A little discipline!
How organised and disciplined are you? Do you find you’re really good at making “to-do” lists, but not so good at actually ticking things off it? Always chasing your tail, and finding it impossible to fit anything else at all into your day?
Perhaps you think something like a five-minute meditation at each end of your day can’t possibly make any difference?
When you meditate, you are making a commitment to having some precious “you” time, to being fully present in what you’re doing – something a lot of us find hard! Meditating or doing yoga for hours on end while your mind is busy elsewhere is a lot less effective than just five minutes twice a day where you are one hundred per cent present. There is more discipline, and therefore better results!
Sometimes it can be jolly hard work to be you; always trying to please the people around you, not getting to do or be what you would like. Over time this can be bad for you; your mental and physical health can suffer when you’re not being true to yourself.
If you don’t think you can commit to five minutes twice a day, how about this:
At the beginning of each day, take a few minutes to decide what your intention will be for the day. At the end of the day, pat yourself on the back for having that time to think and focus yourself. Give thanks for it. Even this tiny amount of time taken to focus and direct your thoughts can have a big impact on your tackling of that to-do list. Before you know it, you might find you do have five minutes in the morning and evening to meditate!
Here are a few other suggestions for creating some dedicated you time:
- Only commit to work you know is possible, and never more than three important tasks in each day. Be ruthless about eliminating those unnecessary tasks that reap you no reward!
- Every Sunday, reward your hard work through the week with a nap! They’re not just for babies and old folk, you know; a nap can make you feel rejuventated and refreshed, ready to take on Monday!
- Ask for help when you need it. So many people struggle along with too much to do, feeling more and more fed up and lost. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; often your friends or colleagues will be pleased to help!
- Be strict about ensuring you take a lunch break each and every day. Even when you’re really busy. Even when you really need to finish this one thing that’s really important and…. put it down and take a lunch break! It will help your productivity, I promise.
- Create an “Absolute No” list – things that do not serve who you are (people, habits, food). To figure out who or what should be on that list, think about how each makes you feel in your body. Tightness in your shoulders? Butterflies in your stomach? Immediate headache? Add them to the list!
- Take time before agreeing to do anything, and see how you genuinely feel about it. Don’t feel guilty if you find that actually no, you don’t want to do that.
- Resolve to lose your fear of letting people down. You can say no to things with grace and love for yourself and the other person, and without causing bad feeling. Sometimes our fear of upsetting people, our desire to always keep the peace, can take over!
- Try an affirmation such as “I can always make a choice.” Say this to yourself whenever you’re feeling bogged down or lost in the chaos. Remember you can make the choice not to do this, if you so wish.
A great book to read about this is Stand Up For Your Life by Cheryl Richardson. I love it because it shows you how to develop courage and confidence, and to make choices that honour your values, needs and desires.
The most important thing is to remember that you are worth that five minutes every morning, and every evening – and much more besides! Give it a go, and let me know how you get on!