Life is always going to find a way to overwhelm you. To try to beat you down. To try to get into your head. No matter what you want to achieve or how well prepared you happen to be, you’re going to face frustration, chaos, and uncertainty.
You’re going to feel overwhelmed. But you get to choose if you let yourself stay that way.
Let’s face it, you need more clarity. You need more focus.
You need a plan to keep yourself pointed towards progress.
Sometimes doing one little thing can make your day, your week, or your month amazing.
Try one of these EDGY activities daily to have more awesome and less worry in your life.
1. Your pen (or your keyboard) is your sword.
Use a notebook or online journal to help cut through your stress by writing out what’s holding you back. Explore your feelings. Make a list of what you are thankful for. Make a list of what you hope to accomplish today. Tomorrow. This week. Check back on your list and cross off what you’ve done.
Add another goal. Nothing screams productivity and focus like actually being able to see how far you’ve come and where you are heading.
2. By land or by sea. Or both.
There is not enough that can be said of the power of a good workout. Go for a long run. Or a short walk. Take a dip in the pool. Roller-skate. Dance. Do yoga, pilates, or Zumba. By the way, if exercise isn’t your “thing,” change your mind and make it your new thing.
Start small. Download a beginning runners app. Take a water aerobics class. Move the coffee table and turn up the music. Just get moving. It’s good for your body, but it’s better for your mind.
3. Meditate. Learn how to be still.
Even if it is only for fifteen minutes a day. If you aren’t a “be still” kind of person, find your meditation. Maybe painting takes your mind off the world. Maybe drawing is your escape. Maybe it’s one of those nifty grown-up coloring books. Or kneading bread dough.
Find your meditation and commit to fifteen minutes just for you. Even if you have to lock yourself in the hall closet or bathroom to do it.
Note: the bathroom is no place for kneading bread.
4. Find your mantra. And repeat it as needed.
Learning to clear your mind of all of your thoughts is an acquired skill. With the right amount of practice, it is an invaluable tool. Until you can sit and think nothing, try using a mantra to keep you positive and focused.
When you are feeling low, try “I am strong. I am power. I achieve anything I put my mind to.” When you need to stop overthinking, simply tell yourself “stop thinking” over and over. You may feel silly at first. Until you see the big changes a little change can make.
5. Phone a friend. Or FaceTime them.
Or better yet, sneak off for a coffee date. Sometimes you need to vent. Sometimes you need to hear a joke. Sometimes you just need to see a familiar friendly face.
Everybody has good days and bad days. It’s OK to share both. Keeping close connections and sharing goals with your people will help hold both of you accountable and is a great way to stay focused on accomplishing big goals.
6. Make a road trip. To anywhere.
Driving is its own form of meditation. You don’t have to go anywhere specific. Just fill up your tank and drive. Windows down. Windows up. Music Up. No Music. You choose. It’s your trip.
Figure out how long you want to be gone and get lost on an old back road. Or take the straightaway on the highway. Try not to think. But if you must, think happy thoughts. Leave your problems behind. Come back ready to conquer.
7. Lose your phone. Do it live.
Disconnect from the world and connect with what’s around you. Do something or do nothing. The choice is yours. For at least 30 minutes a day, forget where you put your phone.
Stop taking pictures of everything and look at things with your eyes. Make memories that are just for you. A picture of a sunset is great, but sitting on the beach running both hands through the sand while you inhale the salty breeze watching the setting sun–that is awesome.
8. Talk to your dog. Or your cat. Or your fish.
Sometimes you just need to formulate and articulate your thoughts without any unnecessary feedback. You know what you want. You know what you need to do to get it. Say it out loud while petting them.
Sure, your pets may look at you like they are confused and like you are crazy, but at least they’re fuzzy. Except for the fish. What’s the lesson? Say it out loud. Share your thoughts. Speak your destiny.
9. Find the little things. And appreciate them.
Everything doesn’t have to be big, bold and in your face. Start appreciating the small things. They really do become the big things. A sunny day outside. A rainy day curled up on the couch with someone you love. Children laughing as they play in a water fountain.
All the little things together are what happiness is made of. And isn’t your head much clearer when you’re happy? Happiness is a choice. A hard one at times. But still a choice. Choose it.
10. Organize your space. Organize your mind.
Nothing is more calming than walking into an organized space after a long day. The last thing you want to do after you’ve put in two more hours than you anticipated is to walk into a messy bedroom or dishes in the sink. Your messy desk is one thing, but everything surrounding it should have its place.
And while you’re at it, why not throw some inspirational posters up in the places that you spend the most time? (BTW, here are 5 or 6 FREE EDGY posters to keep your cubicle or home office inspired and looking classy.)
11. Read an inspiring book. Or two. Or three.
Keep a stash of inspirational reading in every room of your home and office…. including the bathroom. Keep one in your car. The ones you can pick up and start reading anywhere for a little encouragement are great.
Don’t rule out whole biographies about amazing people who succeeded at doing the same amazing things you have set out to do. For every success, there’s a failure. You aren’t the first to need a few words of wisdom.
You got this. You really do.
Make momentum your advantage.
The frustration life throws at you doesn’t need to be debilitating. You don’t need to give up because you don’t know what to do.
Achieving big goals starts with small changes to your daily schedule. So stay focused.
Make today the day you take back your motivation.