What is the NEXT right action for me to take right now? Let that one marinate for a bit. It’s a question that Brendon Burchard poses in his book High Performance Habits.
This season, this period of physical distancing woven with stress, anxiety and disconnect… it’s a hard time. Although there is so much gratitude to be found in the stillness, moments can be difficult.
We have added responsibilities and roles that have the potential to keep us busy and occupied, but yet it’s inevitable to fall into moments of reflection and worry, lack of productivity and boredom. Easy to let the downward spiral get the best of you.
Moments of complete stillness are MUCH needed. Our entire routines and normalcy as we once knew it, have been turned upside down. All the small things we took for granted are so evident now. Understandably we feel scattered and lost.
We have no idea when this will end. All we know is that we must continue to live this way. To stay home, not expose ourselves physically to the social ties we once found solace in. To limit our outings to purchase only the necessities.
It goes without saying that we must adjust. We need to find our new normal, and create new routines.
Some days are hard, but when you face that moment, ask yourself… “what is the next right action for me to take right now?” What can you do to distract yourself? What can you do to create momentum? What can you do for YOU? What can you accomplish to create a small win, or that feeling of completion? What are the best actions we can take while we navigate the unknown?
Well here are FIVE:
1. Use Mel Robbins 5-Second Rule and make a move. Haven’t heard of it? Count backwards from 5 to 1. When you arrive at 1, you need to physically MOVE. Just make the decision to go and do whatever it was you were contemplating. It’s a good technique to use when you feel yourself hesitating about something you know you should do, and that would serve you.
2. Re-frame that Mindset – It’s SO easy right now to say things like “I have to stay home.” “I have to home school my kids.” “I have to limit my outings to purchase essential items.” “I have to fulfill all these different roles.” Replace “I have to” with “I get to!” Honestly, I say “I have to stay home” a million times a day, because it cramps my style BIG time. I don’t feel independent right now. I feel confined, and essentially like my moves are controlled. But in all honesty, “I get to stay home,” when those who are serving us must expose themselves to risk by working. I get to stay home because our government has implemented measures to keep the broader public safe. I get to stay home and have all this extra quality time with my kids, which I never would have had.
3. Practice Gratitude – This simple SIMPLE daily habit is SO profound. Start. Grab a notebook, and list three things you are grateful for each day. When I was leaving the house for work, to take the kids to school, it was MUCH harder to find something different to be grateful for each day. Yes, the obvious things to be grateful for are easy to identify; your health, your kids, your job, your spouse, clean water, etc. But I have taken note of SO many other things during this time of stillness, that went totally unnoticed before.
4. Develop a new routine – All we have is time right now, so insert other habits, rituals, etc., into your routine that you have been wanting to for a while. Home workouts are SO popular right now. YouTube has lots of great videos and there are a handful of really great apps as well. Moving every single day has so many benefits that affect every single faucet of your life. Instead of cruising social media or surfing the net for the latest Covid-19 update while you are eating breakfast, listen to an uplifting and/or motivating podcast, they are FREE! Have a topic you always wanted to learn more about? Set aside 10 minutes each morning to do a little research and accumulate some new knowledge.
5. Maintain some normalcy – Yes, despite what you are thinking you can maintain a lot of the normal things in your life. Get up at your usual time. Get ready as you normally would in the morning for work, but maybe forego the dressy attire, but hey, if you want to shoot around the house dressed to the nines in a pair of heels, power to you! Eat as you normally would throughout the day. Do all the little things that make your little people happy. I have always enjoyed being a short-order cook for my kids in the morning, making whatever their little hearts desire for breakfast. If you used to see your parents once a week, replace it with a FaceTime call… even if that was NOT the normal way of doing things, you can still find normalcy with the contact.
So there are FIVE simple, no-cost action oriented items to get you started. No one says you need to find your new normal overnight. Start with small changes, and once you master one, habit stack another. It’s about finding JOY right now – and taking ACTION in moving toward whatever that positive RIGHT thing is for you in the moment.