15 Jun Is it time to refocus?
And just like that, things are travelling along just fine and then all of a sudden, you feel as though you have lost momentum….
Earlier this week my plan was to wake up early, walk the dog and then head to yoga. What actually happened was that all parts of me were screaming to stay in bed and do nothing! I know from past experience that when I don’t move my body, I feel like rubbish. But I also know that when I push myself too far, I crash and burn. I dragged myself outside for a walk but instead of heading to my usual yoga class, I opted to sit down and refocus my goals. Something I think we should renew every now and then. For the past couple of weeks, I haven’t blogged, I haven’t focused much on my mindfulness and my training has fallen behind. Not because I am lazy, only because I let life get in the way of the things that help me to feel like I am living.
Study and work have taken centre stage and as such, I feel a little empty inside. I haven’t tuned in to who I am, what I feel or what I need. I know that I am not alone with this sensation as I feel that the majority of people live their lives in this state permanently. Throughout this week, I have felt an internal calling to stop and refocus. Ironically, I posted about how busying ourselves isn’t cool. Yet, I am waving the white flag and admitting that I did it to myself again. I filled my day with all the things that don’t make me feel the best and now I am suffering the consequences. All this week, I have been so exhausted that even with 8 hours sleep, I wake up feeling just as tired as the night before. As a result, my training has been poor and I haven’t been eating as well as I could. To put it bluntly – I feel like shit.
Sometimes we feel out of whack in a number of different areas. Maybe in our eating or training habits. Perhaps we haven’t seen our friends or family in a while as life has been getting in the way. It could be the reverse. We may not have dedicated much time to work projects or our studies as the kids have been sick. Whatever your disequilibrium is, you just need to work out what it is you need to do to get things back on track and set yourself some mini resolutions.
Over a year ago, I started my happiness project. The structure made space for a few key resolutions each month which I ticked off each evening as I reflected upon how the day went. This was a great way of setting goals and making sure I achieved them. As I progressed with my project, I still made space for goals but moved away from ticking them off. This morning I realised that I am in desperate need of a mini happiness project structure to get myself back on track. So with 5 key areas of my life requiring bootcamp I decided on some focus areas.
Take control of health and exercise habits
This resolution requires that I eat mostly clean. After a long weekend away, I relished in all the wine, chocolate and food that upsets a usually happy stomach! This week, I haven’t eaten as badly, but have definitely eaten more than I need to and a few naughty things here are there. I needed to get things back on track. A happy gut, means a happy me! Interestingly, this morning I listened to a great podcast with Jon Gabriel. Jon discussed how in stressful states our body goes into survival mode so we eat more and/or gain weight as a result. This makes sense for how I have been feeling. Generally, I am very disciplined but this week, I haven’t been as good at keeping it in check. If you are someone who struggles with eating well or keeping weight off, I highly recommend this podcast!
In terms of my training habits, morning study meant that the gym and my yoga training had fallen by the wayside. All this week, I have struggled to get myself motivated to get out of bed. Following the advice of Kayla Itsnes on another great podcast, I still got myself out of bed and moved my body. But it has been tough. That being said, I have set a resolution to form those good habits again and walk, gym or yoga each morning for the next month.
Balance your mind
Setting and following resolutions is a great place to start. With goals in mind, it makes it easier to be accountable to yourself. Printing off your goals and referring to them regularly sets you up for a more productive day. As my accountability has gone out the window, I need to print off those resolutions and tick them off each day in order to form my good habits again.
A big part of ensuring your goals are achieved is to reflect daily. Each night before bed, I plan to review my day, the resolutions set and work out what I can improve on and do better at the next day. I use a simple notebook for this and it takes me about 5 minutes! I have had great success with this habit previously, and know I need to get back on track!
Gratitude is the key to seeing the good in life. Through a process of reflection it is also essential to focus on being grateful for the wonderful and amazing things in my life. Through a simple recognition of the good things, you can instantly be grateful for what you have as opposed to the things you wish you had. I got really great and finding moments in my day to be grateful, but again, these have slipped. Throughout the next month I will reflect morning and night about all the wonderful things I am so lucky to have.
A huge part of remaining balanced, requires me to me to meditate or practice yoga each day. With a fast paced life, often comes an erratic mind. Through an easy 10 minute guided meditation each day or a focus on my breath during yoga class. I forget about the hustle and bustle that crowds my consciousness! I urge anyone who hasn’t tried yoga or meditation, to give it a go. There are great youtube 30 day programs ‘Yoga with Adriene’ (not me) and ‘Fightmaster Yoga.’ If you want to give meditation a go, I recommend any of Deepak Chopra’s 30 day programs on youtube or the ‘Smiling Mind’ app.
A huge factor in my wellbeing is having “me time.” For me, this requires taking the time to read each day. As uni work builds up, I don’t often make time for reading. I find this to be a great way to wind down of an evening and prime myself for a restful sleep. I have a million books stacked up ready to read, but exhausted me bypasses them for sleep at the moment and as a result, I feel less relaxed at bedtime.
Build up connections
Again, a busy life means I have lost connection with my friends and family. I decided to set the resolution to touch base with friends or family again each day. Keeping these connections means that I make space for opportunities to be vulnerable, listen to others and help out as well as feel a sense of purpose to those I care about. I have shared how positive this experience has been in previous posts. Touching base with a friend and family member each day really leads to improved happiness!
Spending time with my husband and giving proofs of love is an excellent recipe for improving connection and generates affection. As life has consumed me, I have felt as though our spark has died out a little. This next month is about rejuvenating what we have and making time for one another.
So there we have it, a mini happiness project planned for the next month. Enough time to form good habits again and refocus my efforts. How are you feeling about your daily practices? What could you tighten up on in order to feel a little looser? Setting fresh goals or revisiting old faithfuls is a useful way to realign purpose and reinvigorate yourself. It doesn’t matter whether its the middle of the month, a Monday or a Friday! Make a plan and get started!