Every so often I log out of social media.
I do it to remind myself that I don’t need to use it as much as I think I do.
I do it to free up space in my mind for my own thoughts and opinions.
I do it so that I can spend my free time doing other things that will be more fulfilling.
And when sometime passes and I choose to log back in, I am always reminded that if I’m not mindful I can end up wasting a lot of time and energy.
When you’re sharing your words online everyday there is very little pressure for what you post to be the best thing you’ve ever written.
If todays words aren’t particularly good, I know that I can always write something better tomorrow or the day after.
Sometimes what I consider to be my some of my best work doesn’t gain the numbers that I think it will or should. Other times, the stuff I’m pretty indifferent about ends up becoming the most popular.
I’ve written posts that I thought were my best at the time only to look back months later and realise it could have been so much better.
And so the idea of my best work is pretty flexible. If in 20 months of daily blogging, this post was the best thing I’d ever written, I have no doubt that I’d change my mind a few months later.
Reminding myself of all this makes blogging every day so much easier.
There will always be things that you need to do but don’t necessarily enjoy.
Often it’s these kinds of things that are good in the long run but in the moment, in the short run you’d rather not bother.
If it’s in a work environment you’ll most likely get it done because you have have to. However, when it comes to your own personal work or projects you might not have a monthly wage to motivate you to get things done.
And so you have to remind yourself of the benefits it will bring in the future.
But also remind yourself that if you don’t do it you’re more than likely to regret it later on when you’re unable to reap the rewards.
From a young age it is likely that you were taught to figure out what you wanted to do with your life. That in turn dictated the choices you made and paths you chose for many years that followed.
Sometimes what ends up happening is you end up creating a very specific life where you rarely explore something new.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with knowing what you like and what you’re interested in, you don’t want to be so set in your ways that you’re closed off to the unknown.
Exploring something new every once in a while allows your mind to stay fresh. It could lead you to take a new path or just remind you that you’re exactly where you want to be.
I think most people like receiving praise. Not necessarily in front of a large crowd with the spotlight shining down but to simply be told you did something well is more than enough.
Many people go around thinking they’re subpar and for them praise serves as a reminder that they’re doing okay. It can be difficult to tell yourself that you did a good job, perhaps it feels big headed or self indulgent.
Feedback on the other hand can be difficult to take from others but easy to give to yourself.
It feels good to be told that you did something well but it isn’t always easy to hear what you need to work on from other people.
Afterall, how could this person know what you’ve been through and have they considered that you’re doing your best.
This observation of how we take in praise and feedback is simply a reminder not to cling too much to opinions and perceptions, not even even your own.
The creator of the habit loop determined that in order to change a habit you needed to change your routine. For example, drinking a glass of water when you crave a cigarette.
For the past 7 days I’ve been working to undo a habit. I didn’t consciously replace it with anything but I suppose I could say I’ve been writing instead.
By the time I got to the 7th day I found I had little interest in carrying out the habit I’d been trying to undo.
It served as a reminder that sometimes we get so caught up in doing things that we believe we’re stuck or that it will be a hard habit to break.
Granted this doesn’t apply to everything but I think it’s fair to say that not all habits are difficult to break.
The past few months have been something none of us could have ever anticipated. It’s been challenging, sad, stressful and at times overwhelming.
Times like this are perfect for reflection because we’ve all been reminded how short life is and how tomorrow isn’t promised.
Our day to day have all changed in some way. We’ve had to do without things we didn’t even know we relied on and instead had to stay indoors.
I’ve written a few questions below for you to think about. They’re things I’ve been reflecting on as the lockdown rules start to ease up here in England.
What has brought you joy?
How have you been spending your free time?
What do you miss?
What have you been happy without?
What will you change moving forward?
Perhaps when you were young, someone taught you that when you feel overwhelmed, step away and give yourself a moment.
Maybe you grew up practising that and maybe you didn’t. If you didn’t you might find that as an adult when you feel overwhelmed you don’t quite know how to handle it.
The feeling might end up growing and growing to the point where it’s now unbearable. Then all of a sudden you remember that in the past it helped to give yourself a moment.
Even though you know it could help, you don’t do it straight away because you’re almost skeptical. It might not work, you might end up feeling exactly the same.
But then you do it, you step away, get some fresh air and take a few deep breaths.
You feel calmer afterwards.
In that moment you remember that (even though you forget time and time again), you’re capable of supporting yourself in difficult or uncomfortable situations.
Sometimes it might seem like you’re missing out. But the power of hindsight is that when you push too hard for a particular outcome you’ll find that you’ll be glad you missed out.
Turns out some things aren’t meant to be even if you don’t realise in the moment.
We often get caught up in ‘fomo’ feeling like we have to join in with everything.
But sometimes a useful thing to do is force yourself to miss out as a reminder that it’s not as big of deal as you think.
And if you did miss something, well there’s always next time.
Sometimes we get the courage to do things that we’re afraid to do.
But when they don’t turn out as planned we often come down hard on ourselves forgetting the courage that it took to try.
And then we feel as though we shouldn’t have bothered.
But what we have to remember is that we have no control over how a situation will turn out. We just have to have the courage to give it a go because as cheesy as it sounds you never know unless you actually try.
If things go as planned great but if they don’t it’s not a total loss. Ask yourself ‘What did this outcome teach me, what have I learned?’