Humans. We are creatures of habit. We like routine. We watch the sun rise and set in the same way everyday; just as we find ourselves repeating the same motions in our lives, day after day. I am no stranger to this structure of life and schedule.
In order to achieve the work goals, PRs, connections, healthy eating habits etc I want, I become oblivious to what I ACTUALLY need in a given day.
The burning desire to have 'more' and be 'more' than who I am is always their, clouding my mental judgement throughout and especially, at the end of the day. Self doubt makes my head spin, like the Alice In Wonderland T-Cup ride at Disney World, at the end of a 12-14hr day because I gave every ounce of energy to others and their needs and kept nothing for myself.
If your day begins at 6:00am and ends at 9:00pm there is no breathing room to process and be PROUD of what you have accomplished. There are many visible and hidden pressures from family, friends, work, global and social medias that effect our decision making and contribute to our beliefs that it is necessary to give every ounce of ones self to others because that is the ONLY way you will get 'ahead' and achieve your goals. Until we have reached a burn-out state and we can no longer pick ourselves up have we worked hard enough...This is not how I want to live my life and I have found that out the hard way.
How can we stop this ever-spinning ride and take time to be thankful for the lives we live and appreciate all that we work so hard for? Here are two tips to try, that I have recently implemented into my life, to have more time and energy for myself and the people that are most important to me.
1) Check your email only TWICE a day.
WHAT? Is that even possible, that's NOT possible, depending on your job.
It is possible if you choose to accept the challenge. It is all in the state of mind...
Place a note at the end of your email signature that reads two different times that you check your emails. People will understand if it is written plainly in front of them. If they are trying to get ahold of you faster, then they will pick up the phone and call you. You will spend less time on your electronic devices, make time spent looking at screens more efficient and you will have more time in your day to do things that are more important to you. Credit to Brian Cauley for introducing me to this concept. :)
2) At the end of the day write out two sentences on a piece of paper, not just on your iPad or iPhone:
I) One thing you were PROUD of accomplishing that day
II) One thing you really REALLY want to accomplish tomorrow
Be proud of what you achieve in one day, reflect, process it. Take it all in and let it all out, including the frustration and the joy.
Writing in a journal can take time and can feel like more work at the end of the day depending on how you look at it. Writing down one reflective sentence and one sentence to set the tone for the following day can change your pattern of thinking to be more positive about yourself, your future and the people you surround yourself with.
Go on, try it, I am. Take a deep breath in and out, and make YOURself the first person on your list of who to take care of. The first step to controlling the madness begins with changing your routine with baby steps and making YOURself the priority.
Written by: Coach Frances Young