Adapted from: Sinope, “Everything is Awful and I’m Not Okay: Questions to Ask Before Giving Up.”
Life can feel impossible sometimes. There’s never enough time to get all of the homework done, break-ups happen, the relationship with your parents might be rocky, and friendships go through conflict. Sometimes things can get so overwhelming that you might want to crawl into your bed and never leave the safety of your covers. Or maybe your thoughts are more serious, and you’ve considered ending your life to escape your situation. No matter what you are going through, just know that you can get through this. Here are 20 questions to ask yourself if you are feeling hopeless, helpless, or just down in the dumps.
Did you take a shower today?If you have not bathed yourself in the past 24 hours, go do it right now.
Have you eaten anything healthy in the past few hours? Candy bars and soda don’t cut it. Go eat something that can give your body healthy energy, like a banana, a handful of nuts, or a piece of cheese.
Have you had any water to drink in the past hour? Being dehydrated can make anyone feel terrible. Go drink some water.
Did you get enough sleep last night? If not, take a nap. Go to bed an hour or two earlier tonight. Sleep is critically important for good mental health, so make sure you are getting enough on a daily basis.
Have you gone on a walk in the past 24 hours?Not just a walk to the bathroom or fridge, but a walk that lasts around 30 minutes. If going outside is not an option for you, walk around the mall or a large store.
Is it daytime, and are you dressed?Take off your pajamas and get cleaned up. Wear something that you really like, such as a dress, nice shirt, or your favorite pair of shoes. Put on make-up. Shave.
Is it nighttime, and you can’t sleep? Go get your pajamas on. Fill your bed up with blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals. Put all electronics away, and then lay down with your eyes closed for 15 minutes. It might help to turn on a noise machine, fan, or an hour long YouTube video with the sound of rain falling.
Do you feel unproductive? Think of a small thing you can do today (i.e. make your bed, respond to an email, fold a load of clean laundry, do a homework assignment). Set a timer for how long you think it should take, then see if you can beat your guess. The timer will keep you motivated and make the task slightly more fun.
Any recent medication changes?If you’ve been put on (or taken off) of a medication, missed a dose, or have been switched to a generic brand, this can really throw your body and mind for a loop. Wait a few days and see if things improve, but if they do not, give your doctor a call and let them know.
Do you feel unattractive?Go back to question 6, then take a selfie. Be your own best friend and identify at least 2 things from the picture that you like about yourself.
Did you sing today or dance today?If not, turn on a song you know by heart, move to music, and sing at the top of your lungs.
Do you feel frozen by a major decision you have to make?Put your major decision on the backburner for a few hours and focus on the tasks you need to accomplish for the day. Give yourself permission not to think about the decision while you work on the things you need to get done. At the end of the day, jot down your thoughts about your decision. Repeat this process until things become clear to you. The right decision will come to you at the right time.
Have you hugged someone recently?If not, it’s time to go approach a friend, parent, sibling, or even your pet to get a hug. You may be surprised at how some basic physical contact can turn even the worst day around.
Have you given someone a compliment in the past 24 hours?If not, go do it. This could be on social media or in person. Look for a quality that you admire and then let them know.
Do your friends know what you’re going through?If not, call them right now and tell them. It’s important that you let other people know how you’re feeling.
Are you focused forward, or do you dwell on the past?Past events and things in this moment may be painful– but what about in a month, a year, 5 years? You never know what wonderful things may be around the corner for you. Allow yourself to hope and dream; set goals, and look at the road ahead instead of your rearview mirror.
When is the last time you’ve told your story?It’s important to write or talk about what you have been through. Write about your journey in a journal or via a blog.
Have you exhausted yourself lately- physically, socially, emotionally, or intellectually? Giving a lot of yourself to any activity can take a toll that might last for a few days. Think of yourself as a battery- you need time to recharge after you’ve used up your energy. Be gentle with yourself, and take time to recoup. Maybe that looks like watching a funny movie, spending time alone, or sleeping a few extra hours this week.
Have you waited a week?When life starts to get you down, it’s easy to feel like things have always been this way, even when that’s not true. Today, it’s important that you make a commitment to keep yourself going for a week, whatever it takes. If you are still feeling this way seven days from now, get help from someone you trust. You deserve to feel better and there is a lot of help out there for you. Never give up.
Have you talked to a counselor recently?If you do not have a counselor, give one of ours a call (for free!): 1-800-448-3000. If you have a counselor, make an appointment and talk about what’s going on in your life.
On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%. And that’s pretty good.-
Arnold managed to take his life from nothing to something. To be able to move from Austria, become a bodybuilding champion, earn his first million from real estate, make movies, and still be able to become the governor of California is impressive.
He was not able to do this because he has something special in him that we don’t have. He was able to do this because he knew what he wanted before he got started. If there is any story that will story you to keep going and to use your disadvantages to your advantage, it’s this one.
#9 – Power of Broke
One of the biggest excuses people make for quitting or not trying is being broke. Entrepreneur and Shark Tank investor Daymond John breaks down how other successful people used being broke to successful.
The very thing that most people use as a weakness he and many others have used to create wealth and start movements. My favorite story in this book is of Under Armor founder Kevin Plank. After reading this, you will be ready to keep pushing forward no matter where you are.
#8 – The People’s Tycoon
Henry Ford went on to create the horseless carriage. He built the Ford Motor Company from the ground up and was known for paying his people well, while also selling a car that was affordable for everyone.
What many people don’t know is that he failed many times before starting Ford. He had tried for many years to get this horseless carriage idea off the ground but continued to fail. He had everyone reason to quit and ultimately stop working. He kept pushing and managed to build a massive company.
Love Does an exciting book. There is one story in particular in this story that stands out when it comes to not quitting. It’s so good that it’s worth reading the whole book for it. The author tells you how he goes on to become a lawyer after not getting into law school. It’s one of the best examples of persistence that I can remember.
#6 When I Stop Talking You’ll Know I’m Dead
Jerry Weintraub is a massive name in Hollywood, but he is also behind the scenes, so many people don’t know him. He has accomplished a lot in his life, and this book is all about how he has been able to sell his way to the top.
He tells story after story of being persistent. He was willing to call Elvis every day for an entire year for the opportunity to work with him. That is just one story of many of his over the top ability to not give up.
Grit does an excellent job breaking down some of the science behind success and what is required to be great at something. The author realizes that grit is a huge determining factor. Grit is a mix of passion and the ability to persevere.
Reading this book will inspire you to keep hanging on. When you realize that being great at anything means you have to survive difficult times, it makes it apparent that quitting will not solve your problems.
#4 – Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst The Rwandan Holocaust
Left to Tell is about the genocide that happened in Rwanda. Most of the world completely ignored what was happening. Over a million people were slaughtered because they were from a different tribe. It represents one of the most senseless killing sprees in human history.
The author tells her story of how she survived and managed to recover from the massacre. The story will bring you to the depths of sorrow but also bring you to hope that forgiveness is always out there. The way the author can move forward with her life is just astonishing.
The War of Art is the shortest book to read on this list. It reads in almost a poetic way. The author does an incredible job explaining what it takes to be creative and do your best work. He introduces the idea of resistance and how it tries to stop you from completing your mission.
It just takes reading a few pages of this book each day to realize that quitting is only resistance. When you want to leave, it’s often just this world is trying to throw you off your game, so you don’t create your masterpiece.
#2 – The Obstacle is The Way
The obstacle is the Way says it all in the title. We spend way too much time wishing that obstacles were not present. They feel as if the barrier never came, success would have been ours. What this book helps you to grip is the fact that the obstacle is the path.
There is no getting around obstacles. Accomplishment comes with them built-in. If you want an easy life, you don’t get to live an accomplished life, and in the long run, you will have even more obstacles to deal with. If you’re not an entrepreneur in any capacity, then this book could make the argument for #1 on the best albums when you want to quit the list.
#1 -Three Feet From Gold
Three Feet From Gold is a must-read for when looking for the best books for new entrepreneurs. It has one of the best collections of stories from people who had to endure a lot to succeed. Evader Holyfield, Truett Cathy, and many more entrepreneurs give their take and advice on what it takes to succeed.
As an entrepreneur, you will face many times will you want to quit. This is a book that you on to tight in those moments when you want to give up prematurely. Three Feet From Gold is an easy call for the best books for when you want to quit the list.
Most things aren’t impossible, most people just give up too soon.
The number one reason people don’t get what they want is because they give up too soon. That’s a true stat that I just made up, but I would venture to guess it’s not far off. You’ve probably given up on a lot of things before.
You didn’t get the first job you wanted – so you gave up.
The first business you started working on failed – so you gave up.
The first time you went out for a run, you puked – so you gave up.
The first time you sent in a writing piece, you got turned down – so you gave up.
It could be anything, but chances are whatever it is, it boiled down to this: you didn’t get what you wanted right away so you gave up.
You called it in. You packed it up and you headed home.
Perseverance, next to adaptability is the most important skill you can have. And it’s just that, a skill. Like any other skill in the world, you might be born with a more natural ability to persevere than others, but you can learn to stick with things and persevere if you want to. In fact, the one thing that sets people I know who succeed in the long run over the people who don’t is the ability to persevere, keep going and never give up.
The goal of this article is to get you to stop giving up!
Luckily, like everything, not giving up is a skill you can learn. Here are some strategies for never giving up to help you the next time you want to quit.
1. Go Workout
A long run can clear your mind in ways that few other things can. Same with a solid session of throwing around a lot of heavy weight. Get moving. Go do something different. Push yourself physically. The best way to get past imaginary limits is to make them as physical as possible and then physically smash them into pieces. When you do that it reminds you that the limits that seem so real in your mind, aren’t real at all. When you’re in the weight room, the iron never lies. It shows you exactly who you are and that with solid hard work you can overcome something you used to think was impossible to do.
The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs.
What can you do? You’re just a little tiny person on earth. Good thing people are capable of doing incredible things.
When it feels like you can’t do anything, it can be helpful to be reminded by others who have done amazing things despite the annoying hindrance of being merely human.
“Everything around you that you call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you.” – Steve Jobs
Go watch someone do something impossible. Then go do something impossible yourself. One person can change the world. Be that person.
3. Listen To Your Go-To Song
Everyone needs a good pump up song. I don’t really listen to music much when I’m working out, but I do need the help to get out the door. Find something that works for you. When things start getting hard, pump up the music, put on your headphones and get after it.
David’s an ultra-marathoner and in the video he describes that throughout certain parts of the race you feel like giving up when you hit a wall. But the wall isn’t the problem – the problem is giving up. When you hit a wall, it’s not the end of the road, you have to keep going. Go parallel right, and parallel left until you find a door in the wall. Once you find that door, you can either give up or keep going. If you want to finish, you have to open that door. When you do, your mind resets and you break through the wall and you keep going.
Find the door, open it and keep going.
6. Be Honest With Yourself
Sometimes you need to lock yourself in a room, and scream at the top of your lungs.
Do that until you turn purple.
Got that out of your system? Good. Then get back to work.
Sometimes you have legitimate reasons for wanting to quit. Lots of times you’re simply making up excuses for when things get hard. Find someone who’d going to call you out when you start coming up with excuses. Someone that’s going to call you on your BS.
A lot of friends want to be encouraging and they do it in the nicest way possible, but unfortunately, nice isn’t always a good thing. Honest friends – people who tell you what you need to hear whether you like or not – are rare and while it’s nice to be coddled, sometimes you need to be called out.
Sit around. Put your head in your hands. Curl up in a ball. Cry. Feel bad for yourself. Do whatever you have to. Wallow and throw yourself a pity party. But (and this is important) give yourself a time limit for wallowing.
You can’t wallow forever. Give yourself a set time to wallow (preferably not over 24 hours) and then get back to it and do something.
You should have a really good reason. Otherwise, pause, take a break and figure it out.
Then keep going.
10. Just Quit
You don’t have to finish everything. If you’re doing the wrong thing, you should be quitting. But you need to quit the right things – not everything. If you quit everything, you either need to get better at choosing what to start or learn to adapt and perserve more.
It’s also good to note that quitting an activity, doesn’t mean quitting altogether and giving up. If you quit something, do it because you need to focus on something else or do something better. Don’t simply quit because it’s the easy thing to do. Quit because you’re quitting the right thing.
Whenever I do long distance races, there’s always a point where you want to stop. When that happens, I start counting trees. How it works is that while running, you pick out a tree 50 yards in front of you. You tell yourself to keep going until that tree. As soon as you hit that next tree, pick another tree out and keep going. Repeat as necessary.
12. Take Cold Showers
If you want to give up because you’re afraid to take the next step, take 30 days of cold shower therapy and get used to stepping into something you’re scared of and realize that it’s never as bad as your imagination makes it out to be.
13. Forget About It
You got rejected, turned down or met some other minor setback? Forget about it. Literally just forget about it. Move on to something else instead and put that out of your mind.
