Ever felt like your life is not heading in the direction you want? Perhaps, somewhere along the way you ‘lost the plot’ and wonder where I am going and why?! Or maybe you have clarity on where and why, yet you are just plain tired or burned out? Maybe you feel ‘out of sync’ and want to establish a new rhythm for your life.
Let’s face it – 2020 was one for the record books. And I, for one, am committed to making 2021 the best it can be. So, I wanted to offer 7 tips – which may seem basic (and yes, most relevant tips are basic) …. that you can consider integrating into your new year!
Here they are:
Tip 1: Start every morning with time between you and your Higher Power. This can be prayer, meditation – in the form of transcendental meditation (T.M.) or centering prayer – or whatever you prefer. Allowing 10-15 minutes before you start your routine will center you, anchor you, and align your mind, body, and spirit. For me, I practice centering prayer, which I learned from Thomas Keating over 40 years ago. I have been trained in T.M. and yes, it can be a powerful, transformative practice as well. How we ‘center’ ourselves is a personal choice – yet there is no replacement for a daily (or twice daily – my preference) practice.
Tip 2: Get outside early in the day. This can be in the form of a walk with your dog, or a saunter in your backyard, or even a cup of coffee on your deck. The point: breathe in fresh air. Listen to the birds opening the morning. Relish the beauty of nature. Yes, that may sound ‘woo woo’ – yet, it is truly what gives life LIFE. Nature, our Earth, the flowers’ fragrance, the sunrise, these are GIFTS which need to be appreciated to enrich our days. And you know what? COVID cannot touch those!
Tip 3: Create a list of the OUTCOMES you want for the day and the week and yes, the year. This is not our ‘to-do’ list. This is what we want to have ACCOMPLISHED by the end of the day and how these play into our weekly goals – and ultimately our year. I do this at the end of every day for the next day. It helps me to ‘turn it off’ and feel like I have a plan for the next day. AND it enables me to jump start the next morning.
Tip 4: Build your schedule for the day and week. I typically create my weekly schedule on Sunday. I always have ‘flexibility’ built in – yet this gives me a framework for my week AND it enables me to honor my schedule AND establish my boundaries for the week. If I did not set boundaries, I would spend most of my time supporting, boosting, and mentoring others. YES!! I LOVE that work- after all, we are all in business of being in service to others. However, as the adage goes: I must put my oxygen mask on first. So, setting boundaries is key – and it starts with creating a schedule for me to frame my week.
Tip 5: Get out of your comfort zone. My momma used to say: ‘stretch and grow’. We grow the most when we get out of our comfort zone – period. So, how do we do that? Well, every single day I try to do at least ONE thing that puts me in a ‘wobbly’ position. And, if I need a boost to ‘go there’, I embrace Mel Robbins tip of counting back 5-4-3-2-1 and then I PLUNGE forward. Works every single time. Make the ‘hard call’. Have the ‘difficult conversation’. Go to the class which tests your limits.
Tip 6: Listen to your biorhythms and shake up your day. I am best in the early morning (5am-8am). Most folks are not ‘available’ that early – so I try to get my hardest work done during that time. Many of my clients want to meet in the afternoon when I am often in a lull. So, I need to shake it up – so that my energies are up, and I can be fully present for my clients. So, what I try to do every day at lunch time is to MOVE. I used to love to take a yoga class during the lunch hour but given COVID that has not been possible. So, I just get up and stretch, go up and down my stairs a few times- you get the idea. This gets my blood moving and interrupts the routine.
Tip 7: Run Your Race. This life is YOUR life. It is not anyone else’s. So – if you are not thrilled with what you are doing- change it. If you want to pursue another objective- do it. If you are not where you want to be- declare where you want to be and move forward. Choose. Decide. Act. Comparing ourselves with others can be paralyzing. We need to ask ourselves – are we INTENTIONAL with how we spend our time? Do we lean in and go where it can be scary? Am I energized when I am ‘working’ or am I ‘slogging through’? At the end of our lives we will answer to no one but ourselves AND our Higher Power. What do you want your ‘answer’ to be?
Net: We own our days. We own our lives. We own the new 2021 year. How do we want to contribute? Whatever your answers are (and yes, they can and do change over the course of our lives) embrace them.