Is It Time To Reset Your Life?
“Your life is probably chaotic, and nothing really makes any kind of sense.” ~ Dancing At The Crossroad.
This was me six years ago. I needed a RESET. I would wake up each day not grasping why I was still breathing. Nothing seemed right, and although I was doing things to ensure I was here for another day, I wasn’t feeling it. My life was on autopilot, and I was not the one manning the controls. I started journaling about a period in my life that eventually became a guided journal for those like me who are recovering from grief.
At the time, dealing with the death of someone close to me, coupled with increasing stress, anxiety and the uncertainty of my career, complicated things even further. My mistrust of the fleeting nature of life rendered me stuck, frozen and paralyzed while everything around me reeked of chaos. Something needed to change.
Many times when we are in the midst of life’s chaotic and confusing situations, we act defeated. We increase our stress and anxiety about the future with all the over-thinking we do. We spend countless nights lying awake, entertaining scenarios that may never come to fruition, wrestling internally with stuff by day, then rendering ourselves and our lives powerless to action. This is a sure sign that hopelessness has set in, and we may need some help turning things around.
This was my outlook then because I had not given a moment to consider the options of various life paths in front of me. I had already convinced myself that there was no reasonable approach and my only recourse was to give up. I admit this was a scary time for me, each path looking worse than the other, preventing any possible action I might take. I was living more in fear than from an optimistic view. This is when you know change is a necessity. Whether it’s you taking the reigns or having someone you trust head that department, you must do something.
Over time and with much practice, I adopted the process of a hard RESET and incorporated better practices in the way I manage my situations. It’s led me down a path to a greater purpose, and it fits. I call it RE-ENGINEERING LIFE.
Examine these five lessons I learned on how to hard reset in the midst of chaos and see if you can benefit from tweaking one or two of them.
Change your daily routine.
This year I decided to mix things up just a little. I usually have a morning routine which I stick to most of the time, but I decided to add a nighttime one as well. I listen to a lot of Hay House inspirational material, and the advice given by most authors is that the secret is in the routine. They endorse maximizing the power of the mind.
So instead of falling asleep watching television, I have replaced it with listening to audio versions of some of my favorite spiritual leaders – Sadhguru, Wayne Dyer, Bishop Dale Bronner. I now fall asleep with visions of myself in the places I would like to end up in the future. When I wake up in the morning, I start with my gratitude list. I recall all the things I have to be thankful for and move into meditation and reading. For these, I must wake one hour earlier than I usually do to ensure I keep the same schedule.
When you take action and start doing things differently, you begin to feel some ease almost immediately. Instead of thinking about some distant place in your head, full of uncertainty, you will be working on something that only you have control over, your actions.
Mary Kay Ash says, “For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.”
That’s the real essence of life—knowing that you have absolute control over your thoughts, words, and actions. By moving, trying, engaging, and walking forward, you are one step further from where you were yesterday and you just never know where that one step will lead you.
Set SMARTer goals for yourself.
Sometimes when we set goals, we think we need to go big. Not necessarily, since going big and falling short means, we end up going home empty-handed. Sometimes a better choice might be setting a small goal that we know we can achieve.
When I wanted to start a daily regimen of exercising (I hate exercising by the way unless it’s some outdoor activity like riding or tennis), I set a goal of riding my bike every day (specific) for two weeks (time-based), despite the weather conditions. My goal was to get my heart rate up in the morning and get my body moving (measurable). I set it because I knew I could accomplish it without much bargaining or convincing (realistic). I even considered all the deal breakers that would make me not do it, like the cold weather, my schedule and my feeling that day. If I could not do it in the morning, I could recoup in the evening. (achievable).
I managed to pull it off. The one thing it did was that I could push myself, I could stretch beyond the limits of what I think could be accomplished if I just stay in my lane and not try to go too big. The other thing was that it boosted my confidence because I knew I had it.
Challenge yourself to do something OUTRAGEOUS.
Whenever I feel stuck or unmotivated, I create an outrageous challenge in my head and take the first step in achieving it. You are probably wondering why I would do something so crazy. Here’s why. When you are in your comfort zone, everything is predictable, and no growth takes place.
Think back to when you were a child and had big dreams of what you wanted to become. Do you remember what that felt like? When you told the story to anyone who asked you said it with such surety and conviction, the person listening to you was all in, believing you would actually achieve it. It is with this same conviction that we should talk to ourselves. We want that promotion; we have to act like we already have it but also put in the work to let the powers that be prove us worthy of it.
So let’s use me for example. My most outrageous act was thinking I could publish a book. I was so scared that people would not want to read it. You could never imagine how many sessions I had with myself in front of the mirror talking about putting myself out there and how beneficial it would be to someone else. After months of this, I eventually said fudge it; I am doing this. It took almost two years in the process, but I am now a published author, a credential that was just a dream a few years ago.
Just take a step! That’s all that is necessary to release your fears.
Find a mentor – real or imagined.
I know you’ve heard the expression – every coach needs a coach.
When you start out exploring new opportunities, we may feel intimidated. This is the reason why many of us either wait too long or abandon a project before we get started. The competition is overwhelming, so how do you show up as an original?
The people who have gone before us have the knowledge the experience and the process down to a science. Why would you want to reinvent the wheel? If you want to get ahead and need to shorten the learning curve, then find someone who has gone through the ringer and who knows more than you do to walk you through the process.
I’ve always had a mentor but now have a few. Some I have on speed-dial, others I admire from a distance through their blogs and posts via social media. They all lead by example, and I follow.
Trust your instincts.
I do nothing until I feel it at my core. My close friends all know me. Sometimes I know they become impatient because instead of acting on impulse I wait for the sign, the ‘gut feeling’ that ultimately becomes intrinsic motivation to get me moving. Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to acting on impulse, but I have come to trust big life decisions should be made with some considerations – meditation, weighing pros and cons and that ‘special’ sign.
It makes me excited to proceed because I know it’s coming from a place I cannot explain. It’s my guide and helps me make the best decisions for my future. I may fall, stumble and have to get back up, but in my experience most times I circumvent all that drama because I let my internal compass guide me.
Life will always through us lemons; it’s called life! To eliminate the chaos, we can find the right direction by being willing to try something new. If you’ve never tried a hard reset in your life before, now may a good time to do it.
If something resonated with you in this piece, please do not hesitate to let me know how you feel. My 6-week program, RESETNOW starts on July 01. Interested parties can contact me at hello@ mellanymotivates.com to find out more and sign up.