It's almost Christmas, and I'm thinking... where did this autumn go! The days are turning into weeks and weeks fold into months. Looking back you soon wonder "Did I do what I set out to do this year?" "Did I move along my path to become the woman I want to be?", and looking forward "How can I feel more satisfied with my progress in the future?"
Life is not a personal development race, but I simply feel happier if I try to improve my circumstances and build better habits. But sticking to a daily routine is extremely difficult. I'm currently in a process of establishing a new morning routine based on the 'Miracle Morning' principle. After one week of trying to get up early and start this new routine I haven't made any progress, to be brutally honest. (I'll update you how I'm doing in couple of weeks.)
I could easily start beating myself up because I haven't managed to stick to the new regime, but I have no interest in self-depreciation.
My intent is to always fully appreciate my efforts, even when I fall flat on my face and come nowhere near my goal. Weather I get up 6 am every morning or not is no indication of my self-worth.
It's important to remember that beating yourself up is a choice you make. It's a completely useless process that adds no value to your life what so ever. You are not more likely to stick to your goals or establish a new habit if you beat yourself with a stick!
It's my choice how I want to deal with myself. I don't know about you, but I like being kind to myself.
It's very common to find sticking to new habits very difficult at the start. Anything new is always difficult in the beginning. Perhaps you are trying to swallow too large piece in one go?
When I find myself struggling with my goals, rather than abandoning them, I try something a little easier first and then improve gradually.
It's very important to appreciate all your efforts, how ever small, on a weekly basis rather than beat ourselves up daily for lack of achievement.
The idea of this 'check-list' is to have gentle reminders of positive habits that can eventually become daily habits, if you want to.
Weekly positive habits check list:
1) Help someone you can't benefit from
It's easy to get caught up in our own life drama. There are work tasks, family appointments, errands, baby sitters (who are never on time!), shopping lists, personal goals... The list goes on. If you get caught up in a cycle which mostly involves 'me' rather than others life can become very suffocating. Remember that we are just one small part of a much bigger puzzle, and helping others will give you a sense of belonging and increase your happiness.
2) Do something that you enjoy
We are not here to achieve, and even if we never introduced a single good habit or reached our ambitious goals, we are worthy. DrivenWoman is on a mission to become the woman she wants to be, but she also knows she should fully enjoy the journey getting there!
There are many small things that make life much more enjoyable if you simply pay attention. Having a cup of coffee with your partner before rushing out of the house, spending the evening with your kids rather than reading endless work emails or going to have your nails done. Do something just because you like it, not because it's useful or productive.
3) Do something good to your body
I've managed to create rather good exercise routine for myself over the years. I run twice a week, I do yoga every morning (well, at least 5 mornings) for minimum 15 minutes and I ride a horse twice a week. I've also established a good morning breakfast and juicing routine. Many women have a love-hate relationship with their bodies. But the fact remains, this is the body I'm stuck with so I might as well start appreciating and loving it! Check weekly that you have cared for your physical well being, no matter how small the effort.
4) Do something good to your mind
Life is like a basket of fruit. You keep working and giving to others so you keep taking fruit out of the basket. At some point you'll have to fill it up again, you have to revitalise your mind. It's not a good idea to let the basket become empty. Check that you do something to stimulate your mind, tickle your curiosity, and learn new things every week. I'm currently munching through books, but you can consumer audio, podcasts or attend a seminar. Watching Downton Abbey or spending time on Facebook watching cat videos doesn't unfortunately count!
5) Do something uncomfortable
This is the killer one, but the one that will actually make a big difference. You have to step outside of your comfort zone if you want to change anything. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is called... well, insanity.
Take initiative and tackle a difficult conversation head on. Or when things are not going your way stay in a situation and see it through nevertheless. Put yourself on a spot and speak your mind in a situation where you'd normally stay silent. Or talk to people outside your usual circles and simply ask how they are doing and if you can help.
6) Do something good to your finances
Money has to be on our checklist. We've talked about this many times on this blog and it will remain an important theme. Thinking about money every week will help you change your mindset about money and you are more likely to stick to your savings plan. We women shy away from wealth for no good reason.
7) Clarify your personal goals
Dreams don't happen because we don't make them our priority. Write down what you want and make a short plan how you are going to get there. Stick it to your wall and make sure to work on your core goal every week. Work weekly on slowly visualising your goals and how your perfect day would look like. DrivenWoman believes taking time to focus on your goals regularly, to write them down and to discuss them with a friend will actually make them 'real' and easier to achieve!
I hope this DrivenWoman weekly checklist will help you to put new habits in place and remind you to appreciate the work you are already doing. Amend it, personalise it, and make it your own.
What's on your personal checklist?