My dreams are coming back. Of course, they aren’t the same as the ones I had as a child, but that doesn’t make them any less worthy. In the next couple years, my family and I will travel to the Northeastern United States and spend months exploring the coasts of Maine, the woods of Vermont and Washington DC. Another year, we’ll spend the same amount of time in the Pacific Northwest. I dream of reading and writing. I dream of teaching my children to code.
Financial Independence has a way of taking the pressures and stresses of life away. I no longer worry about money. I no longer have nightmares about losing my job. I no longer care if the neighbors think less of me because my car was made in 2003. I’m a better person.
Best of all, I can dream once again.
Do you still remember the dreams you had as a child?
Get moving. No you don’t have to do an hour of cardio or run 4 miles each morning (unless of course you want to!). A short, targeted workout, or even a walk with your pet, can energize you for the entire morning — and yield fitness results. Research shows that getting in just 21 minutes of activity a day (150 minutes per week) results in reduced sleepiness throughout the day. Plus, knowing you’ve done something good for your body (and maybe your dog’s too) can set a positive tone for your entire day.
To do this, we must spend more time with happy go-lucky people and less time with those that drag us back towards our negative tendencies, whether that is cynicism, gossiping, or belittling others.
Spend more time with the people that make you smile. Mix it up with the kids at your next family event. Enjoy your weekend afternoons doing anything but work. Let go and laugh away your stress.
As you fill more of your time with the good in life you’ll also be tempted by less of the bad. But if an alcoholic walks into a bar, he’ll drink. If a busybody goes for coffee with the town gossip, tongues will wag unproductively.
Enough is enough. Temptations, obstacles, and bad behavior do not serve us. Eliminate them from your life.
Take the high road.
So today I’d like to share 6 things that have helped me – and still helps me to this day – with this destructive and distracting thought habit.
1. Go for good enough.
Aiming for perfection usually winds up in a project or something else never being finished. So go for good enough instead.
Don’t use it as an excuse to slack off. But simply realize that there is something called good enough and when you are there then you are finished with whatever you are doing.
So find a balance for yourself where you do good work and don’t slack off but at the same time don’t get lost in trying to improve and polish something too much.
Overrated: Unrestricted freedom.
Underrated: Carefully designed constraints.
Constraints actually increase our skill development rather than restrict it. We need lines to show us where to add color, not a blank canvas to draw on. As an entrepreneur, I struggled to manage myself until I realized that I needed to add some structure to my day. I began to only scheduled calls in the afternoon. I blocked my email inbox until noon. I required myself to publish a new article every Monday and Thursday. By adding a few carefully designed constraints to my life I reduced my freedom, but actually improved my productivity and happiness. Instead of feeling restricted by constraints, I felt empowered.
…wearing clothes that are easy to slouch in can encourage you to, well, slouch… Put on your favorite dress or smartest blazer, shine your shoes, take time with your hair. Have you heard the saying, “dress for the job you want, not the one you have?” The same thing goes for moods.
If you reach for your boring comfort clothes after a rough morning, it’s almost like you’re waving the white flag for the rest of the day. Don’t give in. The way you feel in your clothing can affect your actions, so think ahead and make a conscious choice about how you want to feel later.
Trick 3: Set boundaries for the Energy Suckers—or weed them out of your life.
This may seem hard at first. Take baby steps toward change. Choose to do this out of Respect for your health and happiness!
Look at the list of Energy Suckers.
Choose 1 or 2 that you are most ready and willing to cut down or cut out.
Make a plan to reduce your exposure starting now. Don’t wait!
When I moved into my new apartment I decided to not hook up my cable. I essentially stopped watching TV—something I did every night since college—and it’s been so liberating!
This is your life. You are responsible for your health and well being.
It may be hard to make changes, but if you take little steps toward your goals you will be unstoppable.
Healing, joy, peace, and prosperity are within your reach!
4. Take smaller steps on the days when the big ones seem to daunting.
On some days getting started with any of the the most important tasks may seem daunting. And so you start to procrastinate. When that happens, one thing that has worked for me is to be kind. To nudge myself forward instead of beating myself up.
So at such times I take:
A small step. I may make a deal with myself to just work for 5 minutes on a piece of a bigger and more difficult task.
An even smaller step. If that small step feels like too and I start to procrastinate I make a deal with myself for 1 or 2 minutes of work.
Sometimes that results in a few dents put into a big task, a couple of smaller tasks being completed and many breaks being taken throughout the day.
And sometimes the easy start or restart to the day is all I need to get going again and to have a good and very productive time before the evening arrives.
Either way, I move forward instead of standing still.
The first mystically appears 3 times a year – January (when they make their new year resolutions), June (when they realize they’ve put on some weight) and December (when they valiantly attempt to bridge the gap between their current state and what they wrote down in January).
Then there’s the second type – those who work out 3 times a week. This bunch may appear a little fanatical, showing up consistently every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Every time you see them, you’ll hardly notice any difference. That’s because they are already fit and any incremental growth that happens is barely noticeable over the short term.
The changes we desire to make in life become increasingly possible when we change the influences around us. What we consume always determines what we become—whether for the good or the bad.