In my mind sometimes, I think things were really, really easy, because looking back on things I tend to forget all the hard parts. I look at whatever I did and think “well that wasn’t so hard.”
Of course it’s wasn’t now that you’re done with it!
But there were a ton of times along the way that things were difficult, but I just put them out of my head. It turns out, I have a very short term memory of all the times I’ve screwed up, failed, and been rejected. It’s not that they didn’t happen – it’s just that I didn’t let them stop me. I put them out of my mind and kept going, with whatever added wisdom I picked up from that experience.
For example: When I first started writing online, I sent a bunch of samples to a few blogs that I thought were great, only to get rejected time after time after time. I’d spend a week on an article only to get a “no thanks” back from a blog I thought was amazing. So I quit, packed up my laptop ran to my room, cried for a few months and never wrote another thing again, right?
Well, actually I just made my own site and started writing. And I still wasn’t any good. I was bad when I started (really bad), but I’ve gotten less and less bad as time goes on. As I’ve improved I realize those sites that I thought were amazing, weren’t that amazing after all. They were good, and they were right (the pieces I sent them weren’t great) but they weren’t blogging Gods and their judgment of wherever I was at the time, didn’t mean I couldn’t improve and get better. I still get rejected all the time, but I just keep going.
If you’re facing a setback, rejection, or failure, sometimes it’s easy to turn on your short term memory and continue anyways.
Rethink the lens you’re looking at your life through. Instead of worrying about the struggle you’re in the midst of, remind yourself you’re a character in a story. Characters experience conflict and the conflict you’re going through is part of what’s going to make your story so great in the end.
Your current circumstances are not final outcomes.
Your circumstances define the conflict, but not the final result. The harder the struggle, the greater the story. The more triumphant it is in the end when you overcome the conflict you find yourself immersed in.
When other people give up, you keep going and remember that there’s more to the story than what you’re experiencing right now.
15. Keep Your Head Up.
The crap you’re going to seems so immense because you’re focused directly on it – looking directly into and analyzing every piece of crap that flies your way. When you raise your head up, you look beyond the mess you’re stuck in right now and see the bigger picture and sometimes that’s all you need. Keeping your head up allows you to see the simple solution to the problem that you used to think was ridiculously complex.
16. Realize You Get To Do This
You get the opportunity to do this. To be able to change your life, try something impossible and actually do it. There are people all over the world that don’t get the opportunities you do.
It’s sounds ridiculous, but there are people throughout the world that would kill to deal with the pain and agony of starting their own business, being healthy enough to run a marathon or the freedom to choose what job they want to spend their life doing.
Realizing that most of the world doesn’t get the opportunities you do, lets you take advantage of the ones you have rather than complaining about how difficult they may seem.
17. Make Quitting Not An Option
Just decide that you’re not going to quit. This is so effective, and so simple, but hardly anyone does it. Just decide you’re not going to quit.
No matter what. Period. End of Story.
If you get punched in the face. Keep going. If you go bankrupt. Suck it back up and keep going. If you get laughed at, mocked or pushed down. Just get back up. Get back at it and keep going. Be relentless.
Fall down seven times. Get up eight. – Japanese Proverb
Decide that quitting is not an option and, no matter how many times you fail, it won’t be an option.
Change and control go hand in hand. Some changes fall easily into your scope of control, whereas others remain just outside it. You can’t control the weather no matter how much you wish that sunny January morning was actually sparkling snow. But there are other times when it doesn’t feel like you have control over a situation when you really do — and your personal financial health (and money mindset) is certainly one of them. People often fixate on the money aspects they can’t control, like the market or returns, instead of focusing on what they can control like savings, spending, investing, goal-setting, and more.
When it comes to personal finance, whether or not you feel in control has everything to do with perspective. Your financial perspective is also known as your money mindset. What is a money mindset and do you have the power to change it? Let’s find out.
Similar to a money script, a money mindset is the unique attitude, perspective, and narrative you weave using your thoughts, actions, and beliefs toward money. Your money mindset extends beyond the bounds of your personal life and enters into your general feelings toward finances.
Your money mindset informs the way you manage, save, spend, and invest your money. When you better understand your perspective toward your money, you begin to see where your financial habits come from. A money mindset influences your thoughts and actions, which can have both positive and negative consequences.
Someone with a healthy money mindset likely feels confident, secure, knowledgeable, and energized about their financial life. Someone with a negative money mindset might feel anxious, guarded, or uncomfortable about their financial situation. Not sure where you fall? Ask yourself some questions to help shed light on your money mindset:
How does your financial situation make you feel?
Are you comfortable talking with your spouse, parents, friends, etc. about money matters?
Do you like your financial habits?
Are you secure in your financial future?
Do you often compare your financial situation to others?
Are you confident you can achieve your financial goals?
These questions help reveal how you view money. It illustrates how you see your debt, whether you make healthy financial choices, how confident you are in your financial future, and so much more.
How is Your Money Mindset Formed?
Your money mindset is formed from your distinct lived experiences. Everyone has a different story and relationship with money because everyone has had different experiences with it throughout their lives. Someone who worked during high school and college might have a different perspective on saving than someone whose first job was well into their 20s.
Along with your personal experiences, your mindset is also formed by how money impacted the people closest to you.
Was money a taboo topic in your house?
Were your parents or loved ones constantly stressed about money?
Did your family prioritize charitable giving?
Was financial literacy a core topic of conversation in your house?
All of these past experiences likely influence your attitude and approach toward money today. Someone who grew up in an environment where money was a sore spot might not like managing their finances (or might always worry about having enough money to support themselves and their family).
Your attitudes and perspectives are shaped by the people around you, and those closest to you tend to profoundly influence your thoughts and beliefs. As the saying goes, you are who you spend time with,
Why Care About Your Money Mindset?
As noted earlier, your money mindset is directly connected to your current financial habits. It affects how you approach money, the way you view and use debt, how you think about your future, and how you view the financial habits of others.
When you know how you approach money, you’ll be more equipped to make intentional decisions that push you in a positive direction. After reflecting on this concept, you may realize you lean on your credit cards too often for purchases you don’t need and that don’t further your goals. You may also discover your propensity for giving comes from a long line of generous role models.
Your money mindset also reveals both your positive and negative traits regarding financial management. This concept isn’t inherently intuitive. It’s critical to spend some time thinking through these questions and being honest with yourself about your attitude toward your money.
The best thing about a money mindset? Like perspectives, they can shift. Here’s a few ways you can change your mindset to improve your financial outlook.
5 Steps to Change Your Money Mindset for the Better.
Personal finance fluctuates and changes, which always leaves room for improvement. Remember, your money mindset is something you can control. Here are some ways you can evolve and make progress:
Too often, a negative mindset leads people to give up on their financial goals. It’s important to approach your money from a place of openness, curiosity, and excitement. Believing that you can reach your goals and find success is the first step. Once you have that foundation, you’ll be able to construct habits that support those beliefs.
This doesn’t mean your entire financial road will be paved with rainbows and sunshine, but it does mean you’ll allow yourself to find success. How can you shift this perspective? Spend some time setting new financial goals. Your goals are the foundation of your financial plan. Once you have your goals, set some key milestones to celebrate as you work toward them.
Starting from a positive headspace will help you make choices that are aligned with those productive thoughts.
2. Picture Your Future Self
Sometimes it’s crucial to flip this tough interview question back on yourself. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20, even 30 years? Where have you grown? What have you accomplished? What do you want for your future self? Picturing your future can be a telling exercise as it can reveal if you’re on the right path to attaining it.
Maybe starting your own business is a critical milestone in your life. You might suddenly realize you haven’t started saving for this venture or really thought about the type of business for you. Fill in those missing pieces so you can set yourself up and bring that future vision to life.
You might also try picturing your dream retirement. Where are you living? How are you spending your time? Are you fulfilled? When you can see your future self, you can find the motivation you need to get there. Maybe this year commit to maxing out your retirement accounts or increasing the contributions to your other investments.
Your comfort level with giving back to causes, organizations, and people you care about says a lot about your money mindset. In general, those who intentionally make space for giving feel more confident, secure, and fulfilled with their money.
Every person will have a different capacity for giving, but when you feel comfortable giving away some of your money, you’ll move from a space of scarcity to one of abundance.
A scarcity mindset is a dangerous narrative, one that leaves you constantly chasing the idea of “enough”. Abundance, on the other hand, is about setting yourself up for financial success and structuring your money in a way that brings meaning and fulfillment.
4. Immerse Yourself in Knowledge
One of the best ways to combat negative habits is to learn healthier ones. Financial management isn’t simply intuitive, it’s something you need to work toward and spend time with to get right.
Take some time to read books, blogs, and articles. These resources can broaden your perspective and help you improve the areas where you’re struggling.
Talk with family and friends about the questions you have. They might be able to share their wisdom or perhaps just open a line of conversation.
Seek out a professional. A financial advisor can help address your money mindset and give you practical tools to improve it.
Knowledge is power and making the most of the resources available to you will help you shift your perspective.
5. Know Where You Are and Where You Want to Be
To change something, you need to understand two elements:
Where you are.
Where you want to be.
Let’s use investing as an example. When you know you veer into a scarcity mindset when the topic of investing comes up, you can use the tools and resources around you to overcome those feelings. If you want to reach your financial goals, odds are you’ll have to embrace investing.
To embrace the role investing plays in your finances, do some research on what investing means to you. Understand your risk tolerance, set goals, and work with someone you trust. All of these elements will help you build a positive and fulfilling mindset.
Your money mindset powers your thoughts, attitudes, and perspectives toward your finances. Remember, you can control how you view, approach, and manage your money. By understanding your current money mindset, you’ll be able to create positive habits that help you accomplish your goals.
The decisions we make play a vital role in our lives. In many ways, they shape our future. Yet, most people aren’t really conscious of just how impactful many of their decisions actually are.
They go through life without paying much attention to their thoughts or actions. Of course, we can not control everything that happens to us; but we can still make decisions that align with our life’s goals.
That said, you may feel very uncertain about how to make decisions that will steer your career, health, financial situation and relationships in the direction you want. If this rings true for you, then you may want to improve your decision-making process. Here are some effective tips to make better decisions!
It is difficult to make a good decision if you are not clear about what the issue really is! Clearly outlining the issue will help you focus on what you are really deciding on, while excluding unrelated aspects.
Start with a simple statement like: “What I need to decide is ….,” and also ask yourself why the decision is necessary or advantageous, and what is motivating you. Doing this will help you realize the effect your decision will have. Maybe you are considering buying a new car.
Why do you want it or need it?
Can you afford it?
Are you willing and able to make the necessary payments?
Understanding the important issues involved can help you make better decisions.
2 — Take Control Of Your Emotions
What you are feeling about an issue can affect your decisions. It is therefore, important that you recognize what you are feeling, and deal with your emotions. Fear or uncertainty can lead you to avoid risk, and this can also affect other areas of your life.
If you are anxious about signing a loan agreement, for example, you might also shy away from other, less risky decisions — like: whether you should actually ask for that raise you might deserve. If however, you are an excitable person, you may be entirely too optimistic about your prospects.
You might take big risks — no matter how small the chances of success — if the profit is big enough. Gambling is a typical example of such behavior. So consider whether you are feeling depressed, excited, fearful, or maybe overly optimistic. Really think about how these feelings might be affecting your decision-making process.
3 — Avoid Information Overload
People like to think that they are making informed decisions. And why not?
It certainly makes sense! Yet many get stuck constantly gathering information in order to be as certain as possible about any particular decision. This can lead to putting off the decision indefinitely.
At any point, take stock of the information you have, and decide what information is most useful toward making a decision. It’s helpful to differentiate what information is essential and what is not. If you catch yourself agonizing over a decision, clear your mind of it for a while. Do anything to get your mind off it. This will give your brain a chance to refocus on the essentials.
4 — Don’t Rely On Other People’s Opinions
If you ask others what YOU should do, you will most likely get conflicting opinions, and this can make it even more difficult for you to decide what is best — for you. Other people, after all, will analyze an issue based on their own values. And the more outside opinions you gather, the more confused and uncertain you will feel. There are exceptions of course. It is perfectly OK to talk with people who will be affected by your decision. It’s important to take them into account before you make a decision.
5 — Make Decisions Compatible With Your Values
Decisions that are in alignment with your core values will also motivate you to make them work. Any time you make an important choice that is NOT in line with your personal priorities or deeply felt principles, you will not be convinced of the rightness of your decision.
However, before you can do this, you need to really think about what your core principles and values are. Getting a clear idea of what is really important to you is vital! Write down those values that you feel most deeply about. Once you’ve done that, you can judge whether your decisions align with them or not.
If you are too personally involved, any decision can be difficult to make. So, try to view the issue from a third person perspective.
Imagine that it is someone else’s decision. This will enable you to see issues more dispassionately. Let’s say for example, you are considering whether you should quit your job and begin another career. Pretend that you are advising someone else as to what decision he or she should make.
