Many of us get bogged down by the daily grind. Getting into routines can be good but also cause habits to form or even worse a sense of boredom. There are some tricks that you can practice as part of your daily routine to remind yourself that every day may seem the same, but that small strides toward big goals are definitely more rewarding than radical jumps that may leave you feeling further behind than where you started.
This concept is fairly simple and really doesn’t require much of your time or energy. The idea comes from the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It is an exercise meant to help artists get out of their heads and help the creative juices to flow once again. The trick is that it works for everyone!
Simply find a journal. It doesn’t have to be anything special. Then every day write 3 pages. It can be about anything! If you stick with it every day (morning, afternoon or night) then you will be very surprised what comes out. It is very similar to unconscious writing to allow your brain to transfer thoughts to paper and free up space to help with focus. I’ve found that it has helped me with seeing what I feel is holding me back, why I’m feeling stagnant or just seeing what kind of progress I’m actually making.
Daily gratitude lists are always super helpful. Some like to start their day with listing out what they are gracious for. These can be people, places, situations, a job, or whatever you are thankful for. Doing this in the morning when you first wake up can help set your intentions for the day with a gracious step forward.
Another great practice is to write out a gratitude list every evening before bed. It is a great way to reflect on your day and help ease your mind before sleeping. To see all the things you are grateful for before you shut your eyes can make a huge difference!
While these lists can be done at any point in the day I’ve found that if you stick to a specific time of day to write out a list then your brain will begin to crave that assurance that things are actually great and going in a positive direction even when you feel setbacks.
We all know The Secret, which made the idea of vision boards famous. The funny thing is that when I learned about vision boards it reminded me of when I was a kid and I used to cover my school books with cut outs from magazines. I would stare at these things every day and envision my life as that person or owning that car, etc. So what I have found to be super helpful for vision boards is that they can be a daily reminder to see hanging in your bedroom, office or wherever. It is a quick reminder that you have already put out an intention to achieve something and taken the time to commit that to a physical space.
I was very surprised over the years to look back on old vision boards that I had put away. I had achieved many of the goals I had set out to in some form or fashion. Kind of mind blowing! What I also like is that it gives my brain a rest to see something and not have to constantly be criticizing my ever move in how I am going to obtain a specific goal. It’s hanging right there and every day I am moving toward it; one step at a time.
Printing out daily affirmations and hanging them on the mirror in your bathroom or using one as the wallpaper of your phone’s lock screen might seem silly but simple one-liners do actually work! For example, if you print out a piece of paper that is something inspirational to you and tape it to your bathroom mirror to look at every time you glance at yourself then there is a weird association your brain makes with that phrase and your face for instance. If you are specifically going toward some goal then finding something to keep you motivated toward that goal can be really helpful to help train your brain to read and think more in a positive way than constantly criticizing your daily actions toward that goal.
Simply put, “You’re Doing Great!” written in your own handwriting can make your brain think… “Yea, I’m doing great!”
All of these things are easy to do and can be simple to help train your brain to not get so caught up in the mundane of our day to day but keep us motivated to keep moving forward. It also helps to have specific deadlines or a calendar to keep track weekly of what we have done to work toward that goal!
You’re One Step Closer Than You Were Yesterday!