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Morning routine

a new morning routine for the summer

Open your window and let the sunshine into your home. Make it cozy and follow Marie Kondo’s lead by making your new morning routine spark joy. Today I thought about the COVID-19 quarantine and how much we have accomplished by creating a new morning routine for the summer. If you follow this blog, you know that we have been working together in setting our new morning routine. So far, we have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done. Now, it’s time to put it all together.

Choose a preliminary time 

The best place to start is with the new set of tasks that are most important to you. Figure out a preliminary time during which you want to get these tasks accomplished. Maybe your goal is to meditate each morning so you may decide it would work best after you’ve had a cup of jasmine tea. Perhaps your goal is to find some time for reading the latest summer thriller. Maybe another goal is to take photographs of your garden for Instagram before everyone else gets up. The same applies for wanting time in the morning to work on your business or learn a new language.

Work the rest of your morning chores around these new plans. It may take some shifts in your current routine. With a bit of creative thinking, I’m sure you can come up with a working plan.

Making over your morning and turning it into a new routine isn’t something that comes natural. It takes a little while to step into the groove. 

Write Your New Morning Routine

For right now, my suggestion is that you write your new routine for the summer down in a journal or sticky note. 

It’s easy to forget what you’re planning to do. Writing it down will not only give you a reference, but also solidify your new plan in your mind. Place your new plan on your night table or somewhere else where you’ll see it first thing in the morning. It will serve as a reminder of what you’re intending to do and your action plan.

Even though you’ve written your plan down, it’s important to realize it’s not written in stone. Well-laid out plans don’t always work when put into action. Adjust your plans and make changes as needed. Create a new morning routine for the summer that works well for you and the rest of your family.

The Importance Of Habits And Routines

With your morning plan figured out, it’s time to not only to put it into action, but make it your new morning routine. Why is this important? It’s because you want to make sure that your new plan happens each morning. Turning your plan into a routine is the best way to make sure that happens.

Before something becomes a habit or a routine, you expend energy and willpower for things to happen. That’s energy that you will need for other things throughout your morning and busy rest of the day. Once you are set with your routine, it will become automatic like brushing your teeth before bed.

Stick To Your Routine

The key is to stick to your new routine for a few weeks. That’s the best way to turn it into a strong habit. Before long, it will feel like the new normal and you no longer have to remind yourself to do each thing along the way. It will take less effort and less growth mindset work to get things done.

Watch out for moments when you slip back into your old habits and routines. It’s going to happen. The key is to catch it early and get back on track as quickly as possible. For example, let’s say you’ve been doing well with waking up 30 minutes earlier and going for a run before you start your day. Then one day you oversleep and it’s raining so you can’t make it out there. That’s life. It happens. What’s important is what you decide to do the next morning.

Your most important job whenever life gets in the way of your new morning routine is to get back on track. Do what you can as soon as you notice the disruption. If the weather is bad, do a quick workout at home on the treadmill. If you overslept, try to squeeze in a few minutes of meditation. Most importantly get back on track with your regular morning routine as soon as possible. You’ll be glad you did when you start to see the results you’ve been hoping for.

Take Time To Review Your Morning Routine Regularly

Creating routines and habits for your mornings motivate you. They allow you to do what you need in order to move ahead. There is no need to spend too much energy or time thinking about it. That’s a good thing. It can also be a dangerous thing when you’ve focusing on the wrong things that don’t help you reach your goals.

When we get into a routine, it’s hard to stop and ask ourselves if it’s working as well as it should be. Even more importantly, with a routine and a set of habits firmly established, it’s easy to keep going even when our circumstances change. That’s why it’s important to take some time now and then to review our routine and habits.

Set aside a little time every few weeks, or even months to review your routine. Just put it on the calendar and make sure you do it. It won’t take long and it will be a very valuable exercise in the long run. Our lives and circumstances change. Our routines should change with the times. Just because something has served us well over the past few weeks and months, doesn’t mean it will continue to do so. 

When you sit down to review your morning routine (or any routine or habit you’ve been working on for that matter), ask yourself this:

Is it working?