By stepping back and looking at the issue from a more disinterested perspective, you will be able to analyze the situation without feeling directly involved — and therefore, be able to make a more sober assessment of the possible results of any decision. Using this technique will also help you keep your emotions in check.
7 — Weigh Both Risks And Rewards
Every decision promises a desired outcome, but also comes with potential risk. When you are considering a decision, make a list of potential outcomes, both positive and negative.
You should also consider how other people may be affected. For every decision there are pros and cons. Although almost no decision you make will be without risk, make sure your decision promises results where the positive effects exceed the negative. Let’s say, that you are considering buying a new house. The pros of such a purchase could be that you will have more space, live in a better neighborhood and can take advantage of low mortgage rates. The cons could include an increase in monthly expenditures.
You may also consider what effect it might have on your overall financial situation.
What are the worst things that can happen as a result of your decision?
What are the clear advantages?
Also, what can happen if you don’t make any decision at all?
Be aware that making no decision, is a decision in itself!
8 — Avoid Typical Pitfalls
The way you think and choose can negatively affect the quality of your decisions. Even after you’ve outlined the issue; get useful information; and consider the pros and cons — you can still make a bad decision! It is important for you to detect your typical tendencies and pre-conceived ideas that can affect the way you make decisions. It is often everything but easy to make changes.
Yet a decision that takes you out of your comfort zone and represents a new direction is usually the best. Don’t make a decision just because you’re comfortable with it. We often seek information that merely confirms what we already want to do. This phenomenon is called “confirmation bias”. Gather information — no matter how disturbing it may seem, and really look at all aspects of the decision you are facing.
9 — Create An Action Plan
Simply deciding on something is not enough. You should formulate the steps you need to take, in order to realize your decision. Your action plan should also have a timeline for each step, as well as how you will integrate other people who are affected by your decision.
For example, if you decide to go on vacation, that may require you to take care of a number of things. You need to inform your employer well in advance and make sure that your tasks are covered in your absence. You should probably check your available finances and perhaps save some money. You should also plan your actual trip, book accommodations — and set a schedule for getting all of this done.
Don’t procrastinate or reconsider your decision. You’ve decided, so get going! Dedicate yourself to making your decision work. If you are hesitant because you are unsure of your decision or are considering various options or changes, then your decision has not accomplished anything.
DECIDE, then DO. Making a decision can be very difficult. Because you want to get it right, you may spend an endless amount of time considering just what you should do. If however, you do not follow through, you will not enjoy the rewards that your decision can bring you. If you wait too long thinking about whether to apply for that new job, for instance, someone else may fill out the application and get the job. You will miss out!
11 — Have A Backup Plan
You won’t make the best decision every time. Nobody does. Sometimes, a lack of time or information may force you to make hasty or uninformed decisions. Having said that, you probably consider a number of options when making a decision. So, if your decision does not work out as you hoped, you may have the chance to “do it over” and try out another option, or just start the decision-making process anew.
12 — Assess Your Decisions
People often neglect to think about their past decisions. However, analyzing and evaluating past decisions can help you make better ones in the future. When you examine your decisions, you will be able to identify which ones went well, which ones did not — and most importantly — why.
This will help you when you consider your next decision. Ask yourself questions like:
Was I satisfied with the result of my decision?
Could I have done something differently or better?
What can I learn from it?
Learning how to make better decisions can significantly improve how you live your life. If your decision-making process is efficient, you will be able to make faster decisions and feel much more confident about them. You will save time and spare yourself a lot of agony.
As you can see from these tips, you CAN actually become a better decision-maker. Even applying just a few of these steps will lead to better decisions! So, what’s YOUR decision-making process like?
Are you impulsive?
Do you think things through?
Do you procrastinate a lot?
I really wanna know! Share your thoughts and comments below!
By Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. Psychotherapist in Private Practice and Author of 40 books.
Are you so afraid of failing that you’re willing to avoid any possibility of defeat? If so, you have already failed. Failure and success are flipsides of the same coin—twins, not enemies. You can’t have a right without a left, a back without a front, or a top without a bottom. Studies show that people recover quicker from automobile wrecks than psychological defeats. Smack down moments are unavoidable, and success is built on them. Avoidance of failure turns into avoidance of success. It might be a bitter pill to swallow, but to attain what you want you must be willing to accept what you don’t want.
Bummer, right? Not really. This frees you to get up and dust yourself off one more time than you fall and keep on going. Once you start to accept failure as an essential steppingstone to success, you can give yourself permission to stick your neck out and make the mistakes necessary to get where you want to go.
After a letdown, the key is to harness the strength in the places where you feel broken and bounce back higher than you fall. You build a backbone of steel by making sure after each failure that you try again, and if you fail again, make sure you fail better than the time before. Failure offers you an opportunity to grow and learn from your shortcomings. Failure is a frame of mind. You don’t actually fail until you choose to put that label on yourself. When you call yourself a failure, you start to feel, think, and behave like one. If you’re like most people, you won’t succeed at everything the first time, and every unsuccessful attempt isn’t a failure as long as you continue to try. If you want to succeed, think of failure as your teacher—your personal trainer—constantly raising the exercise bar so you can learn from your mistakes.
You want to change in order to succeed, right? But if you’re like many people, you set out in the wrong direction, unwittingly returning to your crappy old habits and behave in ways that take you down the opposite path of defeat. If you want to get closer to success, avoid the following 10 habits, so even if you do fail, you can fail better on each attempt, bounce higher, and stay on track:
1. Don’t have a plan.
You can fail if you don’t know what you want. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you never get there.
Develop a game plan so you know where you’re going and when you get there. If you have a definite goal that you’re setting out to achieve, a purpose that you’re trying to fill, you’re more likely to succeed.
2. Set unreasonable standards.
You can sabotage your success by setting unreachable deadlines that are humanly impossible to achieve. They’re called deadlines for a reason. You can kill yourself trying to make them, and if you’re dead you can’t succeed.
Set realistic lifelines that can give you more time, slow you down, and make you more productive and effective. When you set lifelines instead of deadlines, you’re less likely to hear that whooshing sound as deadlines go by or feel that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach for falling short. Work smarter and less. You’ll get more done, have fewer health problems, and live longer.
People-pleasing and procrastination are two ways to play it safe and avoid taking risks. If you don’t try, you can’t fail. If you’re a people-pleaser, you avoid being judged and whittle yourself down to a stub. Procrastination provides you freedom from failure, too, in the short term, even though it derails your success in the long run.
Success happens outside of your comfort zone. Studies show that you have a greater chance of success if you stick your neck out. Be a creative risk taker, step into the unfamiliar and unpredictable, and stretch beyond customary bounds. Accept failure with open arms, learn from it, and take the perspective that failure happens for you, not to you.
4. Maintain a negative outlook.
Step back from challenges and stack your positivity deck. Focus on solutions instead of problems, look at the upside of a downside situation, and pinpoint an opportunity in every difficulty. Remember the personal resources you have at your disposal to overcome roadblocks. Look for gains in your loses and beginnings in your endings. Optimism rubs off, so hang out with positive people who lift you up. Studies show that optimists scale the success ladder faster and higher than pessimists.
5. Beat yourself up.
Coming down hard on yourself when you forget or make a mistake reduces your chances of rebounding. Extinguish your blame thrower, put down your gavel, and chill your faultfinder. Studies show that you’re more likely to achieve success through a healthy dose of self-compassion. After a setback, be kind to yourself. Talk yourself off the ledge, and give yourself pep talks, atta-girls or atta-boys, and positive affirmations. Give yourself a thumbs-up every time you reach a milestone or important accomplishment.
6. Take setbacks personally.
When things don’t work out to suit you, do you say you’re jinxed, or blame it on Murphy’s Law (if something can go wrong, it certainly will)? When you personalize everyday random events into a negative life pattern, you lose your power and make yourself a victim of defeat.
If you want to empower yourself, make a U-turn when things are headed in a negative direction. Shift your perspective to see that life doesn’t have a personal vendetta against you. Focus on what you can do: “How can I make this situation work to my advantage?” or “Can I find something positive in this negative situation?” or “What can I manage or overcome in this instance?” Progression (success) and regression (failure) go together like a hand and glove. Falling back is part of moving forward. Success isn’t an upward straight line; it’s a zigzag back and forward until you reach your goals.
7. Ignore your physical and mental health.
Many ambitious people consider stress and burnout as the price to pay for success and a badge of honor for the sacrifice. But studies show the opposite to be true.
Amped-up self-care is the cornerstone for success: ample sleep, good nutrition, and regular exercise. Take time out of the daily grind to quiet your mind, meditate, take a power nap, or spend time in nature. Idle moments of mindfulness without imperatives—nothing to rush to, fix, or accomplish—actually contribute to your mental and physical health: greater productivity, better memory, stronger immune system, fewer health problems, greater happiness, and longer life. Doing nothing provides a period for important decisions to incubate and cultivates clarity and creativity to make your goals a reality.
Collaboration with others and learning from them is essential for success. It’s important to have a mind of your own and march to your own drum, but don’t be a know-it-all. Listen to those with tried and true experience who have gone before you. Reach out to others who have already accomplished what you’re working toward and understand what you’re going through. They might give you wise advice that will change your perspective and fuel your efforts to your goals.
9. Bolster your perfectionism.
In its clutches, perfectionism tightens you in a stranglehold, injects its rigidity into your bloodstream, and chokes the flow of spontaneous and flexible ideas. Perfection’s iron-fisted grip can cause you to set unrealistic goals, try too hard, and then avoid the impossible target you set for yourself. When you tell yourself nothing you do is good enough and shackle yourself to accept nothing short of perfect, you increase your chances of defeat. There’s no such thing as perfection. Your human condition is characterized by imperfection, so give yourself permission to be an imperfect human, to make mistakes, or to forget. Learn from your mistakes and be a master of self-correction. The paradox is that letting go of perfectionism, instead of slowing you down, propels you along the path to success.
10. Label yourself a loser.
Your biggest obstacle to success lies between your own two eyes. When you call yourself a failure, you identify with the very habit that limits you. You give tacit approval to fail and accept the label as you. This gives you unspoken permission to act as a person worthy of the label “loser,” and you repeat the habit of falling short in most things you do.
Labels are for jars and cans, not for you. Think of failure as a part of you, not as you. Stepping back and observing this part with an impartial eye lessens the self-judgment and keeps you from clobbering yourself. Refer to your failure in the third person and befriend it by talking to it so it doesn’t dominate your decision-making. Studies show that this strategy helps you to separate from the failure, for it to relax, and for the ambitious you to take charge of the task. When you practice this approach, you notice a heightened ability to scale the obstacles to success that the label throws in your way.
Have you ever met someone who thrives through adversity, and who transforms their pain into opportunities for growth? In her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth describes these types of people as possessing grit. From her research, she has found that grit is what separates those who are successful from those who fail.
“Grit is sticking with your future, day in and day out, and not just for the week, not just for the month, but years.”
The problem that a lot of people face is that they seek the shortcut to success. They want to work less while still achieving more. Unfortunately, that’s not how success works.
If you want to achieve your goals, you have to be willing to do anything and everything. I believe that the most meaningful goals require an insane amount of hard work, determination, discipline, commitment, and sacrifice. But get real with yourself — are you ready to go all-in? How bad do you want to succeed?
Why Is Grit Important?
Nothing of value in life comes easily. Success is never a coincidence.
Research indicates that the ability to be gritty — to stick with things that are important to you and bounce back from failure — is an essential component of success.
You can have all the talent in the world, but you will never achieve your goals without effort. This is why grit is the foundation of success.
What Are the Characteristics of Grit?
The good news is that grit can be developed and mastered over time. However, you first need to adopt a growth mindset. Unfortunately, many people have a fixed mindset.
They are conditioned to believe that their intelligence cannot improve. While a fixed mindset is based in “I can” or “I can’t,” a growth mindset celebrates the journey from “I can’t” to “I can.”
Do you see your intelligence as fixed, or do you believe that you can grow and change?
Below are the characteristics of grit. Reflect upon the ones that you resonate with the most and still need to strengthen.
Where there is passion, there is always a purpose. Passionate people know themselves inside and out. They have a clear understanding of their values, beliefs, and needs.
More importantly, they live in alignment with their truth and inspire others to do the same. Living with passion is about paying attention to and following what makes you come alive inside.
Not everyone will understand your path in life, and that’s okay. True grit is being able to tune out others’ judgments and stay in your lane.
I’ve never met a strong person who had an easy-breezy past. Persevering, despite all odds, is about learning how to sit with your darkness and soften into the discomfort.
The only difference between those who succeed versus those who fail is their willingness to persevere and continue failing forward. It’s knowing that your desire to achieve your dreams burns brighter than any obstacle.
