If you have not read the first part of this series of posts you can do so here.
It is not necessary to read it first to gain the information from this post, but it does explain the year long process I went through with grief depression after losing 2 people close to me with cancer, and watching 3 others my age in my community also die of cancer..all in one year. Those deaths and personal losses made me evaluate my life and decide to get back in the game of life…which lead to me making the new habits and starting Motivational Monday that I discuss in this post.
New Habits and a Gradual Shift
When you make the shift from feeling defeated, to deciding to go on and live well…it is not a sudden shift. It is gradual, and you don’t even see it until you are well into the new stage. If you do not make new habits to keep yourself on track, it IS so gradual, you can and will slip backwards,forget why you were doing it all in the first place, and get depressed again.
It is a process that requires you picking yourself back up and starting again. But if you do pick yourself up again each time, soon, the falls become shorter and you begin to even see them coming and find ways to stop them from being so harsh or long or occurring at all.
“We are all just stories in the end, so make it a good one”-Dr Who
When I decided to get back in the game, I made a new habit of evaluating my week, every week.
I thought a lot about how I can live a life that celebrates what I am good at, be around people that lift me up, not bring me down, and looked at what makes me feel happy and peaceful inside today, and how to find a way to do things that improve myself in areas that need changes for the positive.
I did this because I decided I wanted to do things day to day that lead to me having had a life on my deathbed that I would be proud of, and to die with minimal regrets. To do that, I’d need to have a weekly meeting with myself, just like businesses do weekly to stay on track with ongoing projects.
As part of this evaluation, I looked at my life as a business project and I thought about my passions, what I wanted to be remembered for, what my great great grandchildren would say about me when I’ve been gone for 100 years.
I took some time to imagine what I wanted my day to day to look like in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years, and decided to gear my day to day activities NOW with tasks that would directly lead toward me achieving these goals, and also make me happy right now.
One Monday night a few months ago, feeling overwhelmed by the week ahead, I wrote out four personal life goals based on what I would regret if I were to find out I was going to die in 6 months.
Why four? Because 5 seemed to overwhelming to me at the time. I decided I would lower my anxiety about getting things done, by focusing on the things that were on my list.The top priorities.
My list was:
1.To do things everyday that make me less stressed, less anxious, and celebrate life even in little ways.( my art, music, friendships, nurturing myself through mindfullness daily)
2.To have a happy marriage and happy children ( less chaos, organize the house, get the reno projects done, spending time together)
3.To be healthy and pain free ( lose weight to lessen pain in joints, eat healthier, exercise for less stress , get sun every day, grow the garden for cheap healthy foods)
4.To find a way to , and work at being financially stable ( through writing, selling art and sewing projects)
I decided that if an activity was not directly related to these 4 life goals, i would push it down on the list and focus only on the things that lead toward achieving my 4 most important goals.
As a way to stay on target, I write out these 4 life goals every week in my day planner as I chart out my to do’s for the week. I also look at 4 positive things that happened last week, look at what I did not get done, evaluate why they did not get done, and write out ways I could change that this week. I find it really helps keep me on track, allows me to see the progress, and make changes where needed to stay on track, and feel less stress, and more content daily…even with all the stressful things I have going on daily.
As part of this weekly evaluation, and staying on track I also changed the way I use Facebook, but I’ll save that for next weeks Motivational Monday blog post!
So, How do you stay on track? Have you gone through a life changing evaluation recently? Share it here in comments with me. I’d love to have a dialogue with others about how they nurture themselves and stay on track as a busy mom and CEO of the household.