Recently, I realised I had stopped doing the things that had made me successful and happy. I had got to where I wanted to be and I’d forgotten the principles that got me there. I realised I wasn’t giving my all to my job or my own health and I wasn’t living up to the standards that I had set and was just coasting along. The habits that had helped me so much were things of the past. That had a slow effect on me in that I gradually felt less and less happy. I needed to get back on track in my life.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn
Momentum will start to work against you once you start to put in less effort. You will start to give less effort in other areas of your life and the momentum will pick up more power.
The first step with any problem is to recognise that there is a problem! Once I admitted to myself that I could be doing much better in many areas of my life, I decided to take action to return to living a life where I was committed to achieving my goals and was positive about my future.
You might be going through a tough time or you may not have noticed anything that you’ve stopped doing specifically but you may experience that feeling of dullness about your life. ‘meh!’
I hope that this strategy will help you.
I fell off track by not carrying on the rituals that had helped me to become successful and happy. They are very simple but they take effort and it’s often easy to skip them. My rituals were going to bed and getting up at specific times, eating healthily and staying hydrated, reading every day, writing in my journal and diary and planning my days in advance.
I used to write in my diary every evening and I realised that I hadn’t written in there for three weeks. I sat down and thought about why I hadn’t been as keen as I used to be to record my life. I realised that I wasn’t living a life I was proud of and excited about like I used to be, and that I had fallen out of the habit of daily writing.
I made a list of my rituals and made it my goal to do all of them without missing one. As soon as you miss one, your momentum is working against you. What rituals have you used in the past that have helped you? What rituals can you think of that would make a big difference to your life, if you did them every day? Design your own list and write them down.
This a great video of Tony Robbins explaining why rituals are so important if you want to raise the standards in your life and achieve your goals.
Priority Action Steps
The next step is to create a list of your priorities. These are the different areas of your life that are important to you. For me, these included my work, my studies, my health and my family amongst other things. For each one I wrote what I needed to accomplish in the short term to make progress in each area.
These became my action steps. I dedicated myself to working through these steps and getting back to a position in each of the areas that made me feel pleased with my progress.
Seeing all of this written down in front of me gave me a lot of motivation to make positive changes to my life and it excited me to be working towards achieving something again.
The third thing I did was write down where I had been letting myself down in each area. A few examples are that I hadn’t been getting to work on time, I hadn’t been going to the gym regularly, and I wasn’t eating healthily.
You have to be really honest with yourself otherwise this process won’t work! And when you are really honest, painful though it may be, you will reap the rewards.
Don’t be overwhelmed if you have a long list. If you take responsibility for all the things you have written down, you can make the decision to do something about them.
You now need to come up with a plan for how you’re going to tackle each item. Write down each item again with a plan underneath of how you’re going to address it.
You will now have a rituals list, a short term action list and an improvement list. When I had gone through this process, and once I could see all the information in front of me, it gave me hope and motivation to push myself to get my life back on track.
I pinned them up on my wall in my bedroom so I could look at them every day. I read them in the morning and the evening. This really worked for me and I made progress in the areas of my life and got back that feeling of excitement and happiness that I had lost.
Interestingly, it didn’t work for a friend of mine. They put the lists up on the wall but they didn’t actually go through with carrying out their new rituals and taking the necessary action to carry out their plans. After a while they took no notice of the lists on the wall and continued living the life they were previously living and spending most of their time on their computer.
Don’t make the same mistake! Commit yourself to creating the lists and then taking action every day. Don’t get overwhelmed by the journey in front of you and just focus on the progress you’ll be making every day. Soon you’ll be on top of the world, and it will be all of your own making.