Learn how to embrace discomfort and use pain as a tool to grow and become more. Celebrate yourself every step of the way and don’t stop until you’re insanely proud of the person you’ve become.
It was like any other day in my life. I got on my motorcycle and rode off. Because I was just going up the road, I decided not to wear my helmet. Little did I know that this sudden decision would change my entire life.
I was supposed to be back home in 15 minutes, but that didn’t happen. Five minutes into riding my bike, I had an accident. I hit my head on the pavement, suffered a traumatic brain injury, and was rushed to the hospital to undergo surgery.
I remember the moment like it was yesterday. This experience left me with PTSD, post-concussion syndrome, chronic pain, and anxiety.
However, it also gave me a second chance to recreate my life and develop unshakeable mental strength and grit.
It’s been three years since my accident. I’m not the same person that I used to be. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I chose to transform my pain into power. To this day, I continue to pull upon my grit. It has become my superpower.
Let me be clear: I’m not special. I was just willing to do what was challenging for many. Giving up was never an option. How I have responded to my knockdowns has determined my success in life.
The obstacles that I faced along my healing journey (and still do to this day) had given me a strength that I never knew I had. Pain can be a gift if you are willing to find its meaning behind all the mess.
When you have the courage to use your pain as motivational strength, you will realize that there is nothing you cannot overcome.
Grit is like a muscle that you train and flex at the gym. You need to do the same thing with your mind. Let’s explore what you can do to build mental toughness every day.
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
The fastest way to master anything is to practice and repeat it. To persevere, you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things. This is how you flex your grit muscle.
At the end of the day, grit comes down to what habits you engage in daily. It’s about doing the things you know you’re supposed to do on a more consistent basis that will contribute to your success.
The more that you invest in your personal growth, the more skilled you will become. In turn, you can keep doing the things that you excel at.
2. Connect With Your Purpose
Gritty people live on purpose.
After studying 16,000 people, Duckworth found that “grittier people are dramatically more motivated than others to seek a meaningful, other-centered life.”
The next time that you encounter an obstacle that tries to take you off course, reconnect with your why. It will be the one thing that motivates you to keep moving forward, even when you feel like throwing in the towel.
3. Don’t Give Up
When things get difficult, do you give up easily or use your low moments to push yourself forward and become stronger?
Gritty people look a challenge dead in the eye and give it a wink. They don’t quit until they win.
The only failure in life is quitting. Life is supposed to be messy. You’re supposed to fail. It’s a core part of the human experience. All that matters is how you respond to failure.
It’s okay if you fall seven times, as long as you make sure that you stand up on the eighth time. If you can master the art of never giving up, there is no limit to what you can achieve in life.
Patience isn’t something you would typically find listed as a positive trait on a resume, but there is no doubt that patient people tend to be more pleasant to be around, both in the workplace and in day-to-day life.
It’s also a skill that almost everyone could improve upon.
Whether you have been accused of being impatient, or you don’t need anyone to tell you patience is not a strong skill of yours, the good news is you can make improvements and become a more patient person.
Here’s a quick introduction to the benefits of patience, and no fewer than 22 ways to boost your proficiency in this area.
Patience is a virtue, but what does that mean exactly?
There are myriad benefits of being a patient person, both at work and in your private life. It generally means you:
Are perceived as a more relaxed, friendly person
Are better able to focus on goals
Can make more rational decisions
Are less prone to angry outbursts
Can learn new things (rather than giving up out of impatience)
Have stronger mental health, due to less stress
This single, often-overlooked skill offers numerous advantages, and fortunately, it is not something you have to be born with. Anyone can work to become more patient—all it takes is a few smart strategies like these:
1. Practice Being Patient
It might sound simple, but practicing patience truly is a legitimate way to improve your patience. After all, how do you improve your skills in playing the piano? Or making the perfect poached egg? Practice, practice, practice.
Everyday life will no doubt provide you with ample opportunities to practice your patience, but if you would prefer to have more focus and control when practicing, try a few of these things:
Read a difficult novel, such as War and Peace
Complete a large jigsaw puzzle, or a book of Sudoku
Commit to cooking meals from scratch
Take public transport to work
Ban yourself from looking at your phone while waiting for appointments
Offer to babysit for a friend or family member
All of these tasks require patience—-they force you to wait and push you to remove expectations, which are keys to becoming more patient.
2. Focus On Why You Are Impatient
Focusing on the reason behind your impatience can help you shine a spotlight on your impatience.
Do you detest waiting in line at the grocery store because you’re hungry and want to get home to eat? Or because you’re running late for an event?
Inspect the real reasons why why you’re feeling impatient. When you acknowledge those reasons, you may be better placed to take control over those feelings and stop stressing about them.
3. Remind Yourself That You Are Merely Uncomfortable
Life is the longest thing any of us will do, but sometimes, mere minutes can feel like they stretch an eternity.
When you are in these situations—like being put on hold or stuck in traffic—it can feel extremely uncomfortable. You are waiting with little to no control over the situation.
However, try to remember you are simply uncomfortable. These situations are not impossible, or life-threatening, so even though it may not be enjoyable, it is certainly bearable. Learning to recognize and accept discomfort may make it easier to cope with.
4. Distract Yourself
Many situations that demand patience simply require you to wait, such as a long plane ride or a lengthy line at a restaurant.
In these scenarios, there’s nothing you can do to speed things up, but you can fill that time productively – so distract yourself.
Listen to a podcast, type out a quick email you’ve been meaning to write, beat the next level on Candy Crush, or complete your daily minutes on DuoLingo to learn a new language. There are always ways to fill time that don’t include simply fuming over the situation and feeling angry or negative.
If the lightbulb in your bathroom blows one morning, it’s probably going to be little more than a minor inconvenience in your day. If it blows for the fourth time in a month, you’d have to be a saint not to lose your patience.
Most of us have common triggers that set off feelings of impatience, and they often come from recurring events. This could be anything from noisy neighbors every night to kids not tidying away their shoes after school.
Recognizing these triggers can help you manage your impatient responses. You can either find ways to alleviate or avoid them (perhaps with a call to your local council, or rewards for tidy children), or learn to accept that they will continue to occur and that you being impatient won’t help in the slightest.
6. Practice Empathy
In many cases, the reason for your impatience is another person, and in most cases, a little empathy can go a long way.
For example, imagine you’re stuck behind an elderly gentleman or woman in line at the grocery store, fuming as you watch them slowly count out their cash and coins.
This is your time to take a moment to remember to be empathetic rather than impatient. Even if they are making you run late, think of them as your own elderly relatives, your own loved ones.
Reminding yourself that the “cause” of your impatience is only human, and that they’re likely doing the best they can, may help you feel considerably more patient in the moment.
7. Practice Meditation And Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness are useful tools for dealing with practically any negative emotion, and they are especially effective for impatience.
Mindfulness is considered to be a mental skill in which proponents pay attention to the present moment, allowing them to feel aware of thoughts and feelings, and be grateful for the small things. Meditation is a chance to simply breathe, feel the body relax, and focus on nothing more than the next breath, which can help ‘reset’ thinking and move the focus away from negative emotions.
These two practices together can offer a powerful antidote to the stress of impatience, and various studies have even documented their positive effects on lowering blood pressure, decreasing anxiety and stress, and improving blood circulation.
Sometimes simply acknowledging a bad habit can help reduce it. Consider how people use “swear jars” to stop themselves from swearing. You can apply this same sort of method to your impatience.
Use the notepad app in your phone or a physical diary to write down every instance when your impatience bubbled over.
You will quickly be able to identify common trends and triggers, as well as see how much time you are wasting on being impatient. You may also be able to look back on a situation with more objectivity now that you have calmed down, and realise that your impatience was unfounded, which might better prepare you to deal with a similar situation in future.
10. Retrain Or Teach Those Who Make You Impatient
In some cases, your impatience will stem from someone else’s incompetence, mistakes, or failure to follow procedure. This generally occurs at work, although impatience can also stem from partners, friends, children or companies you employ for services.
In these cases, the problem could be solved by you spending some time retraining or teaching those involved.
Whether it is someone at work who makes regular repeated mistakes, or a housekeeping company that cleans your house incorrectly each week, these are issues you can improve with training.
For example, if you are feeling impatient because your assistant at work keeps sending emails riddled with typos, you can sit down with them to improve the situation. You could talk through the more common or embarrassing misspellings, or help them install a better spellchecker.
It will take a time investment now, but should remove the cause behind your impatience in future.
11. Give Yourself A Break
Give yourself a time out – literally.
Go outside for 10 minutes, take a quick walk around the block, or simply walk away from the cause of your impatience.
This quick break can help you to clear your head and approach the issue with problem-solving logic rather than unhelpful impatience.
12. Accept What You Cannot Change
Many situations in life require patience, and often there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.
Perhaps you’re waiting to hear back from the bank, or you’re waiting to recover from an injury so you can get out and exercise again. These things simply take time, and stressing about it doesn’t help the situation — or you.
Acknowledge these moments, and strive to accept them. Overanalyzing and overthinking them will only stress you out further, but if you accept that you can’t change the situation, you’ll be free to let your mind wander to more positive places.
Consider employing a mantra in these scenarios, something like, “This is out of my control, so I’m going to do my best not to let it stress me out.” Sometimes saying things out loud can help you effectively internalize them.
13. Focus On The Bigger Picture
Will the cause of your impatience matter in five years’ time? Will it even matter in five hours?
Often, the reason behind why you might be feeling impatient is not the end of the world, and by reminding yourself that it doesn’t interfere with the bigger picture, you may be able to let it go more easily.
If something small or insignificant is driving you batty, try to place it in the context of the bigger picture. For example, if you’re frustrated that you were overcharged for a milkshake at the drive through, consider whether the extra dollar or two will actually impact your financial wellbeing. If the answer is no, then do your best to focus on the sweet treat and not the surprise expense.
14. Remember The Goal
Slightly different from “thinking of the bigger picture,” remembering the goal is a way to move through impatience by keeping a specific reason in mind.
For example, waiting out a toddler’s tantrum is never easy, but the reason you’re doing it might be to teach them that screaming doesn’t result in them getting what they want. Or perhaps you are putting up with a difficult situation at work, knowing that your perseverance will put you in good stead for a promotion.
No matter the exact situation, if you have a specific reason for putting yourself through discomfort, maintain laser focus on that reason instead of wallowing in the discomfort itself.
15. Find Healthy Ways To Alleviate Your Impatience
Finding a healthy outlet for negative emotions is a useful skill for anyone, and for any unwanted feelings.
Some find an outlet through various forms of exercise, such as running or yoga, while others turn to creative outlets like scrapbooking or writing, and others again enjoy productive activities such as cooking or gardening.
Find outlets for your frustrations, and turn to them whenever you feel overwhelmed.
16. Look To Others
Look around you – how are other people dealing with the same difficult situation?
There are many times when you’re not suffering through trying situations by yourself, and by being surrounded by others, you have two options for dealing with it.
In the first, you can learn from other people. Watch how they deal with it and emulate their calm response to improve your own patience.
In the second, you can be the one leading by example. Even if you’re feeling ready to scream internally, an audience can help you to rein in your annoyance and put on a face of stoicism and practicality.
17. Remember That You Won’t Become A Patience Guru Overnight
This sound a bit ironic, but be patient with your patience.
A man who attempts a marathon with zero training will unsurprisingly not make it far. It takes regular training to become adept in any skill, and learning to become more patient is no different.
Know that you will make mistakes, become impatient, and struggle. Know that one week of trying strategies to make you more patient won’t magically transform you. It takes time to form a habit, and the only way to achieve your goal is to simply keep trying.
18. Allow Yourself To Be Impatient – Sometimes
There are some events in life that are too onerous, too frustrating, and too disappointing to merely take a deep breath and move on. In these rare moments, you can allow yourself to be impatient.
Telling yourself that you’ll never again feel impatient is akin to telling yourself you’ll never eat another French fry. And just like a strict diet, the occasional indulgence can be key to letting these impulses out of your system.
As long as you aren’t hurting someone, venting your frustration to a friend, finding a pillow to punch, or going somewhere isolated to let out a releasing scream can help you get over the impatience faster, even if you are giving into it somewhat.
It may help you be patient the rest of the time, knowing that you can save your impatience for moments that truly warrant it.
19. Focus On The Small Wins
Certain processes take a long time, and it can feel like you’re making zero progression despite your efforts.
However, even in these cases, there are likely still small – even microscopic – successes along the way. Focus on these small wins to remind yourself that progress is being made, even if it is at a snail’s pace.
A good example is buying a home. This process begins with visiting seemingly endless open homes, talking to countless real estate agents, comparing mortgage options, looking at the pros and cons of various suburbs, and that’s just the beginning. It’s a process that takes patience, but with every decision made and every piece of paper signed brings you one step closer to the final goal. Celebrate those small moments as individual steps that lead you to the top.
