Consistency is the key to success they say. However, I’ve been anything but consistent when it comes to sharing my thoughts in these blogs. I had aspirations of releasing content at least once a week, starting discussion forums, and ultimately starting to engage and add real value to you – through conversation. Here’s the thing though – I’m not going to beat myself up about the fact that I didn’t get any of this done last year. I let one part of my life slide while I focused on ‘Priority#1’ – my family (and our health) and my team (and career). I’m going to try and avoid commenting on the year that was 2020. There’s nothing to say that you haven’t heard before. Instead, I’m going to focus on what’s in front of me today. Perhaps that’s the lesson – to Be Present.
I know, I know. Everybody is talking about the need to be present. It’s a simple habit which can reduce anxiety and lead to great joy – not only for you but for those around you. A simple habit which is incredibly challenging to implement. So how do we do it? How do we clear our minds and focus? How do we stop our minds from racing, over-thinking, and often times panicking about things that are not within our control?
Here are a few tips that I find work well – when I’m disciplined and implement them:
- Breathe. Weather it’s doing a vigorous workout, going for a walk, doing yoga, or meditating. All of these methods will ensure that you focus on every breath. And by so doing, your mind will clear. You’ll have the ability to control your thoughts.
- Slow down. Slow down your mind and your thoughts. Slow down your body. Be still. You can do this as you drink your morning coffee, as you journal, or perhaps as you just sit with your dogs in the sun for a few minutes.
- Set your intentions. Now that you can focus, you can review the plan for the day ahead. This has the potential to have your mind racing yet again, however it is an opportunity to consider what you want to achieve, how you want to show up, and how you can add value and be kind in all that you do in the day. Be deliberate and choose your thoughts.
- Schedule your time. Time blocking is a wonderful way to give yourself ‘permission’. It gives you a sense of control, and it certainly enables you to be present and focus on what you’ve set out to do. Whether that is a workout, taking a bath, reading a book, having a conversation with your family, taking the dogs for a walk, clearing your emails, working on a document, or attending a meeting.
- Enjoy. Enjoy the meeting, the walk, the talk, the meal. Enjoy being present for each experience.
Nobody wants to go through life feeling out of control and anxious, unfulfilled and drained. Let’s start to take control of each day. After all, our lives are a series of moments which we’ll never get again. ‘Life is short, time is fast, no replay, no rewind, so enjoy every moment as it comes.’
As a side note:
It’s very important to monitor how you are spending your time, and to be sure not to let yourself get bogged down doing too much of one thing. You need to mix things up. Research suggests that you need only spend 20% of your time (every day/week/month) on things that really fuel you, to lift your mood/give you energy and ensure that you feel truly fulfilled. This sense of fulfillment enables you to add immense value to all other aspects of your life – even the parts that you enjoy the least.