3 Simple Life Hacks to Living Your Values
1.Start before you feel like it
2.Watch your language
3.Don’t find time, MAKE time
- Start before you feel like it!
Most of us wait until we feel like doing something BEFORE we do it.
This is a problem. If we wait to do the things that will make us feel better until we are already feeling better, we won’t feel better at all! Susan Jeffers wrote a book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, based almost entirely on this principal!
2. We tell ourselves we “CAN’T” do things because ________________ (fill in the blank with your favourite excuses. i.e. I’m too busy, too tired, etc). The truth is that once something is in our conscious awareness, it is rarely an issue of CAN’T, it becomes an issue of WON’T.
Try it out, think of something you want to include in your day that you tend not to do, lets’ take exercise for instance. Notice the difference in how it feels when we tell ourselves “I can’t exercise”, vs “I won’t exercise”.
Let’s try another, “I can’t eat healthy” vs “I won’t eat healthy”. The simple change in language significantly increases our sense of accountability (and makes us much more uncomfortable when we don’t do what is in line with our values). It changes what we call our locus of control from being external- the outside world is doing this to us with “can’t”, to an internal locus of control, we are choosing this with “won’t”. In addition to changing can’t into won’t, another helpful switch in language is changing “should’s” into “could’s”, ie. “I should call mom”, vs “I could call mom”; “I should eat healthy” vs “I could eat healthy”.
3. It’s not about being able to FIND time, it’s about MAKING the time.
If someone you cared for needed you to bring them for their chemotherapy treatments would you “find time” to bring them? See if you can squeeze them into your schedule? Or would you “make time”, prioritize that first and schedule everything else around it? I made time. I think you would too.
Let’s look at an example of how all of this happens in real life…
Kennedy is a single mother of 3 kids, one who has special needs. She has no real support to speak of and really tries her best, but as a result of chronic pain issues and Fibromyalgia she has been inconsistent in her parenting and is only intermittently emotionally available despite her best efforts. Her kids are the most important focus for her. Despite understanding that in order to be a better parent, to be more present and available, she needs to take better care of herself, she struggles to find time in the day to do things like meditate, journal, spend 10-20 min on a creative project or interest to her or go for a walk in nature. All of these are things that she knows from the past are very helpful in recharging her battery and do make her a better parent when she does them. The thing is that she never feels like doing these things, so when she does have a free 10-30 min, she goes on social media, watches a TV show or You tube instead.
Kennedy is waiting to feel like meditating or exercising before she does it. To make things worse she feels helpless in all of this, telling herself she can’t do the things that would help because she feels depressed. She blames her low mood for not having the motivation to do any of these things. Although it is true that would make it harder for sure, we are all able to find 5 min in a day when we need to, and if she is able to physically make herself tend to the needs of her kids, she is physically able to do the same for herself even if it is only briefly or she can choose something like meditation which is not at all physically strenuous. The issue is that she won’t make the time to allow herself to self care. Once we start using that language with ourselves, it becomes much more uncomfortable continuing to do things that are not healthy for us.
SIDE NOTE: This often comes from emotional baggage that taught us we don’t matter, and everyone else has to be taken care of first. It is not a matter of not knowing how to self care or schedule our lives around being healthy, it is that we don’t have permission to do so from ourselves because it would stir up emotions connected to all the times we and others haven’t treated us like we mattered.
So remember to…
- Start before you feel like it
- Change can’t into won’t and should into could
- Make the time for the things that matter
If hanging out with healthy tribe is in line with your values this cold morning, maybe we will see you at the Annual Holiday Waffle Potluck at the clinic today between 10-12 pm!