20. Destress In Other Areas
As often as not, losing patience is a symptom. You may be overtired, stressed, or otherwise feeling down, which creates an atmosphere in which the slightest grievance can feel like the most cumbersome hurdle.
Instead of putting your focus on maintaining your cool in tough situations, move your energies towards de-stressing in other areas.
This could mean:
Taking on less work
Delegating more tasks
Taking time off for yourself
Booking a holiday
Whatever method you find to reduce your everyday stress, you may find it easier to improve your patience by cutting away the underlying reason why you’re feeling so impatient in the first place.
21. Pride Yourself In Your Patience
When you consider patience to be a skill – just like baking or piano playing – you can allow yourself to take pride in it.
When you pride in your patience, you will start to see yourself as someone who is adept at patience. In this case, it could be a “fake it till you make it” experience – seeing yourself as patient can help you become truly patient, faster.
In a tense moment, this self reminder can help you hold onto your composure, and exude nothing but patience.
22. Ask Others For Help
Finally, if it’s not a situation that you can improve, you may be able to ask others for their help instead.
For example, perhaps you are struggling through writing a report at work when other team members are not contributing their share. Before you quickly lose patience with everyone, talk to upper management about the issue, and ask for help in ensuring your team members play their roles.
Losing patience rarely happens in a vacuum, and since other people are therefore almost always involved, there will almost always be an opportunity to reach out.
When It Doesn’t Pay To Be Patient
Despite all of the ways you can become more patient, you must also keep in the back of your mind the idea that you don’t always have to be patient. In some cases, putting on a stoic face is more damaging than confronting an issue head on.
Perhaps your boss is prevaricating on giving you a pay rise you were promised, or perhaps a partner is treating you poorly and expecting you to be nothing but patient with them.
In such scenarios, remember your self worth, and don’t put patience before your own wellbeing.
Overall, patience is every bit of a virtue as the saying goes, and then some. Teaching yourself how to be more patient can pay off for your wellbeing, your work, and your relationships, and perhaps then you can add this hugely beneficial skill to your resume after all.
Persistence is the ability to continue to get up no matter how many times you’ve been knocked down. It requires will power, flexibility, strength of character, determination and a desire to succeed at all costs.
If there was one common denominator that could be applied to successful people, it would be persistence.
The value of persistence lies in maintaining your goal while re-positioning yourself to get there without continually hitting your head against a brick wall.
So, what can you do to maintain persistence?
Here are 8 tips to help you persist and achieve your goals:
1. Maintain your Vision
Decide what you want out of life, and then work with a vision for the future. Keep your goal firmly planted in the front of your mind so that every action step you take will lead you closer to achieving what you want.Explore the possibilities and much more!
2. View Setbacks as Life Lessons
Nobody achieves their goals with one straight shot at the target. Understand there will be setbacks, failures and mistakes but don’t let a negative or sideways step move you off the path.
Mistakes are merely “life lessons” so view each backward or sideways step as an opportunity to learn.
3. Act with Courage
Don’t allow fear of failure to stop you. As human beings, we all fail from time to time. It’s the winners who get back up and start again. Act with courage and determination to achieve the things you want in life.
4. No doesn’t mean “No”
There will always be those who will try to discourage and dishearten you. There will also be those who say “No”.
“No” isn’t a personal affront. Nor does it mean “Stop”. “No” may simply mean “this doesn’t suit me right now” or “I’d rather do it a different way”.
If you hit a brick wall of “No’s”, simply back-track and find a new and brighter path to travel to reach your destination.
5. Exert Control over your Actions
Make a conscious decision to make every step count. Keep your vision clear in your mind at all times so that your actions become a part of the process to get you where you want to go.
6. Think Creatively
Often we become so fixed on the goal, we forget that other options exist. Be prepared for the fact that not only will the road to achieving your goals take a number of unexpected turns, the goal posts may shift too. Allow yourself to stay flexible and understand that what you originally envisioned may alter to become a fresher, more realistic outcome.
7. Believe in Yourself
Have faith in the fact you will achieve your goal, no matter what circumstances or situations arise. When times get tough – and they usually will – keep your focus clear and don’t get bogged down in “I can’t” or “I won’t”.
8. Pick a Support Team
You don’t have to do it alone. Gather a team of family and friends who you know you can count on to offer your support and guidance when the going gets tough. There is nothing like a friendly pat on the back to keep you going when you feel you’ve given as much as you have to give.
The majority of people who fail in their pursuits of an ambitious goal, fail due to a lack of this one key quality; persistence. Persistence is one of, if not the most important success quality a person can develop to increase their chances of finding the success they seek in life. It is for this reason, that we seek to provide you with some timeless insights that anyone can use to become a persistent person.
Our hope is that by sharing these handful of best-practices, you’ll be able to put them to use and gain an upper-hand against failure forever. So, if you’re looking to develop the persistence needed to reach those elusory big goals and dreams, then enjoy these simple ways to become a persistent person today. Let’s get to it!
One of the most important things you can do to level up your ability to persist in the face of failure, is to discover your why. What’s your why? You why is essentially your purpose. It is the driving force behind all that you do. It is the clarity of what you were put here on this earth to do.
Finding your ‘Why’ will energize your efforts and tighten your focus better than anyone way. Once you find your ‘Why, you will be able to motivate yourself to get to work on your goals much earlier, you’ll also find the energy to work longer, and stay committed to your efforts long after the enthusiasm for it wears off. So, if you want to develop your persistence quickly, there is no faster way that to zero-in on your ‘Why’.
2. Create Your Plan
Once you’ve discovered the driving force behind your goals and all your efforts, you’ll want to then create your plan. Creating your plan essentially means putting pen to paper to write out exactly what it is you want to achieve and by when. In short, creating your plan is best done by writing out your goals.
So, get yourself a journal or set up a word document and title it ‘Goals’. Then, proceed to write down exactly what it is you want, why you want it, when you want it by, and how you plan on achieving it. Yes, it is as simple as that. Of course, to really fortify your persistence with the going gets hard, make sure you revisit your plan often. Having your plan fresh in your mind is one of the best ways to keep you moving towards your goals when you come across any road bumps or distractions that would keep you from doing what must be done.
If you truly want to become a persistent person, it will do you good to disassociate from negative influences. Negative influences can be any person (i.e. family, friends, or professional), groups, or media platforms that minimizes your potential, or causes you to second-guess what is possible for you, or distracts you from taking the action you’ve committed to take to achieve your goals.
This step is one of the most difficult one for many people to execute ; however, it is a step that clearly demarcates that moment in a person’s life when they’ve become truly committed to reaching their goals. When your life becomes devoid of those influences that would encourage you to quit, get realistic, or cause you to doubt yourself, your ability to persist in the face of failure will increase exponentially.
4. Focus on The Positive
Persistence requires a can do attitude. And negative thinking in any form can subtly lead to stinking thinking, discouragement, and eventually less drive. Therefore it is critically important that you ensure your mind is positive most of the time. How do you keep it positive?
To keep your mind positive and strong against weak and negative thoughts, all you have to do deliberately control what it is you focus on. For example, when a negative news story pops up in you feed, ignore it. When a friend texts you a negative or mean joke, ignore it. And when you learn of some new maleficence that this person/company/government entity etc.. transgressed today, ignore it.
Why? Because a positive mind is an action-oriented mind. And an action oriented is better able to persist in the face of inevitable setbacks.
Having an accountability group is extremely effective at keeping you on task. When you have people watching what you are doing, and ensuring that you are going to do what you said you would do, deviating from or quitting on those promises you made becomes extremely difficult. And it is this difficulty and uneasiness that the group causes when they hold you accountable, that will keep you honest humming along towards your goals.
So, get yourself an accountability partner or an accountability group. Without a doubt they will help you become a more persistent person.
Becoming a persistent person will require you to work on developing persistence. And there’s no better way to develop persistence than to develop your self-discipline. Here’s why. When you consciously work towards building your self-discipline you strengthen your will power. And when you strengthen your will power you are essentially increasing your capacity to get yourself to do that which you may not want to do, but know that you must.
As such, when your self-discipline has been developed and strengthened, you simultaneously develop your ability to persist. So, work on building your self-discipline, and you’ll simultaneously be working on your ability to persist.
The majority of people are too quick to give up at the first sign of struggle or misfortune while pursuing their aims. They start off in hot pursuit to accomplish their aims, but once a little resistance and discomfort is experienced, all bets are off. And this is why, if you really wish to become a persistent person, you have to make your mind to be one. You must commit to becoming a person who will follow through no matter what.
By simply deciding to be a person who persists until he/she succeeds, you become more likely to put in the sustained effort that is necessary to reach your aims. So, choose to be persistent and commit to always following through no matter what, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a persistent person.
As we mentioned earlier, a lack of persistence is one of the primary reasons most people fail. But fortunately, it can be remedied with effort and commitment. And the more committed you are to overcoming your lack of persistence, the quicker you’ll become the committed person you envision yourself to be.
“A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but its persistence.”
With that being said, we hope you apply these steps for developing your persistence often, and keep pushing forward towards your intended aims. Persist, and you will succeed.
Everyone wants to start out the year strong, but it’s finishing strong that’s also important. Many resolutions and goals are never reached because we get caught up in what’s happening in our life, and because we haven’t developed the mental strength to keep ourselves going when the momentum from the New Year wears off.
However, a lot of getting yourself to your goals and surpassing them is about being mentally strong for when those hard moments hits. Discipline is developed, so it will power the continual ability to make great choices toward what you want. Remember, not to sacrifice what you really want for some pleasure now.
Being mentally stronger doesn’t mean it has to be a tough grind, here are a few tips and tricks which can help you. Just like if you want to be stronger physically you have to do exercises to keep the muscles strong, do build mental strength you have to do exercises to help build those habits and beliefs.
One of the best ways to build mental strength is to find habits and small tips throughout the day to keep your energy high, mind-set positive, and help develop habits and skills which will help move you forward and keep you feeling good about what you’re doing. Meanwhile, you’re building mental strength in a way which won’t leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
Set yourself up for a mentally stronger and happier year by applying a few of these tips:5 Quick Ways To Regain Lost Motivation _ Lifehack
You’re already accomplishing things and getting off to a great start when you make your bed first thing in the morning. Remember the saying, “The state of your bed is the state of your head?” There is plenty of truth to it. While it may seem like a small step, it has huge benefits.
Research shows people who make their beds daily are overall happier with their lives, more productive, and have a stronger sense of pride and accomplishment in their day for all the tasks they do. This one little thing gets you in the habit of finishing projects right away in the morning. One task down before you’ve even brushed your teeth, what a great feeling!
2. Say Nice Things to Yourself Daily
Make a commitment to cut down on the negative self-talk and pump up the nice things you say to yourself. You may feel ridiculous at first as you become your own cheerleader in your head, but think about how great you’ll feel as you make stronger and stronger decisions about your life. Those same decisions are what will keep you moving toward your goal.
Be mindful, negative thoughts can sneak their way in really quickly, when you catch them, just recognize them as untrue (even if you have to say it out loud) and replace them with a positive thought.
You can keep it in a jar, a journal, a shoe box, or wherever you want, but write down something great about each day. This helps create gratitude in your life.
At the end of the year, you’ll be able to sit down and look back at the positive things you’ve experienced and accomplished, instead of only the challenges or rough patches which made you want to give up.
4. Write Down the Positive Aspects of Every Challenge
Instead of griping and being angry or disappointed (indulging in negative self-talk) concerning any challenges which may come up, build up your positive mental strength by writing down positive aspects and things you could be learning from the challenges. Try your best to find something to be grateful about every day.
5. Practice Mindful Happiness While Commuting
Mindfulness is about being in the moment. To get comfortable with being happy, practicing being mindfully happy.
Take an event or moment or memory when you are feeling good, and let yourself indulge in the feeling. Look at how it sits in your body, how your thoughts change, how your body changes, and what it feels like; see if there are any colors which it may feel like.
Spend some time with your happy mood. At the end of it, notice the feeling of happiness and joy, it comes from you, and it spontaneously shows up when you are in mindfully in the moment.
6. Practice Being Your Own Best Friend Daily
This is a great way to become mentally stronger, because it teaches us to rely on ourselves, and not need others to pick us up, because we can do it ourselves.
Next time something isn’t going quite as planned, or you start to insult or criticize yourself, pause and ask:
“Would I let my best friend treat me this way?” or “Would I treat my best friend this way?”
The answer is probably no, and it’s a great idea to love yourself as much, if not more, than you love your best friend.
7. Practice Saying “No” without Explanation
As a society, we’ve decided somewhere along the lines that we have to have a reason for saying no, and not wanting to do something isn’t a good enough reason. If you find yourself in that’s line of thinking, then throw it out.
Learn to say no. You don’t have to explain your actions or validate your decisions to anyone about why you don’t want to do something.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, if you don’t take some time to really deeply care for yourself, you’ll eventually run your well dry and not be able to love and care for those around you.
