Hi, I’m stuck.
Like many others, I have found myself wedged in a quarantine-induced rut. I find it more difficult than ever before to find motivation to create, explore, or try new things. There’s very little leg space in this rut and it’s a little suffocating, but I have been hopeless for the past few weeks to wiggle myself out of it.
Part of this is because I find myself questioning what the point of self development is if the “normal life” I now call it never returns and I’m left with skills or projects that won’t serve a purpose as our lives all continue to shift into something brand new. I find myself questioning the things that I once wanted and reevaluating if they’re actually worth spending time on moving forward. Admittedly, I’ve fallen down a few existential rabbit holes and oh, the fun of sitting with your own thoughts for days at a time, right?
But I feel as though those questions, that hesitant pensiveness, and that lack of motivation is acting as a guiding light in some way. Things don’t have to return to “normal” in order to keep going and wanting to grow in various ways. While I have slowly started to consider this before, I now firmly believe that I don’t need an audience, an event, or an end goal date to want to keep getting better, stronger, and to keep creating and developing new things and ideas. And so, in this belief and demonstrating to myself that I believe this… I am starting something new.
And I guess I’m starting now?
While scrolling through LinkedIn the other day because yes, we have reached the point in self-isolation where I now spend time scrolling through LinkedIn, I came across a short video series talking about the 6 habits successful people do each morning to align themselves with their purpose. The video series talked about how the author was in a rut a few years back where he lost everything and decided to self-motivate and wouldn’t ya know it, within a few months, changed his life for the better following these six rituals.
Sounds promising. Especially given the current world climate.
Observing this video series from my own rut, I’m hooked. I watch the videos, finish the series, and pin the certificate to my LinkedIn profile to demonstrate to my “network” (I guess I have a network?) that I am still trying to keep my head above the social distancing water and that even in the midst of a pandemic, I am indeed searching for ways to better myself. I’m not sure if that certificate says all of that but I sure hope so unless what’s the point of having one.
Anyway, I took notes on the video and I’m going to share them here… not only for you, but for my future reference as well. And it’ll be nice to look back on this in a few months and see if my life in a new world will have changed any by implementing some or all of them.
The Six Habits To Change Your Life…. according to some video I watched on LinkedIn 🙂
Habit 1: Silence
The first habit that the video suggested was sitting in silence for at least 10 minutes each morning. This time should be spent in total silence, no music, radio, TV — silence. Just you, your thoughts, and a timer. This is just a plain way of saying you should meditate for 10 minutes each morning to allow your mind to awaken. Don’t try and wrangle your mind since this will only take away from the regrouping period meant for your mind. Even if meditation isn’t your thing, just try it out and see how you feel. It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t judge yourself for what your mind decides to think about during this silent period. Let your mind wander and see where it ends up.
Habit 2: Use Affirmations Wisely
The second habit is setting and using affirmations that are both realistic and attainable. Affirmations can work by helping align your actions with your goals. Passive affirmations like, “I am a money magnet” don’t do much for you because they are passive, there is no action involved which would move you closer to your purpose. But changing those affirmations to “I am a money magnet because I am (insert positive characteristic here)” can inspire upward movement. Use affirmations and set a few that are relevant for your day each morning, but be realistic to who you are and make them action-oriented.
Habit 3: Visualize the process as well as the end goal
The third habit is instead of focusing on your end goal for the day, or the week, or even the month, focus on visualizing the process. I know I get so wrapped up in imagining what life will feel like and look like after I achieve my goals that I am demotivated by the hard work that I need to put in to reach them. This is why use visualization to see your goal, but also visualize the process too. Get comfortable with seeing yourself doing the hard work and putting in the hours to reach your goal and this will again push you toward action.
Habit 4: Exercise for at least 7 minutes
Fourth habit is one that I already follow, but one that I can be more mindful about and that is exercise. Exercise for at least 7 minutes. I will post the routine that I currently do that is low impact but effective soon. Exercise awakens your body from its rest and gets blood pumping throughout your body. You don’t need to wake up ready to go beast mode, but you should do light and moderate exercise to connect your body to your mind. If you have a pull up bar, attach it to your bathroom door or bedroom door and stretch your back by hanging on it each morning. This will help with posture as well as returning feeling back to your body from a long night’s sleep.
Habit 5: Read… read a lot
The fifth habit is to read at least 5 to 10 pages each morning. Read something, read anything. Books contain literally all the information that any of us need to be successful in whatever field or goal we desire, yet a lot of us don’t spend a lot of time reading. If you dedicate time each morning to reading 10 pages, you can get through an entire 300 page book a month. If you choose to read self help books which are typically shorter, you could finish two self help books a month. Imagine the person you’ll be at the end of six months or a year with all that knowledge.
Habit 6: Journal some then journal some more!
The last habit, and one I am a very vocal proponent of is journaling. Journal for 10 minutes each morning. Even if you don’t have anything to say, write that down. Write down three things you are grateful for to remind yourself that your life now is actually pretty dang good compared to what it could be. Then write down three things that you need to do make change in your life, or three things that will move you closer to a goal. Is it writing a blog post, submitting an assignment, weeding the garden, food prepping, grocery shopping? Write it down.
I love journaling and I keep several journals at a time for different subjects and topics. Your brain is able to focus and concentrate on ideas when it is not flooded with emotions or to-do lists. Dump all of that tedious stuff onto the pages and clear your mind. Even if it doesn’t change your life, it will make you feel much better, trust me.
So, those are the six habits that are said to change your life, kickstart your goals, and lead you down a path of success. I think that any combination of those habits will set you toward a new trajectory in life, and if you’re feeling a little stuck like I am, I invite you to join me in trying to implement these new habits in your life. What’s the harm in trying, right?