I’m back, and hoping you’ve all had a wonderful weekend! With another Monday nearly behind us (or completely, depending which time zone you’re in) it’s time to refocus and set some intentions for the week. This morning I took a good half hour to relax with my standard cuppa, pull out my diary (or day planner-whichever you prefer), and plan most everything I want to complete; from workouts to meetings and dissertation progress, down to new recipes I hope to try.
I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t born with incredible organisational abilities. While I’ve always been dependable, I used to have a tendency to forget to commit something to my diary before moving to the next task. As such, my “calendar” was all over the place: in my iPhone, buried under emails, the 12 Facebook notifications on the day of an event…and it was overwhelming! Especially when compared to 2 of the most organised people I know-my mom and my longtime friend Katy-it became glaringly obvious that calendar organisation was not my strong suit. However, when I started uni six years ago(!) I knew I needed to up my game, or risk forgetting crucial assignments and meetings. Choosing to be organised has drastically improved my life, on professional and personal levels, even though I wasn’t necessarily born with that ability.
Now, I’m still not naturally inclined to write everything in my diary, but that little notebook goes just about everywhere with me. It’s a staple when I’m off to class, meetings, even a day studying at the library. I still purposely focus on using it, less so now than when I started years ago, but it will always be a conscious decision-habit now-that I make daily to improve my life (and reduce stress levels!). Take your pick of anything you may feel you aren’t good at-be it cooking, exercise, even learning a language-and make a choice to put more energy toward it. A wise man once said:
“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”
(on a side note, with JK Rowling’s birthday this coming Sunday did you really expect me not to reference her once this week?)
And while Professor Dumbledore may have been referencing some wizardly abilities rather than those us everyday folk have at our disposal, his advice remains sound. We may not be the best at something; heck, we might hardly pass a proficiency test in it. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at any given skill and, while it’s a nice thought, it’s a bit unrealistic to say we’ll become masters at everything we do in life. Regardless, making a decision to pursue something today and tomorrow is already a step in the direction toward your future goals. I find that writing everything down helps me immensely and, although I certainly don’t always accomplish what I want in a given timeframe, it helps me see what I need to do to get to where I want to be.
Making this change is immensely helpful, because it refocuses our awareness to ourselves. That’s not to say you should only focus on yourself and completely disregard others, but when seeking to change your life-on any scale-becoming aware of your current position is essential. Through regaining our self-awareness and realising what we need to do, our next actions become much clearer. Doing so might even unveil a step you need to take that you hadn’t even considered!
We’re more than halfway through summer-and 2016-so take this week to re-evaluate where you are and where you’d like to be in the coming weeks, months, and years. Once you sort all that out and make the choice to adjust your habits accordingly, you’re on your way! Maybe you want to learn recipes you can make in your sleep (unless it involves the oven or hob; please be awake for that) but have a reputation for burning everything you bake. Maybe you want to move out of your parents’ or get a place without roommates, but haven’t always been the best at saving money. You may never compete in Master Chef or be a polyglot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your life simply by adjusting the choices you make!
So put that smartphone down (unless you’re using it to read this, in which case you may want to hold onto it just a moment longer), unplug for a few minutes, and find yourself. Determine where you hope to be in your future. And find the choices you need to make to get there. Above all, don’t be afraid to ask for help! People who care about you want you to succeed; even if it’s a few words of advice, you’d be amazed at what they have to offer. Just be sure to repay the favour if they need help along the line!
What daily, or otherwise regular, choices do you make that have improved your life? Let me know!