Self-care can be something as complex as having a manicure or spa day, or as simple as locking yourself in the bathroom for five minutes just to have some alone time. It doesn’t matter what it is, make sure you create some space and/or activities which leave you feeling full and happy.
9. Do a Hobby or Activity Daily Which Brings You Joy
This is a great form of self-care. See if you can’t find a hobby or activity which you enjoy just because it makes you feel better.
As you become more confident and competent at it, you’ll discover how confidence and self-belief will pool over into other areas of your life. The positive talk you use and the joy you find in your hobby will help make you mentally stronger as you tackle the harder aspects of your chosen goal.
10. Set a Goal to Practice More Gratitude and Less Complaining
Getting caught up in the cycle of complaining can make you hard to be around, but it also can take quite a toll on your mental health. Instead of just endlessly complaining about a situation, try and find something to be grateful about.
11. Set a Goal for at Least 8 Hours of Sleep a Night
This is huge! You’ve seen small children lose their mind when they are too tired. Adults are the same way, only we don’t usually end up eventually passed out in the middle of our dinner plate. When you’re too tired, you make poor decisions, your mental strength goes down, your rational mind turns into a 6-year-old’s, and your body responds by upping stress hormones.
Make sleep a priority this year to help you stay mentally strong. A minimum of eight hours is essential, if you’re any type of athlete, the more the better. If you’re stressed, make sure you are giving yourself sufficient time to rest and relax before going to sleep in order to allow your body to maximize the sleeping hours.
12. Set a Goal to Eat Clean Food Daily
New research is showing the link between your gut health and your mood, and one of the things which directly relates to your gut health is the food you put in your body.
By reducing inflammatory food such as any food allergies, grains, dairy, and alcohol, you can reduce the stress on your digestive system. A healthier digestive system means less sick days, more energy, and can also improve symptoms of depressions and anxiety.
We tend to put our best foot forward on social media, and this can end up with us trying to compare our lives to the highlights reel of another person’s life. Doing so can leave you feeling awful and discontent about where you are in life and the great things you’ve accomplished. It can also cause you to forget how many great lives you touch throughout the day by being the amazing person you are.
Half your social media time and spend the time reconnecting with people you love, reading a book, or practicing the hobby you enjoy. Whatever you decided to fill the time with, make sure it’s something which lifts you up.
14. Put up at Least Three Inspirational Quotes to Read Daily
When things get tough and you feel like you’re not making progress, uplifting words can go a long ways toward keeping you on track.
Take the time to post a few inspiring quotes or pictures (maybe even a vision board) somewhere you’ll see it every day. Words of encouragement and motivation can go a long when you’re in a bad place.
In an effort to be a good person, we often over-extend ourselves and commit to things we really don’t want to do.
Embrace the fact that you can’t please everyone. Let go of the need to let others’ happiness and goals overrule what’s best for you, your health, and your happiness.
17. Set a Monthly Budget Which Includes Something Fun
Anything fun should do, it doesn’t have to be big. It could be buying a new shirt, going to the movie, or getting yourself the favorite bubble bath — something you don’t normally let yourself reach for, something which will make you smile and feel wonderful when you come into contact with it.
Whether it’s lighting your new candle, soaking in a tub with your favorite bubble bath, let yourself enjoy a small splurge every month or few weeks.
18. Stop Indulging in Relationships or Activities Which Drain You of Energy
Go where you’re celebrated. Do things which leave you feeling joyful. Make yourself mentally stronger by building positive relationships and letting go of toxic ones.
Letting go of toxic relationships or places isn’t easy but, you have to make a commitment to being stronger. Without the mental and emotional drain, you’ll find more energy and more happiness throughout your day.
Think about when the last time you thought you should do something. Wasn’t exactly a fun and exciting thought was it?
“Should” usually comes with the feelings of obligation and heavy responsibility, and rarely a feeling of joy. “Should” has a tendency to come with self-criticism and harsh judgement, neither of which support the foundation you’re building this year to become mentally stronger.
Instead of using “should,” re-phrase your sentence into something you look forward to doing. For exampIe, “I would like to be mentally stronger.” or “I would like to be physically healthier.”
20. Journal for Three Pages or Five Minutes Morning And/Or Night
If you choose to journal in the morning, write about your dreams, dump all your worries or concerns on the page, to creatively express anything which may have worried you the nigh before. It’s also a great way to write down your goals and inspirations for the day, get a feeling for what you want to see happen and an action plan.
If you choose to journal at night, unwind about all the things which may have stressed you out, and celebrate all the things you did right.
No matter what approach you take this year, remember:
With a consistent positive practice, you can strengthen your mental muscles and over time, you’ll become mentally stronger!
“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” ~Mandy Hale
We all get stuck: paralyzed about a decision, unsure what choice to make. Stuck in resentment or disappointment we can’t quite recover from. Stuck in a plan that’s not working as anticipated. Stuck in a destructive, repetitive dynamic with family members, coworkers, or friends.
When we’re stuck, things feel immovable, entrenched, even hopeless. The good news is, they aren’t.
We human beings are actually extremely adept at getting unstuck, at seeing the same thing in new ways, discovering new insights and changing our attitudes, but we need some tools to create that movement.
Here are some of my favorite ways to get unstuck. Keep them all in your toolkit, or experiment to see which ones work most powerfully for you.
Perfect? This dreadful, annoying, not-what-you-planned situation is perfect? Yup. It is. Your mind will figure out how if you point it in that direction. Say to yourself, “This situation is perfect because…” and brainstorm five reasons. Find the truth in each of them. Now what looks different?
2.Put on a soundtrack.
Pick a favorite song and connect to the mood of that song. Play the song out loud or just think of it. Then apply the mood of the song to how you look at the situation.
You might bring the spirit “What a Wonderful World” to the argument with your mother-in-law. Bring the mood of your favorite jazz piece to the last minute work assignment your boss just handed you. What feels different now?
Close your eyes and take a magic carpet ride into space. Take your time. Take some deep breaths. When you reach 10,000 feet, take in the gorgeous view and then look down at your current situation from a great distance. What’s clear now that you are looking at the big picture?
4. Ask yourself, “What would make this fun?”
Oh, if we all asked that question more… what a world we’d create. Brainstorm ten ideas that would make the situation more fun. Then pick a few and experiment with them.
5.Ask for a dream.
Ask your mind to work on the problem in your dreams. Put a dream journal next to the bed. Give yourself a few days for the dream to show up. It may be obviously relevant or connected through the language of metaphor.
6. Time travel.
Imagine a visit with a fulfilled, older version of yourself, one on the other side of this situation, fifteen or twenty years from now. Ask him or her how she navigated it. What was really important? What advice does he or she have for you?
Pay a visit to your childhood self. Visit yourself as little girl or boy in one of your favorite childhood places. Sit down and play for a few minutes. Then ask that younger you what he or she makes of the situation, and what he or she would like you to do. What new possibilities do you see? What’s happening with the child in you?
8. Tell the truth.
Just tell the truth, including the parts that feel scary and vulnerable to share. Including the parts you’ve been repressing or avoiding. That unfailingly shakes things up and breaks stagnation. Be diplomatic, be kind, be your wise and sensitive self–but state your truth.
9. Take care of yourself.
In difficult situations, we typically focus on how they (those other crazy people) should be different, how they are wrong.
Bring your attention back to yourself. What do you need to do to take care of you? What do you need to protect your sanity, act in alignment with your integrity, and be the happy camper you want to be? Take care of your needs and watch your relationship to the situation change.
10. Draw some pictures.
Doodle, paint, make a collage. Borrow your kids’ crayons and draw. Let your right brain take over as you make some pictures about the situation. You’ll process and evolve your feelings as you do.
Feeling like you are banging your head against a wall or swimming upstream signals a need for surrender. Surrendering doesn’t mean endorsing or even tolerating what is happening; it just means accepting reality.
State what is. Make peace with it. Take five deep breaths, breathing in what is. Let go into it. Notice what new possibilities or insights appear over the next few days.
12.Gather new information.
Speak with someone involved in the situation, who is likely to see it differently than you. Ask them five open-ended questions about the situation. Here are the rules: no statements or reactions on your part. Just brief, curious questions. No questions longer than ten words. No “yes/no” questions (i.e. “Do you think Jane is being unreasonable?”).
Ask “what” or “how” questions (“What do you think about all this?” “What do you think is needed to resolve the situation?”). Use all your experience watching legal dramas too: no leading questions.
13. Look for the pattern.
Something feeling familiar about this situation? Another jerk in authority? Another person abandoning you? Another situation where you are feeling betrayed or powerless or sad or whatever it is?
Look for the pattern. When in your life have you felt this way before? That will point you towards your part in creating the situation, your own issues and side of the street. Once you are looking there, your understanding of the situation will shift.
14. Get in the water.
Some day, science will be able to tell us why, I’m sure. For the meantime we can rely on personal experience to know that something magical happens with problem-solving when we bring our problems to water. (Personally, I think it has something to do with our early lives in the womb.)
Take a shower, take a bath, go for a swim, or listen to water sounds near a fountain or on your computer. Water gets stuck stuff flowing.
I know CEOs who swear that their five-minute walks around the block are their most productive times of the day. Moving our bodies gets our minds and emotions moving. Only the crazy culture of mind-body separation we live with would have us think the best way to solve a problem is by sitting still at a desk thinking about it.
Take a walk, do some stretches, work out, or dance, and then see what has shifted.
16.Become the representative of love.
I don’t want to choose a favorite child from this list, but for me, the most powerful way to get unstuck is this one. I ask myself, “What would it look like to be the representative of love in this situation? What would it look like to bring love into the room, into the conversation?”
Or I set an intention, “May I be a representative of love.” This lifts me out of anxieties into a higher purpose. It reveals a new way to see things, uncovers new things that need to be said, and shows me what I (and my ego) can let go of. From there, I can have real impact.
The problem with worrying is that it becomes a cycle of self-perpetuating negative thoughts. In a new review, University of Surrey researchers described worry as “a chain of thoughts and images that are affectively negative and relatively uncontrollable.”
So what’s the best way to stop the cycle? We rounded up some research-backed ways:
Set aside a designated “worry time.” Instead of worrying all day, every day, designate a 30-minute period of time where you can think about your problems. Penn State researchers found in a 2011 study that a four-step stimulus control program could help seriously stressed people take control of their anxieties, LiveScience reported. Step one: Identify the object of worry. Step two: Come up with a time and place to think about said worry. Step three: If you catch yourself worrying at a time other than your designated worry time, you must make a point to think of something else. Step four: Use your “worry time” productively by thinking of solutions to the worries.
Kick your online addiction.
All that time you spend perusing your Facebook newsfeed probably isn’t doing your mental health any favors. A recent study from Anxiety UK showed that nearly half of people feel “worried or uncomfortable” being away from email or Facebook. “These findings suggest that some may need to re-establish control over the technology they use, rather than being controlled by it,” Anxiety UK CEO Nicky Lidbetter said in a statement.
Be mindful. The most effective strategies to stop worrying and rumination may be ones based in mindfulness, which involves nonjudgmental awareness of present thoughts and emotions, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy strategies, according to the University of Surrey review of 19 studies. Particularly, the review noted that “treatments in which participants are encouraged to change their thinking style, or to disengage from emotional response to rumination or worry,” as well as “treatments which enable participants to adopt more concrete and specific thinking or which cognitively restructure thinking in a more positive and constructive way” seem especially effective.
Accept the worry — and then move on. Worrying about worrying is a dangerous cycle to fall into. A 2005 study in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy showed that people who naturally try to suppress their unwanted thoughts end up being more distressed by said thoughts. Meanwhile, “those who are naturally more accepting of their intrusive thoughts are less obsessional, have lower levels of depression, and are less anxious,” the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers wrote. Therefore, people who get caught up in worry when they try to force themselves to stop worrying may want to try a different strategy — acceptance.
Letting all your emotions out on paper before a big exam could help decrease test-taking worry, according to a 2011 study in Science. “It might be counterintuitive, but it’s almost as if you empty the fears out of your mind,” study researcher Sian Beilock, an associate professor in psychology at the University of Chicago, told U.S. News. “You reassess that situation so that you’re not as likely to worry about those situations because you’ve slain that beast.” While exams are no longer a threat to many of us, Beilock noted that the approach could work for people facing anxieties for other things.
Cut yourself some slack. Dr. Susan M. Love, a professor at the David Geffen School of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, told The New York Times that the perceived need to follow all the rules when it comes to health can be a source of stress and worry in itself. Love, who wrote the book “Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Won’t Break Your Health” told The Times that at the end of the day, it’s impossible to have perfect health, and you’re probably a lot healthier than you realize. “Is the goal to live forever?” she said to The Times. “I would contend it’s not. It’s really to live as long as you can with the best quality of life you can. The problem was all of these women I kept meeting who were scared to death if they didn’t eat a cup of blueberries a day they would drop dead.”
