Updated: Oct 5
I sit here writing this as I have refocused my motivation. I am usually a pretty goal-oriented person, but at the start of the craziness of quarantine and social distance I got a little sit-on-the-couch-with-some-snacks-and-wait-it-out-y. Which means that I gained the quarantine fifteen. I stopped learning the guitar (no reason for that since we were locked at home I had plenty of time to practice). I got a little less disciplined with workouts and writing.
I had to jerk myself out of that mindset. It helped that we were going to host my two teenage nieces to teach them personal finance, money mindset, and investing (to read a little more about that see my article in medium.com here: https://medium.com/@bozzonedaniella/you-are-your-only-obstacle-to-financial-freedom-ac9ea84508ac.)
I had to find my focus and motivation to teach them. Having to prepare for their money education woke me up to notice my state was sort of on hold. Well, now, with the world still mostly not open waiting for the pandemic to end before I can get on with my life is simply not an option. My productivity and ambition does not get to stay on pause for the entirety of 2020.
Once I got that into my head there were several serendipitous events that introduced me to just the information and people who I needed to get me back up and into the goals that I set for 2020. (It always works that way, doesn't it? One second after you make up your mind to do something you happen upon ways to do that very thing.)
The first serendipitous event was that all of the folks in my life who are submerged in fear and negativity just seemed to go to someone else to share that negativity. It was like a mist of negativity cleared out. Then several positive, motivated people who I had not seen in ages reached out to me. This was lucky. I can bear up other people's negative emotion to a point, but there is a breaking point where I catch that bummed out attitude like it is a common cold. Fortunately, the high energy vibe of positive people is even more contagious than negativity.
One of these lovely positivity people that popped back into my life was an upbeat, extroverted flight attendant that I used to work with. She, like so many of my former colleagues, took a generous retirement package and is starting a new chapter of her life. She told me to look at a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I have already started to do the morning routine from that book, and it has already made me more productive by noon than I usually am all day. You get up early and get your reading, meditation, gratitude, writing, and other momentum revving habits done first thing. (I think I'm becoming a morning person! Who knew?!?)
I put Elrod's writing habit into something that has been part of my morning for years -- morning pages. Morning Pages is a morning routine from Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way. That is practice where you just write for three pages -- it can be anything you want -- free associating, poetry, goal setting, gratitude, whatever. I always include my gratitude practice and some affirmations in there and now I am doing the Miracle Morning writing in there too -- working through what you read for the reading portion of the miracle morning. I also get a little to-do list going in my morning pages so that I have a clear plan for the day.
I walk every morning. Usually it is between two and three miles and while I do that I listen to something that I know is motivating -- maybe a self improvement book or lecture, maybe music -- but something that gets my body moving and my mind pumped up for the day. I do a workout later in the day as well that is full of fun music and sweating. The more I exert myself in those workouts the more energy and mental clarity I'll have for whatever that day requires.
It has been a few weeks since I turned the value of my quarantine around and already my waist is narrower, my house is cleaner, my investing practice, writing practice and workouts have been more fruitful. I feel full of energy and sleep like a baby.
"If you win the morning you win the day." -- I think Tim Ferriss said that -- at least that is where I heard it. It is proving to be absolutely true.
Check out the links below for the books mentioned in this post. If nothing else, do the Miracle Morning, morning S.A.V.E.R.S routine. Just that will pump up your quality of life.
Books and authors mentioned in this post:
(*the following are paid affiliate links)