If your morning routine works, simply keep calm and carry on.

If it isn’t then, it may be time to make some changes and tweak it until you find something that works well for you.

Another way to look at it is to find what you love and what you hate about your new morning routine. Change it accordingly until you get as close as possible to loving wanting to get up in the morning. 

Remember, this morning routine will change and evolve over time as you grow your mindset. You grow by accepting the circumstances of your life. Embrace the changes and look at them as an indication that you’re making progress.

Keep tweaking and improving your routine and don’t be afraid to mix up your goals for it. Maybe you started out by making exercise a priority first thing in the day. As time passes you reach your goal, so then you can switch focus to meditation or learning a new language. Keep evolving and keep using those precious first few hours of each day to establish some positive change in yourself and those around you.

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mindfulness Motivation procrastination

7 productivity tips and tricks for perfectionists to gain mindfulness

Are you a perfectionist? 

Let’s be clear. If you have very high but rigid standards, then you might have trouble adjusting to the daily demands of life. To overcome perfectionism, it’s important to grow your mindset. Accept that you will give it your best shot instead of feeling as if you are cutting yourself short. By trying one of these seven simple productivity tips and tricks, you can motivate yourself back into action. 

Give each of these tips a try over the next few weeks and find the ones that work best. You will know that they positively work for you when you suddenly realize that you are dancing in your kitchen out of pure joy. Your to-do list will be checked off automatically with no excuses. Whenever you find yourself procrastinating, needlessly postponing decisions or actions, come back to this list. Then, employ one or several of these productivity tips and tricks. Your productivity will soar. 

Sure to Work Productivity Tips and Tricks

Girl with hand on forehead.  Blog graphic pointing towards "now" sign.

Being mindfully aware of procrastination is a skill in itself because those individuals who procrastinate can do a great job of hiding it from themselves. You might find excuses like waiting for inspiration or needing more information before tackling a project. You convince yourself with more excuses and it becomes harder to differentiate which are the true hurdles. Be honest with yourself and you will start overcoming true challenges not those which you have imagined.

1. Pick Something Small 

One of the big reasons we procrastinate is because we become overwhelmed. There’s too much to do, so we choose to forget about it for a little while. It’s a coping mechanism, just not the one giving you accurate results. Instead, pick one thing, something small that you can do right now to move you in the right direction. Making small choices creates momentum and forces you to take action. 

2. Set A Timer and Go 

Another trick that works like a charm is to set a timer. Your cell phone has one built-in, as do most smartwatches. If you misplaced your smartphone or are procrastinating, setting the alarm, then let Alexa know that she needs to remind you. She usually replies that she didn’t get that. But no worries, Alexa understood you correctly. She’s just procrastinating like you. Repeat your command and allow double the amount you need for a particular task to complete it. For instance, if you plan for fifteen minutes to pay your bills, make that thirty. The same applies for uncluttering your closet. Again, the goal is to start and do something. 

3. Bribe Yourself 

Make up your own rewards. Remember there’s nothing wrong with bribing yourself if that’s what motivates you. Your boss bribes you with a paycheck, so you know this tip works to perfection. Work on a home improvement project for an hour. Then watch as someone else does the same work on an episode of Property Brothers on HGTV. Maybe promise yourself ice cream when you finish painting the living room. Just come up with something that motivates you and go for it. Remind yourself of the prize at the end of the project whenever you’re tempted to put things off for another day. 

4. Find An Accountability Partner 

It’s all about competitive accountability and peer pressure. First, find someone else who’s either trying to be more productive or beat procrastination themselves. Second, start check-in with each other daily. Third, share what you want to accomplish and what you will get done today. Knowing you have to report to someone else makes you take action. It’s also motivating to see the other person do the same.  Accountability is the principle behind weight loss and other self-help groups. It is widely recognized as a highly effective approach. 

5. Measure Your Progress 

When you’re working on something long-term, such as losing thirty pounds, it can be tempting to procrastinate. Simply, it doesn’t seem like you’re making much progress. Your confident that those initial fluctuations are just changes in water weight. Instead, prove to yourself that you are getting closer and closer by tracking or measuring it. Make a chart, use a spreadsheet, keep a bullet journal. Find a way to measure your progress towards your goal and use it to motivate yourself to keep going. 