Keep your hands busy. Engaging in activities that keep your hands busy and mind distracted could help prevent flashbacks from traumatic experiences, according to research from the Medical Research Council in England. While the study didn’t examine how this strategy impacts everyday worry, the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Bob Hirshon pointed out that “keeping your hands and mind busy interferes with storing and encoding visual images.”
Make time for meditation.
Taking some time to find some zen can really help anxiety in your brain — even brain scans say so. A study published earlier this year in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience showed that meditation training not only lower anxiety levels in people, but it also had effects on the anterior cingulate cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex brain regions (the former region controls emotions and thinking, the latter controls worrying).
Get your heart pumping. Exercise may be a predictable way to beat stress, but it’s only predictable because it’s so effective. Research in animals, for instance, shows that exercise can affect brain activity of serotonin (a so-called “happy” brain chemical) as well as reduce the effects of oxidative stress, The New York Times reported. And Well and Good points out studies showing that exercise interventions can result in lower anxiety levels than people who stay tied to the couch. “Several studies have found the effects of aerobic exercise to be initially similar to those of medication,” Jeff Dolgan, an exercise physiologist at Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach, told Well and Good. “However, in the long term, exercise seems to work better.”
The following ideas are to help you attract more wealth and abundance into your life. These fun and practical little tips will magnify your energy and get the Law of Attraction sending more prosperity your way.
1. De-clutter your wallet or purse
Show your money how much you love it by creating a safe environment for it to energetically feel valued by your purse or wallet. Make sure you arrange your bills in order, and keep them unfolded. Throw away any old receipts or expired cards – clear the dead energy. This process gives the Universe a very clear message you have created space in your purse/wallet/heart/life for more abundance to be drawn to you effortlessly.
2. Collect all of your coins
You would be amazed at how much money appears when you empty out your old coat pockets, look under the sofa or check out your handbags…even go through your car! Create a jar specifically for your coins and see how they all add up to help contribute to your wealth. Treasure your coins because they carry the vibrational energy of abundance.
3. Tell the money you love it
Start to feel good about your money and send it loving thoughts. Basically, if you love your money then your money (energetically) will love you back and multiply. If you send it hateful thoughts then it will want to stay away from you.
4. Place beautiful images of money in your awareness
Get some fake money, photocopied money (for personal use only) or stock images of money and place it in an area that is in your visual awareness quite often. It could be the fridge, the bathroom mirror, your vision board, your bedroom ceiling – pretty much anywhere that you can imprint your subconscious mind. Surround yourself in imagery of prosperity and see what happens.
Write an elaborate list of all of the opportunities and experiences you would like to attract for yourself over the course of your life. Be specific because the Universe is listening! Intention setting is imperative in the manifesting process.
6. Commit random acts of money kindness
Whatever you put out there comes back to you. When you commit a random act of kindness the energy is bound to head back in your direction (as long as you don’t expect it). Drop $5 in the bathroom when the cleaner is in there or perhaps pay for the coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks. This is such a feel-good exercise in tuning into the energy of abundant flow. You are giving the Universe the message that you have more than enough prosperity to share around.
7. Write yourself a check
Once upon a time Jim Carrey was a struggling young comedian trying to make some money in Hollywood. He was just about to give up his dream of becoming a professional actor and comedian when he was booed off the stage at an open mic session in an LA nightclub.
Jim sat by himself at the top of Mulholand Drive contemplating his success or failure. He then pulled out his check book and wrote himself a big fat check for $10 million dollars and made a note on it: “for acting services rendered.”
He then carried that check with him in his wallet everywhere he went from that day forward.
By 1995, after the success of his blockbuster movies: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, and The Mask, his contract price had risen to the price of $20 million dollars.
Write yourself a check for a specific amount and place it in your purse or wallet.
8. Act as if you have money – get classy
Put on your best suit or your best dress and go to the supermarket. Dress up for the most ordinary tasks and witness how you feel energetically. Power dressing raises your vibration and shows the Universe that you are all dressed up and willing to go places.
Go to a shopping mall and buy everything you see that you like (mentally). Really get into the feeling space of being able to purchase anything your heart desires. Allow yourself to mentally buy the most expensive pair or shoes, or that $10,000 handbag. Feel as if you have the power to purchase anything you want.
10. Replace your language patterns of fear and lack
Start to see that money is just an exchange of energy. Witness every time you say ‘that’s too expensive’ or ‘there’s not enough money’ and reframe it to feel better within your heart. Sometimes not vocalizing your fears is the best way to transform the energy.
11. Meditation: Breathing in abundance
Take 10 minutes to visualize yourself surrounded in prosperity. With every image that lands in your mind, take a deep breath and imagine you are replacing your oxygen with the energy of abundance and wealth. This infuses every atom in your body with a new and vibrant energy of possibility.
12. Buy yourself items that make you feel prosperous
Buy something luxurious that makes you feel prosperous. It could be a lottery ticket, a nice bottle of champagne, a piece of jewlery- anything that makes you feel abundant.
13. The $100 note exercise
This was an exercise in a book by Abraham Hicks called ‘Ask and It Is Given’. You basically always keep a hundred dollar note in your purse or wallet and never spend it. The idea is to mentally spend that hundred dollars and know and feel safe by the knowledge that it’s in there and available for you to use when and if you wish. It apparently expands your money mindset and allows for more prosperity to flow.
14. Cast a spell: ‘To the wind I say, bring money my way’
My mother used to do this one in times when she needed to attract more money. Use it as a prayer to the Universe to hear your call.
15. CRYSTAL MAGIC: Citrine and the power of crystals
Crystals can carry very powerful vibrations to help you attract wealth and become more of a money magnet. Yellow citrine apparently carries amazing attraction powers. They can be found at most new age/spiritual bookstores.
16. Light a candle for abundance
Ever thought of creating a beautiful ‘abundance altar’? It could be your own sacred space to ‘worship the money gods and godesses’ (so to speak). Light a candle when you do your abundance meditations or prayers to set the mood for your soul to respond. Pick one that has a nice fragrance that you can associate with the scent of success.
17. Learn to pick up coins from the ground + celebrate
Even if it’s just five cents, make sure you bend down and pick up the money! You’ll show the Universe that you are open to collecting abundance. When you feel like you’d be embarrassed or self-conscious about doing this, I want you to reframe it so that you are looking after the money. You are a conscious custodian of cash making sure that money feels loved. This generates the energy of appreciation.
When they land in your inbox or your letter box make sure that you mentally send them love and say thank you to the Universe for the services you have received in exchange for the bill. Draw little hearts on them and use the bills as an affirmation that prosperity flows into your life in many forms in order for you to pay your bills on time. Whatever you do, don’t send the bills negative energy. Try and re-frame your perspective. Remember that more than 80% of the world’s population survive on less than $10 per day. There’s something to think about.
If you’re in a position to invest in something that will provide a financial return then do it! Whether it’s shares, property or a company…try and invest in something that will bring in abundance on autopilot. Imagine how the people that bought cheap shares in Facebook are feeling now!
20. Creating multiple streams of income
Along the same lines as investing, think of creative ways you could generate more money with little effort. Could you have a garage sale? Perhaps sell items on eBay? Get a job? Or start your own business? Be open to all possibilities that can help to pave a brighter and more prosperous future for you.
21. Keep track of what you spend
This can be a fascinating exercise for sure. For a whole week carry around a notebook (or keep receipts) of all of the purchases you make. This will help you to identify the areas that you can save money, and therefore attract more.
This is along the same lines as paying it forward or committing random acts of kindness. However, being of service to others ensures you are truly getting out of your own way and providing value in the lives of others. The energy you generate when you are being of service to others has powerful momentum to make you feel really alive, vibrant and on purpose.
23. Get specific: How Much Would You Like to Earn/Allow?
Formulate a very specific number in your mind that you would like to manifest by a certain date. Specificity ensures that you are open to receiving more money. How much would you be able to live on comfortably?
24. Create a vision board with images and words that define the way you want to feel about achieving your goals and opportunities
Creating a vision board is a fabulous way to manifest your desires. Just taking the time to construct a visual representation of your dream life will help you to let the Universe know you’re serious about drawing those desires into your reality. Check out the MANIFEST course for tips, tricks and ideas to create a powerful vision board.
25. Network with people online and offline
Surrounding yourself with people that will support you on your metaphysical journey is so important. Find and seek out groups of people that are interested in manifesting and The Law of Attraction.
26. Enter contests where you can win stuff or money.
You’ve got to be in it to win it! Make sure you take that lottery ticket when you feel the intuitive nudge or that you enter contests when they are presented to you. Sometimes getting lucky just takes very small actions for large returns.
27. Affirmation time:
It is safe for abundance to flow into my life. I am worthy of prosperity.
Knowing how to make good decisions—like what to wear to a job interview or how to invest your money—could be the key to living your best life. And being able to make those decisions in a timely manner and feeling confident about your decision-making skills could save you a lot of time and hassle.
Fortunately, everyone can take steps to become better decision-makers. If you want to become a better decision-maker, incorporate these nine daily habits into your life.
Overconfidence can easily make your judgment go awry.1 Studies consistently show people tend to overestimate their performance as well as the accuracy of their knowledge.
Perhaps you are 90% sure you know where the office is that you’re visiting. Or maybe you’re 80% certain you can convince your boss to give you a promotion. If you’re overconfident about those things, your plans are likely to go awry.
It’s especially important to consider your confidence level in terms of time management. Most people overestimate how much they can accomplish in a certain period of time. Do you think it will only take you one hour to finish that report? Do you predict you’ll be able to pay your online bills in 30 minutes? You might find you’re overconfident in your predictions.
Take time every day to estimate the likelihood that you’ll be successful. Then at the end of the day, review your estimates. Were you as accurate as you thought?
Good decision-makers recognize areas in their lives where overconfidence could be a problem. Then they adjust their thinking and their behavior accordingly.
2. Identify the Risks You Take
Familiarity breeds comfort. And there’s a good chance you make some poor decisions simply because you’ve grown accustomed to your habits and you don’t think about the danger you’re in or the harm you’re causing.
For example, you might speed on your way to work every day. Each time you arrive safely without a speeding ticket, you become a little more comfortable with driving fast. But clearly, you’re jeopardizing your safety and taking a legal risk.
Or maybe you eat fast food for lunch every day. Since you don’t suffer any immediate signs of ill health, you might not see it as a problem. But over time, you may gain weight or experience other health issues as a consequence.
Identify habits that have become commonplace. These are things that require little thought on your part because they’re automatic. Then take some time to evaluate which of them might be harmful or unhealthy, and create a plan to develop healthier daily habits.
The way you pose a question or a problem plays a major role in how you’ll respond and how you’ll perceive your chances of success.2
Imagine two surgeons. One surgeon tells his patients, “Ninety percent of people who undergo this procedure live.” The other surgeon says, “Ten percent of people who undergo this procedure die.”
The facts are the same. But research shows people who hear “10 percent of people die” perceive their risk to be much greater.
So when you’re faced with a decision, frame the issue differently. Take a minute to think about whether the slight change in wording affects how you view the problem.
4. Stop Thinking About the Problem
When you’re faced with a tough choice, like whether to move to a new city or change careers, you might spend a lot of time thinking about the pros and cons or the potential risks and rewards.
And while science shows there is plenty of value in thinking about your options, overthinking your choices can actually be a problem. Weighing the pros and cons for too long may increase your stress level to the point that you struggle to make a decision.
Studies show there’s a lot of value in letting an idea “incubate.” Non-conscious thinking is surprisingly astute. So consider sleeping on a problem.
Or get yourself involved in an activity that takes your mind off a problem. Let your brain work through things in the background and you’re likely to develop clear answers.
5. Set Aside Time to Reflect on Your Mistakes
Whether you left the house without an umbrella and got drenched on the way to work, or you blew your budget because you couldn’t resist an impulse purchase, set aside time to reflect on your mistakes.
Make it a daily habit to review the choices you made throughout the day. When your decisions don’t turn out well, ask yourself what went wrong. Look for the lessons that can be gained from each mistake you make.
Just make sure you don’t dwell on your mistakes for too long. Rehashing your missteps over and over again isn’t good for your mental health.
Keep your reflection time limited—perhaps 10 minutes per day is enough to help you think about what you can do better tomorrow. Then take the information you’ve gained and commit to making better decisions moving forward.
Although it can be a bit uncomfortable to admit, you’re biased in some ways. It’s impossible to be completely objective.
In fact, your mind has created mental shortcuts—referred to as heuristics—that help you make decisions faster. And while these mental shortcuts keep you from toiling for hours over every little choice you make, they can also steer you wrong.
The availability heuristic, for example, involves basing decisions on examples and information that immediately spring to mind. So if you watch frequent news stories that feature house fires, you’re likely to overestimate the risk of experiencing a house fire.
