♪ Note: this article is also available as a podcast episode. (Scroll down to find the podcast or click here for this week’s episode.)
Happy Monday! I am honoured to talk to you today, and I hope you are feeling well.
I was lucky this morning, because I wasn’t in a rush. I got up, made myself a cup of tea, and did a live meditation with my friend Meghan from Meghan is Mindful. Such a lovely way to start the day.
If – like me – you’ve been working too hard lately, it’s so important to take some time for yourself and your mental health. It can be really difficult to get off the hamster wheel. Some of us never do, until we are forced to. Especially for those of us who go all in and work-work-work until we (sometimes quite literally) fall over, it is vital that we take this time. I promise, it’ll be worth it!
(You can find my meditation playlist here, if you’re interested in short mindful breaks.)
Back to the topic: how do we set ourselves up for success?
Take a deep breath, and tell me: how are you feeling right now?
If you are really busy, just taking a few deep breaths is enough for now. If you can make the time, find something that works for you, and give yourself permission to do just that:
- Play a song you love
Whatever you do, remember to get quiet for a moment, and listen to yourself.
- How is your body feeling? (Any aches and pains?)
- How is your breath? (Slow, deep, short, shallow, irregular, rhythmic?)
- How is your mind? (Full of mental chatter or quiet?)
- What’s going on emotionally? (Happy, sad, confused, angry, calm, intrigued?)
This will be your starting point.
2. What are your goals + how will you achieve them?
Set yourself up for success this week by setting some intentions. When setting your goals, consider these two parts:
(1) What do I choose to do?
(2) How will I do it?
Step 1 will help you figure out where you want to go, and step 2 will create the roadmap.
What do I choose to do?
What do you want to accomplish this week? I usually set 3-5 goals for the week. These will be my main focus.
(We’ll talk more about this topic in a later post. For now, just write down your priorities for the week.)
Psychology Hack: There has been research around the number of ‘chunks’ of information (usually numbers or words) we can hold in our short-term memory. This is known as “memory span” (or “digit span”, when we’re talking about numbers). On average, humans have a memory span of 7 items. Because of this, I recommend choosing no more than 6-7 goals for the week. (It will be less overwhelming if you can actually remember what you’re planning to do!)
How will I do it?
To actually accomplish the goal, you need a two main things:
- A pathway to the finish line
- The motivation to walk the path
Take a moment to write down:
- What are the steps I need to take to accomplish this goal?
- How can I motivate myself to take these steps?
- Why is this goal important to me?
Psychology Hack: If it helps you, try to rephrase your goals. “I have to” doesn’t feel as good as “I choose to” or “I get to”.
(If you are feeling overwhelmed AF, or if this is making you feel really resistant, that is OK! Maybe you’d like to check out The Thermostat Method first. Feel free to reach out if you need support.)
3. Take care of your mental health
When planning your week, make sure to schedule time for your mental health. What can you do this morning / today / this week to make this moment better?
- Take the time for some coffee / tea / hot chocolate in the morning
- Read a great book
- Bring your favourite lunch to work (or make something nice at home)
- Create art – just for you
- Book a yoga class
- Go running, biking, or walking outside
- Have a Zoom date with a good friend
- Plan some time to do absolutely nothing -> scheduling empty space can be really helpful
What activities would make you feel excited about the week ahead? Try to plan some of those! (And don’t feel guilty! Self-care is an act of service.)
Are you ready for the week ahead? I’d love to hear your thoughts!