6. Remind Yourself Of Your Why 

There’s a reason you’ve decided to do that thing you keep putting off. Think about why you want to get it done. Is it so that you can get your tax refund? So you can find the clothes you want to wear? Find out your reason why. Write it down and then keep it front and center on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror. Look at it every day before you get ready to get to work. 

7. Just Start

I’ve saved the best for last. It’s the easiest but also the most powerful. Just get started. That’s right, sometimes all you have to do is just get moving in the right direction. Do something. Do anything even if it’s something minimal. You get over that initial hump and start to build some momentum with the use of these productivity tips and tricks.

Disclaimer: Procrastination is a habit – a deeply ingrained pattern of behavior. That means that you will not just break it overnight. Habits are broken when act on not practicing them. Please use as many approaches as possible to maximize your chances of overcoming procrastination. 

Don’t let your perfectionism stop you from reaching your goals

You wake up in the morning motivated and ready to tackle whatever it is you’ve been procrastinating on. Maybe you’re excited about a new project. You drink your coffee, get dressed, and get ready to get to work. Then something suddenly comes up. You are a perfectionist so you get suckered into a non-productive task because you find your to-do list not good enough or pretty enough. 

Perhaps you open your Instagram and get sucked into spending the next few hours on your phone. Maybe you feel that you need to finish your binge-watch marathon on Netflix. It doesn’t matter what it is, the point is that there are things that will try to distract you into procrastinating. 

Gain Mindfulness

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Take Action With A Simple Productivity Strategy

There’s a simple strategy you can use to keep procrastination from happening. It’s to make the important project you’ve been delaying a priority and work on it first thing every morning. The whole process starts with planning the night before. Before you call it a day, sit down, and think about the tasks you want to get done the next day. Identify what needs to get done.

Write these three tasks down in your journal. 

These tasks don’t have to be long (see tip. 1). In fact, I find it helpful if they are all items I can take care of quickly. When you get up in the morning, look at your list and work on these three most important tasks before you do anything else. Don’t look at your email. Don’t text. If at all possible don’t even answer the phone or attend meetings before these three tasks are crossed off. Make them your number one priority. 

Aside from that, simply being mindful of smart devices that decrease your productivity is helpful. When you find yourself putting something off, look back and see if you can pinpoint what caused it. Then take action towards preventing it from happening in the future. 


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Categories
Time management

get over yourself: set a goal

Getting over yourself takes action. Of course, this is easier said than done. Today, I’m going to share a simple three-step process that will help you get more done than you ever thought possible.

  1. Define the goal 

Every person’s life depends on the process of choosing goals to pursue; if you remain passive, you are not going to thrive as a human being.”  (Locke, 2019)

It all starts with a goal. You have to know what it is that you want to accomplish. If you don’t know what your goal is, then it’s hard to prioritize on what you should be doing now to move towards action. So, what do we do instead? Basically, we procrastinate.

It’s important to remember that goal setting is based on commitment.  Your goal is merely to place what needs to get done into written words.  By goal setting, you increase your motivation since you establish a mindset of desiring an attainable goal.  The goal moves from dream to reality. It becomes tangible.

By reaching this goal, you achieve a level of success. To write your goal, answer this question first– How committed are you to make a change?  If your goal lacks clarity, will you be able to carry it out?  Not likely.

Research shows that an achievable goal leads to greater work satisfaction and motivation. Firstly, a goal is attainable based on your own skillset.  For example, if I am good at organizing, I can use this strength to carry out my goal.  Secondly, a goal can also challenge you to improve your skills because you are motivated to achieve it.  This type of achievable goal is measurable and has a set deadline. 

Goals don’t have to be overly complicated. Here’s a simple goal we all strive to accomplish. We have to file our taxes this year by July 15th. The deadline was moved because of the COVID-19 national emergency. You certainly have a good idea of what forms will be needed, paperwork, and receipts. So, you gather them up as a step to achieve this goal and you download the software needed.  In other words, when you have a well-defined goal like filing your income taxes on time then you create action.

