The last 3 years of my life have been unusual. The first 1.5 being very active, productive optimistic years. Unfortunately, that hasn’t carried into the last 1.5 years. Falling into a sort of slump is shitty for many reasons: general exhaustion, no motivation, unable to contribute to relationships, etc.
Recently though I’ve felt the cloud lifting, with winter approaching who knows how long that will last, hello SAD. I think the hardest part of coming out of a slump is the need to relearn old habits/routines you had when you were productive. Instead of working out every other day, I work out in spurts. Instead of putting things away as I’m done using them I leave things all over the place and then go on a giant cleaning binge. I go through moments when I don’t want to spend time with anyone and then moments when I can’t even fathom being left alone.
I’m trying to retrain my brain to do things in small manageable bites, not to starve myself and then binge. (metaphorically speaking)
I can’t say that I’ve found some magical way of doing this because I haven’t but I have some ideas/techniques that I want to put into place.
My Game Plan
- Advertise. Let people know you are trying to develop a new habit, or that you’re creating a new routine. It’s very easy to let ourselves off the hook but having someone else know what we’re up to allows them to hold us accountable for our actions. When someone asks how things are going re: waking up early, quitting smoking or going to the gym etc. We’ll feel proud when we succeed and disappointment when we don’t. These emotions will help fuel our success.
- Start Small. Sure big changes can be very effective, but to build a habit you need to do the same thing over and over and over again. Starting small allows these changes to seem more obtainable. When something seems scary we naturally shy away from it, that’s just human nature; learning to associate positive feelings with change would allow us to welcome these modifications.
- Act. When we start overthinking, endless possibilities creep into our minds and either these possibilities are positive or negative, usually, they’re the latter. We’re good at psyching ourselves out and forcing our own hand before we’ve even begun. By not allowing yourself to overthink and to just GO you prevent that chain reaction that so often prevents us from action.
- Visualize. I don’t often imagine myself doing something before I do it, however recently I’ve been trying to do more of just that and it has certainly helped motivate me. There’s a difference between overthinking and aspiring, it’s a fine difference but it’s still there. Overthinking quickly turns negative, aspiring allows you to positively imagine the future. For developing new habits you’d be visualizing the small task at hand, keeping a positive attitude will help keep those tasks seem bite-sized and less daunting.
I’m not sure if these tricks were helpful or if they seem like common sense, but a MAJOR part of all of this is attitude. Staying optimistic/positive changes your thought patterns, it’ll positively affect your mood and other important parts of your life. Imagine if whenever you got into a dispute with your partner, instead of seeing it as “We’re so different they don’t understand” you looked at it as a “We could teach one another so much”. Our perspective is everything, and wouldn’t you rather see things through positive eyes.
So cheers to teaching an old dog some tricks (me), and not binge living through life’s tasks,