1) Start a daily “Unbounded Writing” journaling session.
There’s a good reason behind why I call it “Unbounded Writing”. The goal of this session is to dedicate a journal to yourself where you can jot down your thinking for 3-10 minutes on a daily basis. This “mind mapping” serves as a way for one to examine their thoughts. Science has shown us that we have 60-75,000 thoughts a day. With this amount of internal traffic, it’s no wonder that’s its so hard for us to get in touch with ourselves. Writing down our thoughts at a designated time per day benefits us because often times, we tell ourselves the same untrue stories that go unexamined. Because of that, we base our life’s decisions on these stories without any self inquiry. By journaling often, we become more mindful and aware of our thoughts so that we can learn to compassionately foster and transform it. Journaling also unleashes with your inner creativity. Has this ever happened to you? You were in the middle of doing something like, driving a car or washing the dishes and then this incredible, mind blowing idea comes up in your mind and you’re so excited about it but being occupied, you tell yourself, “I don’t need to write it down, I’ll definitely remember this.”
Then the time goes by and you don’t. And your great idea becomes someones else’s because you never even remembered it to pursue it. This surely has happened to me in the past and I was so bummed! Journaling allows for us to capture those great ideas. What a great way to unleash your creativity. Some of my best ideas ever happened through writing whatever was going on in my head down.
Actionable items that I call T H E GREAT D O I N G:
- Find a journal that has something inspiring to you in front of it or even if blank inspires you.
- On the very front page page of that journal, title it “The Unbounded Writing”.
- Then state what your intentions are with the journal. It could go something like “the purpose behind these pages is to allow space for my thoughts and contemplations to flow as they choose without judgement or editing. I intend to show up to this space on a daily basis and dedicate at least 5 minutes to opening my heart and letting my thoughts flow to paper as it is without attachment to any outcome.”
Before you start writing, I invite for you to consider a few things:
L E T G O . Let go of all expectations. You don’t have to force yourself to expect that you will have lengthy thoughts that need to fill up 2 pages. Or to expect yourself to sound like an author in a fiction book to try to make your life sound picturesque and perfect. We want raw and authentic writing just as they come.
Let go of all judgments. The goal is to try not program or filter ourselves by erasing or crossing out words because of our judgments. Remember that this journal is dedicated to you so as long as you are not judging yourself, no one else will.
Let your mind run where it wants to. It’s as simple as having a thought and writing it down. It could be a to do list for the day. Lessons you’ve learned. Intentions you want to set. A funny story that happened to you. Someone that made you laugh. Something that made you feel good. Dinners you want to cook. Contemplations you have. Goals. Or maybe you have something that’s been bothering you and sitting in your mind for a long time and you just want to get it off your mind- why not put it on paper? Or you could just be feeling really happy then just draw a happy face. With a few sentences underneath. The reason why it’s called Unbounded is to write as much as possible without limiting your own thinking.
What you will have left is a journal of YOU. imagine how much your future self can learn about you and imagine all the ideas that can come out from this journal with the consistency of you writing everyday.
2) Let Go of What is No Longer Serving You
We are constantly changing. What works for us one day, may not work for us the next. That’s why it is helpful to be in a constant process of letting go what is no longer serving us. Do you have some Facebook Friends that you rarely or never interact with yet their constant negative mind banter keeps popping up on your feed? I know I do. And at the end of every quarter, I make it a top priority to remove them off my friend’s list. Even if it is family. Social media to me is a place to keep positive and inspire. Anything else that does not align with that doesn’t personally work for me.
My teacher often says, “The company you keep is stronger than your will.” Who are spending the majority of your time with? And do they uplift you and inspire you or does it feel like they are dragging you down? This is a good time to mentally review the kinds of company you keep around you and make an effort to surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed! This includes friends, family, or co-workers. This process letting go also includes pictures on your phone that you don’t need, apps that you no longer use, files on your computer that will never look at again, clothes that are just taking up space and would be of better use in someone else’s closest (Donate!), clutter in your office desk and lastly, old habits that you want to transform.
3) G e t t ing Scattered Mess On Check
Being organized saves us so much time! How much time have we spent searching for something due to not knowing where it is? One of the best decisions I made last year was hiring a professional organizer to come to my place. She helped me to develop systems that worked for me and my space. Something I learned from her that is that every item needs its own home. When it has a home, you will know exactly where to find it and return it. Once you get a system set up that works for you, you can spend more time doing and less time searching. The real task is maintaining and keeping this organization, which if you do it right, maintaining gets easy! This type of organizational system of finding a home for items can be used from the spaces in your house, to your computer and designating folders, and to your office with paperwork. Every item will have a place of belonging. Now instead of your wasting wandering back and forth to find something, you can dedicate all of that energy to get focused and clear on your goals. Talk about clarity.
EVERNOTE– it is an online organizational notebook that I’ve been using since freshman year of college to organize my notes, writings, tasks, etc. This way you can access your notes anywhere, any time.
FOCUS APP APPLE timer– Do you tend to get distracted easily? This app is a great way to map your productivity. You can set a timer for 25 minutes, and for that totality of that time, all you are doing is that one task. No social media distractions, or answering emails or text messages. You will feel like a rock star having accomplished so much by using 25 minute block intervals.
4) Have a Routine YOU TIME
This is the most important one for me which is why I saved it for last.
When was the last time you did something to serve yourself?
When was the last time you gave yourself the same kind of attention that you give to someone you love?
When was the last time you did something because it makes you feel good?
Often times we get so caught up attending to the needs of others, that we leave ourselves completely out of the equation. This gets to a point where we aren’t able to truly show up for the people we love.
THE GREAT DOING: Establish routine “Keep To Myself Time”. This is your non-negotiable, nothing else to do but you time. During this time, you are giving complete and undivided attention to your mind, body, soul and self.
How to establish your routine
- Determine if you want to have this time in the morning or night time. I like to do the morning because it helps me to set my tone for the whole day. At night is great too because it can help you to reflect on your day and sleep with ease.
- Determine how long you will give complete attention to yourself for. For me, it is 1.5 hours.
- Determine what kinds of practices you want to put into play. Everyone is different. To show you brief example of a few things I like to do during my Keep to Myself Time is stretching, yoga, breathing practices, then get into a deep meditation. After that, I set my gratitudes and intentions for the day. Then I have my “Unbounded Writing” session. Then I’ll read something inspirational out of a chapter of a book or online. Then I exercise. This for me is the perfect set up for a fulfilling day that allows me to show up wholly and completely in my service to others. All great goals and visions require self care and most importantly, self love. You’ll hear me say this a lot but you have to be selfish in order to be selfless.
In love and light,
If you loved the content in this article or think it could benefit someone in your life, please do share! What are your intentions for 2017? I’d love to hear from you. Comment Below.