My subscription to my site just renewed, so for now I have a little extra fire under my ass to create content. If I’m paying for it, I might as well at least attempt to post more than twice a year. So here we are with three posts in one week. Holla!
I’ve always had insomnia, and when my head is muddled, it tends to be more pronounced. As in I can’t fall asleep, when I do I can’t stay asleep, I have nightmares, I wake up feeling lethargic despite how many hours I end up clocking. So it’s true when they say it’s quality over quantity. I used to come home from a 21 day stretch of 12 hour work days and sleep for 22 hours straight. I shit you not. My headspace was good, my body and mind were exhausted, so I would crash and catch up for almost a solid day and wake up feeling SO renewed. Recent years have left me getting maybe 5 hours of quality sleep a night on a good day, despite how long I work. I used to be able to sleep as much as my body needed, when it needed it when I was at my happiest and healthiest. Now I can never seem to catch up. Which creates a vicious cycle.
So this morning when my body woke me up at 5am for the 4th time since I fell asleep around midnight, instead of burying my head under my pillow and tossing and turning for another four hours, I said fuck it and got up. I mixed up a splendid cup of pre-workout, trolled through the news as I drank it (and ever the picture of health, paired it with my first smoke of the day), and drove my ass to the gym. I did half an hour of sprints, watching “Love It or List It”. I am one of those people who enjoy my cardio much more if I can jam to some good music while watching closed captioning on a show. I stretched after (integral part of any workout routine) and felt like a million bucks.
I decided to get up early because after many years of trial and error, I have discovered that despite hating mornings, I am most productive and ergo, happy when I get up early. I Google the shit out of so many things. I am a chronic Googler. I remember being a kid and asking my Mama questions about stuff. She would tell me to find it in the encyclopedia or the dictionary. There was no Google, and she always made me find the answers myself. I have to say I appreciate that now, because I still have the same thirst for knowledge and happily find answers for my never-ending questions without being prompted. It’s great that these days I can just grab my phone or hop on my computer and find an instant answer for everything. That has got to be one of the most powerful tools that have ever been created. One thing that I have researched (aka Googled) numerous times over the years has been “how to get motivation back”. Very open-ended search results.
This time the powerful article for me came from zenhabits.net/get-off-your-butt-16 . It is entitled “Get off your butt: 16 ways to get motivated when you’re in a slump”. As well as being very concise and well written, the first rule of thumb from the author instantly drew me in. Instead of doing a power read as I do with most articles, it caught my attention and it held it. One Goal it says. Within that paragraph, the author states that “You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once.” That was a eureka moment for me. Not so much on the trying to do too much, because I learned the hard way last year that I need to do things in bite-sized pieces in order to succeed when I was creating my business plan and attempting to map out my future. The part that vibrated through me was the two key factors in goal achievement. Focus and energy. Holy shit. It’s so simple. In order to achieve whatever your mind is set on, you need to have the energy to complete the tasks to get there, and the focus to see it through.
So it got me thinking about what my goals right now are, and what I need to do to maintain energy and focus. First and foremost, I need energy. I don’t sleep well, so what makes me feel energized despite being sleep-deprived is exercising as soon as I wake up. I knew that I have to continue building my habit of going to the gym at home every day. My second priority is focus. And I know that for me to be focused, I need to get up early. I have it hardwired in my brain that my days are more productive, happy and managed well when I get up early and list out what my big to-do’s are. Hence why I dragged my groggy ass out of bed at 5, got my workout in, and came home and made my little task list for the day. It made it so much easier to get those things done. My biggest goal right now is getting off autopilot and back into the driver’s seat. For me, this looks like completing little daily tasks like mailing a card, making a car appointment, looking back over course material to be prepared for a job offer as a planner, and starting to read Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Quit Smoking. They’re all fairly small tasks, but attainable without a whackload of effort or investment which means a high chance of success. My course review is a refresher on all the things I learned and completed in March. Rereading the book is a refresher on how I can change my mindset on and relationship with smoking. My car needs a service and the tires rotated. I love sending cards and need to get some done. Simple things. Productive ways of spending my time. And most importantly, they all contribute to my goal of getting motivation back for my life and getting back behind the wheel. I will just have to keep doing my primary steps to maintain energy and focus. How easy is that?!
There are smaller things I will do to help me keep rolling with my goal, like changing my eating habits. I love cooking so it gives me something to fill a few hours with, gives me healthy options for leftovers, and gives my body better sources of literal energy. I have a new daily planner starting November 1st, and that will keep me accountable and able to track my daily to-do’s for my focus. I also inherently feel better when I’m organized and in control, so two birds stoned and all that.
The rest of the points in the article are fantastic, and I would highly recommend giving it a read if you feel like you need motivation and are stuck in a slump. You might pick up your own eureka moment. I’m a huge advocate of educating yourself, finding answers to your questions, and following your own map for growth and happiness. I personally read articles and books, sometimes I find videos helpful. We are so lucky (and in some ways cursed) to have the world at our finger tips. Take advantage, Google til your hands fall off homies, figure out what your energy and focus priorities are. Go crush some goals!