Or if you’ve recently consumed a lot of news about plane crashes, you may think your chances of dying in a plane crash are higher than a car crash (even though statistics show otherwise).
Make it a daily habit to consider the mental shortcuts that lead to bad decisions. Acknowledge the incorrect assumptions you may make about people or events and you may be able to become a little more objective.
7. Consider the Opposite
Once you’ve decided something is true, you’re likely to cling to that belief. It’s a psychological principle known as belief perseverance. It takes more compelling evidence to change a belief than it did to create it, and there’s a good chance you’ve developed some beliefs that don’t serve you well.
For example, you might assume you’re a bad public speaker, so you avoid speaking up in meetings. Or you might believe you are bad at relationships, so you stop going on dates.
You’ve also developed beliefs about certain groups of people. Perhaps you believe, “People who work out a lot are narcissists,” or “Rich people are evil.”
Those beliefs that you assume are always true or 100 percent accurate can lead you astray. The best way to challenge your beliefs is to argue the opposite.
If you’re convinced you shouldn’t speak up in a meeting, argue all the reasons why you should. Or if you’re convinced rich people are bad, list reasons why wealthy people may be kind or helpful.
Considering the opposite will help breakdown unhelpful beliefs so you can look at situations in another light and decide to act differently.
People are often more inclined to say things like, “I have butterflies in my stomach,” or “I had a lump in my throat,” rather than use feeling words, like sad or nervous, to describe their emotional state.
Many adults just aren’t comfortable talking about their feelings. But labeling your emotions can be the key to making better decisions.
Your feelings play a huge role in the choices you make.3 Studies consistently show anxiety makes people play it safe. And anxiety spills over from one area of someone’s life to another.
So if you’re nervous about the mortgage application you just filed, you might be less likely to ask someone out on a date because you’ll think it sounds too risky.
Excitement, on the other hand, can make you overestimate your chances of success. Even if there’s only a small likelihood you’ll succeed, you might be willing to take a big risk if you’re excited about the potential payoffs (this is often the case with gambling).
Make it a daily habit to label your feelings. Note whether you’re feeling sad, angry, embarrassed, anxious, or disappointed. Then take a minute to consider how those emotions may be influencing your decisions.
9. Talk to Yourself Like a Trusted Friend
When faced with a tough choice, ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend who had this problem?” You’ll likely find the answer comes to you more readily when you’re imagining yourself offering wisdom to someone else.
Talking to yourself like a trusted friend takes some of the emotion out of the equation. It will help you gain some distance from the decision and will give you an opportunity to be a little more objective.
It will also help you to be a little kinder to yourself.4 While you may be likely to say negative things to yourself like, “This will never work. You can’t do anything right,” there’s a good chance you wouldn’t say that to your friend. Perhaps you’d say something more like, “You’ve got this. I know you can do it,” if you were talking to a friend.
Developing a kinder inner dialogue takes practice. But when you make self-compassion a daily habit, your decision-making skills will improve.
Before knowing anything else, you need to know yourself first. You need to know your weaknesses, strengths, beliefs and desires in life. Keeping in touch with your emotions means, you have to be self-aware.
The most important characteristic of a leader is self-awareness, the ability to monitor one’s own emotions and reactions. Learning how to be aware of yourself might not be easy, but if you can master this skill, it will help you become a much more effective leader. Many of us are not fond of spending much time on self-reflection. And even though personal feedback is presented, people are not always open to it because honest feedback isn’t always flattering. Thus, many people indeed have a low level of self-awareness.
However, self-awareness can help you identify opportunities for professional development and personal growth. If you want to improve your self-awareness and develop your potential, I listed down 12 tips that might help you.
Knowing your strengths and coping with your weaknesses, will help you improve self-awareness. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses that compose who we are and this will help you shape how to reach your goals. Your weaknesses hold you back from achieving many great things while your strengths are something that comes very easily for you to take. You should take ownership of assessing yourself because it is for your own personal development.
2. Ask For Feedback And Listen
This might not be easy, most especially if you are close-minded and defensive to people who give critiques to you. Remember that without correction, your weaknesses would limit how far you could take yourself. Asking feedback can be as hurtful as it can be empowering. Although no one enjoys it, we should try to view criticism as useful feedback to improve ourselves. It will help you learn more about the traits that you need to develop, personally and professionally.
3. Develop Intuitive Decision-Making Skills
Intuition plays a significant role in developing your self-awareness. This can be the source of significant errors in the course of decision-making. Your intuition will help you navigate faster yet, this can also be misled if too many of your facts are wrong. Moreover, this will help you, even more, this is an effective way to feed your subconscious mind.
4. Know Your Emotional Triggers
Identifying what exactly emotionally triggers you can be challenging but getting to know and understanding it, can help you improve yourself. The key to coping with it, is to catch yourself reacting when your emotions are triggered. As long as you noticed that you are emotionally reacting, you just have to shift your emotional state in order to think through it.
Keeping your boundaries firmly will help you maintain the integrity of your goals and the work you put into it. Setting your boundaries and sustaining them, is a skill. However, it is a skill that many people don’t learn. Recognizing it means knowing and understanding your limits. Also, it takes courage and support but is a skill you can master that will help you develop yourself.
6. Practice Self-Discipline
In every area of your life, you need to practice self-discipline. It is a trait that provides you with the enduring focus necessary for you. If you want to control your desires and impulses to stay focused on what you think needs to get done to successfully achieve that goal, you need to practice self-discipline. This will also help you develop your potential and improve your awareness since self-discipline helps you form habits to attain your goals in life.
7. Keep An Open-Mind
One of the most difficult things to practice is to keep an open mind. Understanding someone’s point of view even if you disagree can change and free your mind. Change the way you think and don’t get stuck in a mindset that makes you frustrated or helpless. This is one of the best tools in order to simplify life. Try to comprehend every situation on your path and it will help you improve your self-awareness and develop your own potential.
8. Take Psychometric Tests
While there are plenty of online tests, grab them as long as you can, because this might help you find out if you are an Idealist, rational, artisan, or guardian. There are also, other best-known tests like Myers-Briggs and Predictive Index but all of these are aimed at serving as a data point towards greater self-awareness. Reflecting on trade-off questions helps test-takers better understand their own true characters.
Exploring new things will teach you a thing about yourself. This is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying to do something you’ve never done before. Unfamiliar things will help you respond in different ways that you never thought is possible. Traveling alone is also another way to discover things about yourself.
10. Discover Your Physical Limits
What has physical exercise got to do with self-awareness and in developing yourself? Well, it will teach you, that your limits are not fixed but temporary. Most importantly, it will show you that everything you’re holding back is just in your head.
11. Motivate Yourself
Whatever has to be done, is always your choice. Sometimes you might feel heavy as you rise and it is hard to get going. However, feeling less motivated too often has been unhealthy. Motivating yourself and viewing life on a positive side will help you develop your potential and self-awareness. In addition, awareness of your psychological needs can increase your motivation by helping you understand and seek out the reward that you desire.
Meditation is a practice of improving your moment-by-moment awareness. Meditation usually begins with appreciating, focusing on, inhaling and exhaling. However, this doesn’t need to be formal or ritualistic. Just simply find a few seconds to focus on your breathing, often before sleep. Also, meditation can be helpful if you ask yourself a set of questions like “what can I do to change?”, “what am I trying to achieve?”, or “How am I going to cope with my fears?”
Being self-aware and understanding how you are perceived by others are important components of personal growth and developing your potential. Some might ask, what is the importance of self-awareness? Well, self-awareness will help you improve yourself, establish your own identity and will help you have a harmonious relationship.
Thus, developing self-awareness takes time, a lot of effort and practice. It requires a person to pay attention to his own personality and behavior.
“I challenge you to make your life the masterpiece you want to paint, the novel you want to read, the day you want to wake to.” ―Toni Sorenson
“Eat your frog” is a popular life tip for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more. It is based on the best-selling book, Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time which is founded on a Mark Twain quote that goes like this, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
The idea behind the tip is relatively simple: Do your least-favorite, most-important task first thing in the morning. You can spend the rest of your day knowing you’ve accomplished something difficult. And easily find the energy and motivation to accomplish more-enjoyable tasks.
I understand the premise of the productivity tip, I really do. I know a large number of crazy successful people who swear by it. And sometimes, it is the perfect way to start your day.
But other times, it is more important and effective to simply build some momentum into your day first. If you are familiar with athletics in any capacity, you already know the importance of momentum. You understand how one little success can change the demeanor of an entire team—one turnover, one blocked shot, one forehand winner down the line. Momentum begins to grow, confidence builds, and the impossible becomes achievable.
In a similar fashion, a good friend of mine makes her bed every single morning. It helps her room and house look cleaner. But more importantly, she says it sets the stage for the rest of her day. One small accomplishment within seconds of waking up. One task completed. Even though small, the brain registers the completed task as a success—and puts momentum for the day on her side.
Little victories lead to big victories. Small accomplishments lead to larger ones. Momentum builds. We begin to feel productive. And the impossible becomes achievable.
Of course, we know that not everyone who makes their bed in the morning has an entirely productive day. Often times, momentum begins to wane as setbacks occur and realities of the day set in. But when they do, our most productive step is to look again for a small victory. Compete one small task in its entirety and rebuild momentum. This principle holds true in almost every pursuit—academics, business, homemaking, and parenting, just to name a few.
How then, might we go about creating this momentum in our lives? What are some opportunities available to us each day?
12 Simple Opportunities to Create Momentum in Your Day
1. Make your bed. Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project, writes that when asking people what happiness-project resolution has made a big difference in their happiness, many people cite the modest “Make your bed.” It is quick and easy. Available every morning. And makes a big difference.
2. Cook your breakfast. There is something very satisfying about giving yourself enough time in the morning to cook your breakfast. And while Paul DeJoe believes in taking the time to craft the World’s Greatest Omelet, sometimes just allowing enough time to cook scrambled eggs, toast, and juice is enough to get the momentum in your corner.
3. Take a shower. Whether you work at home or the office, starting your day with a fresh slate both mentally and physically can be very helpful. I have been working from home for the last 4 months and have found one of the most important keys to productivity is simply taking a shower, getting dressed, and putting on shoes before I get started.
4. Eat a healthy lunch. Lunches can be pretty hit-or-miss sometimes. We make a sandwich, grab leftovers from the fridge, or make a quick trip through the drive-thru. Often times, our choices set us back for the entire afternoon. Become intentional about eating a healthy lunch. Your body will be energized for the rest of the workday. And your mind will take pride in the healthy accomplishment.
5. Hit the gym. Go for a run/walk. Recently, running has become one of my favorite afternoon momentum builders. But when I had less flexibility in my workday, spending 45 minutes at the local gym before arriving at the office had significant influence on my day. I used a number of different workout routines over the years, but when I wanted something effective, short, and full-body, I used the Geek-to-Freak workout routine championed by Tim Ferriss.
6. Create a to-do list. I always work better with a to-do list in front of me. It focuses my attention and motivation. And sometimes, just taking the time to write one down can be a helpful step in the right direction.
7. Complete an enjoyable, challenging activity. We all have things we enjoy doing more than others. When you sense your productivity beginning to fade, choose something productive that you’ll enjoy completing. Make it challenging and productive and you’ll begin to feel a change in your attitude towards the less-enjoyable tasks.
8. Take 5 minutes to clean up one small area in your environment. Whether at home or the office, taking a small break from your current project to clean out an area can help clear your workspace and your mind. Remove distractions by clearing off your desk or bookcase. Clean your surfaces or quickly sort out a drawer. The feeling is great. And with the clutter removed, you will be a more efficient worker on the other side.
9. Write 750 words. Whatever your skill set, the process of sitting down to write words can be beneficial. It stimulates your brain and helps to clarify your thoughts. As Dawson Trotman once said, “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and fingertips.” The words don’t even need to be shared. Just commit to writing 750 words (or you could try 500) about anything on your heart. You’ll find it therapeutic. And probably far more momentum-building than you ever thought.
10. Wash the dishes after dinner. The intentional habit of washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen after meals is an important one for me. It is the final step in our family meal. It is an important accomplishment. And when the kitchen is clean, evenings feel freer and more alive.
11. Reset your home before going to bed. Find a simple, 10-minute evening routine that works for you and your family. You will end your day on a note of accomplishment and start your morning with a clean slate. Even at the end of the day, you can build momentum for the next. And your mind will be less cluttered at the office tomorrow if your living area is less cluttered at home.
12. Make out with your spouse. Seriously.He’ll be happy. She’ll be happy. And ideally,both of you will feel fulfilled afterwards. Whether this is accomplished in the morning, afternoon, or evening, everyone feels better about themselves and more prepared for the far less-exciting responsibilities that lie ahead.
Your most important work needs to be completed. But sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is set yourself up for success in a small way. And allow momentum to carry you forward.