As our lives become busy with the demands of work, relationships and other obligations, we begin to live in autopilot. Our lives become routine and before we know it, we don’t have enough time or money to do anything that we actually want to do.
A few weeks ago, I felt myself falling into this trap. I was in a habit of mindlessly scrolling through my phone, waking up later than usual, and throwing away all discipline when it came to my health. I blamed it all on “being stressed” and “not having enough time.”
Have you ever told yourself that same story? Here are some techniques I recommend you try:
1. Limit/ eliminate social media: 10 minutes of scrolling on instagram or 10 minutes preparing your lunch for the next day? An hour on facebook or an hour spending time with your loved ones? Think of the time you spend on social media and replace it with activities that feel meaningful to you. Turn your phone on airplane mode if you need to.
2. Create a schedule for your goals: Instead of just saying you will go to the gym 3 days this week, print out a calendar and write down the days you will be there. Adding your goals into your schedule makes it easier for you to stick to them than if you go each day deciding whether or not you want to work out.
3. Spend your morning doing things you enjoy: Do you feel rushed in the morning? Try waking up even just 10 minutes earlier to give yourself time to do something you thoroughly enjoy whether that be enjoying that cup of coffee or spending longer doing your hair. It will make a world of a difference.
4. Night routine: Do what tomorrow morning you will thank you for tonight. Plan the outfit, organize your work bag, clean your room. It will make waking up a lot easier and you will feel like you have your s*** together (even if you don’t ).
What techniques work for you to have a more focused life?
Thanks for reading,
It was weeks before graduation day and my social media was filled with my classmates accepting jobs that I had also applied for. What?! Jealousy began to fill along with feelings of self-doubt. What do they have that I lack? These thoughts took over, and I began to resent those who landed positions that I only dreamed of having.
Has this ever happened to you? You’ve worked hard to achieve something only to see others cross the finish line before you.
Don’t make the mistake of resenting them and feeling sorry for yourself. Be patient as your time will come.
What I learned from my disappointment was that celebrating others success only sped up the process of my own success. Let me repeat that: Celebrating other’s success speeds up your own.
Instead of holding grudges against people who have what you want, see them as inspiration that what you want is possible to achieve.
For me, changing my attitude and congratulating people on their success as well as seeking advice from them has made a world of a difference. Asking questions like: What kinds of activities where you involved with that helped you? What did you include in your cover letter/ resume? What questions did they ask in the interview? People will be more than excited to help you and if anything they will feel flattered that you asked.
One of two things will happen when you have this positive attitude: you will either land the position you’ve been asking the universe for or you will land something so much better.
Thanks for reading,
In the age of consumerism, we are constantly being fed new trends and technologies that make us feel a need to stay current. Instead of working with what is already in our possession, we take it for granted while lusting after the new and shiny thing that is someone else’s. This mindset spills over into other aspects of our lives.
So here is your reminder to take care of what you already have:
Belongings: How many times have you bought something, worn it once, then tossed it to the side? I’m guilty. Clothes feel so much better when worn for the first time. If you feel like this, I urge you to go into your closet and re-organize it. Hang your clothes in a new way, wash your old shoes, untangle your jewelry, clean out your old backpacks and bags. Love them. Re-invent your outfits. It is possible to get excited about what you already own. Appreciate it all because that new accessory you want to buy will become old just like everything else in your closet.
Relationships: “I miss when everything was new, the honeymoon stage.” How many people in long-term relationships have you heard say this? A problem occurs in one of your relationships so you seek out something/ someone new. Take care of your existing relationships. Nourish them. Just like planting a flower, the first bud may be exciting, but if you keep watering and caring for it, it may become even more beautiful than you could’ve ever imagined.
Your Body: It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, but in the midst of trying to change your body and make it look more this or that, stop and think of how much your body does for you. Be grateful for your body right now. It is exactly what it needs to look like. It is worthy of care and love just the way it is.
Disclaimer: I have never been to France, however, these are lessons I have taken from the book Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of making a Home
1. Have Dedicated Rooms:
As supposed to open floor plans in a modern American home, the traditional French home keeps each room a separate space. The reason for this being that every room is a dedicated space for a particular activity. The kitchen is for cooking, living room for entertaining and so on. The French believe that it is important to focus on one stimulus at a time. One should not cook while talking to friends but rather make them separate events. This type of separation in activities allows for us to be more present in the moment and truly experience each part.
2. Your Entry Way is Important:
Your entry is the room you enter as you walk into somebody’s home. In the states, it’s usually a place to take off your shoes or hang your coat. In a traditional french home, your entry way is much more than that. This is a place where you showcase your favorite art or photograph. It’s a place to showcase an event that has transformed your life. Only one’s favorite pieces or important experiences is shown at the front. It is a great talking point for people who come in as it says a lot about the person’s home in which you are about to enter.
3. Control and Mindfulness
Everything in moderation. The author of the book describes how her French husband came to New York with her, didn’t change what he ate, yet he had gained 15 pounds within the first year of moving. Turns out, we have much bigger portions than the French. Who knew? In their culture, it is frowned upon to eat without control. Food is eaten mindfully as is the consumption of alcohol.
Which of these ideas do you think could benefit you in your home?
Thanks for reading,
Browsing on YouTube, I came across a video titled “the 12 habits that changed my life”. Expecting a list of habits that changed this person’s life, I was surprised when the narrator actually confessed that there weren’t 12 habits that actually changed his life but his perspective. He had dedicated his year to 12 different 30-day challenges from taking cold showers every day to waking up at 5a.m. Everyday.
What did he learn? Habits that are life-changing are different for everyone. Waking up at 5 a.m. actually didn’t make him more productive, journaling didn’t change him as much as exercising everyday. This does not hold true for everyone. Journaling may be life-changing for you, but like medication there is not a one size fits all solution.
Applying this to my own life, working out everyday is something I used to strive to do as I saw this habit transform the life of my friends and family, however, it has never been a sustainable habit. I know I can dedicate at least 3 days a week to the gym since fitness is important to me, but I have other priorities such as volunteering and creating things that I also value and need to make time for that allow for my soul to thrive.
So what habits are life-changing for you? Don’t be taunted by people who wake up at 5 a.m. and say this has been life-changing for them. This does not mean that it will be the same for you.
Test out new habits and see what works best for you. Maybe even try a few 30-day challenges and see what sticks and makes you feel like you are not only growing but enjoying yourself in the process.
Thanks for reading,