2. Write it down. 

It doesn’t matter if you write it down on a stickie, a bullet journal, or type a note on your phone. The important part putting your goal in writing. Firstly, it helps you clarify what your goal is. You need to be specific when you try to put what you truly want into writing. Secondly, writing it down serves as a reminder and as a tool that you can use to stop you from procrastination.

Complex goals that lie out of your skill level may overwhelm you.  Making simple goals that rely on what you are good at and challenge you just slightly will drive you towards success.  Sometimes, “I will try to do my best” won’t be good enough; it is too ambiguous and shows lack of motivation. However, complex goals that are achievable because of their clarity and your improved skillset can help you reach success. 

3. Get started

Last but not least, it’s time to get started. That’s often the hardest part, isn’t it? You’re tempted to skip your workout until you lace up your shoes and get started. Once you’re off and running, it’s much easier to keep going. Once you have your goal written down, think about something you can do right now to move you in the right direction. 

I happened to do just that.

The goal-setting plan

I planned to set up a morning routine so I can get out the door and to work by 7:30 am.  I can measure the time it takes for me to fulfill this routine.  (Right now, it is taking me forever, but this is the subject of another blog post). I wrote down that I wanted to achieve it by next week. I’ve already taken action by reading the routines of other bloggers, mainly those involving celebrities, famous CEOs, and bloggers in quarantine.  Each morning, I will start looking at my goal and challenge myself to carry through the steps required to achieve it.   Before you know it, I will have made some serious progress. 

What are your goals for today?   

Categories
Time management

procrastinating? use self compassion

where to start when you need help

Are you a procrastinator?

I am.  I put things off no matter how often I beat myself up over waiting to the last minute to pack for a vacation, book a flight, get to work or file taxes.  I struggled with deadlines.  I kept repeating the same pattern over again.

If you’re ready to finally beat procrastination and get ahead of the game, you’re in the right place.

Throughout a series of blog posts, I’m going to share my best tips and strategies for overcoming procrastination and setting up an inspiring morning routine. I will show you how I learned to look up at the sky and find my true North star.

Photo by Suleyman Seykan on Pexels.com

I will share with you my suggestions, and we start today with learning about self-compassion. I know it seems like an odd place to start, but it’s an important first step because self-compassion can overcome procrastination.

Self-compassion is noticing that you are suffering and showing warmth and kindness to yourself.  Instead of ignoring your pain, you comfort yourself right at that moment.  You stop criticizing yourself, and you start understanding yourself better.  It is about forgiveness and being able to let go.

There’s nothing you can do about the past except to learn from it. Beating yourself up about not following a plan you made or reaching an unmet deadline does not improve the situation.  Needless to say, it aggravates it even more since it can cause undue stress. Yes, not all stress is bad. Stress can motivate you if you think about is as a challenge. But for some of us stress leads to excessive negative self-talk and feelings of judgement which reinforce your habit to procrastinate even more.

Next time you find yourself procrastinating, tell yourself that it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Say it out loud and then give yourself the opportunity to try again. It is okay to sometimes fail.

Even famous entrepreneurs learn how to fail.

In a recent Masterclass, Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, told the story of how her father asked her about her failures when she was a child and how they celebrated each one of them. It made her a stronger person and built character for her to reach her goals.

Trying is the most important part here. You’re working on mastering a new set of skills and changing an existing habit, which takes practice, time, and of course, failure. It’s part of the learning process.

You may feel frustrated at times about your lack of improvement. It’s normal; tap into that frustration and use it to motivate you going forward.

Vow to try again. Look at your mistakes.

What caused you to procrastinate this time? Learn from it, and you will start to realize that you are able to accept who you are regardless of the outcome.

There’s always something new to learn whenever we fail at something or slip back into an unhealthy habit. At the very least, we figure out that something isn’t completely working out for us.

Show a little self-compassion!  Forgive yourself for procrastinating so you can move on and practice some more.

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