The last couple of weeks have been a little hectic to say the least.
Among other things, I sold my condo and moved in with a friend for 2 weeks until I get possession of my new place on May 1. I’m very much a creature of habit and routine so this has completely thrown me off. Mentally it’s like something is just “off”. It’s an odd feeling, but getting better.
As brutal as it is sometimes, I do really enjoy getting up and starting my day early. Either with exercise or starting to work – sometimes as early as 4:45am, although that hasn’t happened for a while now. These last few weeks though, I’ve had a hard time getting up before 8am, which is pretty late by my standards. I was feeling tired all the time despite sleeping more, and my overall mood had been lower. I knew something had to change.
The last 3 days have been different. The first day instead of saying I’d get up earlier to work, I set a goal of getting up before 7am and going for a walk outside. That seemed more fun than working and something I’d be more willing to get up for.
That day I got up at 6:45am, meditated for 15 minutes and went for a 40 minute walk outside. Success.
The last two days I was up at 6:30am and 6:25am, meditated for 15 minutes, and went for a 30 minute walk outside. Double success.
Getting up at 6:30am isn’t the success, that’s not really that early by most people’s standards. It’s the fact that it was an improvement for me and a small step towards feeling mentally back on track.
These last 3 days have also been my most productive, and I’ve felt like I have more energy throughout the day. I’ve also felt more optimistic and positive overall.
Here are a few takeaways for how to get back on track that you can use in your own life:
1. START SMALL AND BUILD OFF OF THE MOMENTUM
I didn’t try going from waking up at 8am to waking up at 6am right away. I got up a little bit earlier the first day, then a little bit earlier the next day, and then a little bit earlier the next.
Set yourself up for success with small incremental changes to gain momentum. Then use that momentum to keep rolling.
2. MAKE IT SO EASY IT WOULD BE SILLY NOT TO DO IT
When I’m getting up to go on a trip I have no problem getting up at 3am filled with energy. But getting up a few minutes earlier to start working just wasn’t enticing enough for me. I wanted to start walking more so this seemed like the perfect pairing.
I tied my goal of getting up earlier with something very simple that I would be more willing to get out of bed for. I’m just going for a walk. It’s so easy that it would be silly not to do it.
3. GET A WIN EARLY IN THE DAY
I also added “Mediate & Walk” to my Power List.
This allowed me to “check” something off right away in the morning, which was a small victory first thing in the day. This led to more momentum in the morning to complete the other tasks on my Power List (like writing this article – CHECK!).
It’s funny how such a small change can have such a profound impact on our lives.
But as we’ve discussed before, the goal is to get just a little bit better everyday. That’s all we can ask for.