Change by seeing a future you? getting unstuck

Okay, so you know I’ve moved 4 times in 4 years and all were a new learning experience. The last place I lived was a tiny studio and my bed, was my couch, was my chair. I got into the habit of grabbing my phone off the window ledge in the morning and checking emails, instagram, texts…whatever….and by the time I was done almost 1/2 hour had passed. This is NOT good when you’re up at 5 to get to practice at 6…I felt like I was always rushing, and I was literally 10 minutes away.

Now that I’ve moved back into my former home, which is 20 minutes away from the boathouse, I was still in the same bad habit & sometimes late for practice. I needed to change it and just get my mornings back! ….but it took some commitment.

I didn’t do anything for more than a year and somehow made it work, not successfully! My mornings seemed so much more frantic and hectic than those in the past. Then I read a few articles about changing your habits by seeing your future self…and I thought I’d give it a try. They say it takes 21 days to change a habit and I figured I could at least give it a go. Here’s what I did…

On rowing practice days I don’t even look at my phone when I get up. I turn off the alarm, get dressed, have a quick bite and get in the car. I check if I have any “rowing related” texts while in the car and then just enjoy my ride to the beach with music or a podcast (I recently finished S-town, which was great!)

On the days that I don’t have rowing practice….instead of grabbing my phone & spending 1/2 hour in bed, I grab my earplugs and meditate for at least 10 minutes…or I just get out of bed without looking at my phone. I recently bought a jumprope and 6 lb weight ball and have tried to work out at least a little bit….or I love my 3 mile walk in the ‘hood on my off-rowing mornings. Again, I do this before looking at texts/email/instagram.

Basically I’ve tried to disconnect a little bit in the mornings and it’s been heavenly!

Here are a few helpful things I gleaned from articles….

  • Choose what it is you want to change and write it down. It can be something really simple that can change your life even in the slightest way….or it can be something bigger, but you need to take small steps to accomplish that goal.
  • Have faith in yourself and your ability to choose that goal…so important! If you believe you can do something, there’s a greater chance that you can…self fulfilling prophecy!
  • Visual…truly visualize…yourself in the future after you’ve accomplished it. For me it was visualizing not rushing and just being more relaxed in the morning.
  • Come up with ways you can accomplish this by making small changes. Mine was..”don’t look at the phone before I get out of bed” which at first was remarkably difficult…yours might be “I’m going to make my bed every day” …which, by the way, is a great way to have a sense of accomplishment every day according to this article!
  • For something big, like losing weight, it helps to string together small accomplishments, like “I’m going to walk for 15 minutes every day” and once you’ve accomplished that, add another 15 minutes.

These small steps, strung together, can become bigger things. AA & Weight Watchers use this strategy of small, clear steps or rules to achieve success…and keep checking in to make sure you’re staying on track. Here are a few daily affirmations (you know how I love them) to help keep you on track…or get you back on track.

  • One I’ve learned in WW… “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.” Apparently it’s been credited to Henry Ford and Tony Robbins too.
  • What will matter is that you acted, that you made a contribution, and that you decided to do something. Or that you didn’t.
  • A lack of planning is basically just stalling.

Hope this helps. I sure have some bigger goals that I’d like to achieve, but I did get quite a sense of accomplishment by making this small change to my mornings!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

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