a little passive or even submissive.
You do it because you want to play the peacemaker or not rock the boat, you don’t think you deserve to be heard or perhaps you’re just scared.
Hiding/playing small is difficult to overcome once it’s ingrained in you as a habitual response.
But change is possible, it just takes practice.
It’s now a full week after New Year’s Day.
How are you goals, resolutions or plans coming along?
You might find that after 7 days you’re still enthusiastic and motivated or you might have found that you’ve lost steam.
If you resonate with the latter then it might be useful to ask yourself why?
Why after such a short period of time are you no longer committed or dedicated to the things that you were overflowing with excitement about less than a dozen days ago.
This could be the perfect time to call yourself out and acknowledge that the new year was not enough to change you into a brand new version of you.
There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact I’d say that’s the case for most of us.
Forming new habits or committing to new projects isn’t easy when you’re used to doing things a different way. And so the challenge or the work is to find a way of implementing new habits that works for you.
For the last few months of 2019 I’ve been creating a manifesto for each month that I read every morning.
It’s sort of like a list of affirmations around a specific theme like opening up more, speaking my truth or letting go. I don’t remember what sparked this idea but it’s something that I’d recommend.
In some ways it’s also like a love letter to myself full of encouragement and self-belief.
The purpose is to give yourself control over how you begin your day and re-affirm the intentions you have for not only the day but your life overall.
When I write my manifesto I ensure that I’m open and in-flow, I think about what I want to focus on for the coming month, what I need to work on or be reminded of and then I just write.
Each manifesto so far has started with the same 2 sentences that sort of set the scene and open up my mind to fully receive the words that follow.
It isn’t any form of magic but I’ve found that when I start my mornings declaring that ‘I am letting go of what no longer serves me and embracing joy’ it becomes embedded into my subconscious. All of a sudden I’m having moments where I’m questioning why I allow certain things in my life and if they are serving me.
I’m an advocate for having practices that help and this is just one of many things that works for me.
The basis of this particular practice is to begin each day by reminding yourself that change is possible.
Sometimes people have no idea of the role they’ve played in our lives but maybe that’s how it was meant to be.
I hold the belief that you meet people for specific reasons. Often people come into our lives to serve as reminders of things that we’ve forgotten.
And when you eventually remember you are so thankful to these people even if you aren’t aware of the purpose they came into your life to serve.
You’re thankful because they cared, extended kindness, listened to you, supported you, helped you grow into yourself etc.
Yet, thank you isn’t quite enough and you might end up trying to find some way that you can repay this person that has helped transform you (and therefore your whole life) but it probably won’t be possible.
And that right there is the gem, sometimes a persons kindness and generosity isn’t given to be returned, it’s given because that person has chosen to give it. You’re not indebted to them or obligated to return anything.
Yes, show gratitude but also to do something with what you’ve been given. Maybe that kindness/generosity was to encourage you to try new things, get you out of your shell, remind you that it’s okay to be yourself and so on.
The feeling can get quite overwhelming (in a good way) but it’s worth remembering that in these particular special occasions it’s not about the giver, it’s about what you do with what you’ve been given.
The end of the year is the time when performance reviews happen.
I had mine recently and it ended with me having a pretty major mind shift.
The conversation about my performance wasn’t bad in fact it was just good enough but that was the problem. I guess I could say I’ve had a cog-ish kind of year (as in a cycle of just showing up, doing what I’m told and then going home).
But instead of getting caught in a cycle of frustration towards myself I thought I’d use the situation as a growth point.
I have the opportunity to be better next year. I have the chance to change how I show up at work and be generous, kind, helpful, to speak up, share ideas, be vulnerable, work hard, pick myself instead of waiting to be picked and to be a linchpin.
Funnily enough that opportunity has always been available, I just have to commit to it.
I think this statement is true for a lot of people.
We all know what we need to do in order to reach our goals or get things done. It’s the doing it part that hold us back.
You’re working on a project and maybe you spend a morning planning and preparing what to work on for the week ahead. But then when it comes down to it you’re scrolling through meme accounts and reading the lyrics to your favourite rap songs.
You’ve got good thoughts, you know what needs to be done.
You’ve got bad habits and you often find yourself procrastinating until it’s too late for things to go well.
There’s a discord between what you know and what you do.
You have to find a way to bring your habits into harmony with your thoughts.
That’s one way to transform your life.