In my previous post, I shared 12 practical steps you can do to reset your life and find your focus. There are many benefits like improving your health, building confidence, and regaining control of your happiness, goals, and decisions. In this post, I'll show you how to tackle these practices with actionable steps to get your started on living a happier and healthier life!
1. Identify 3 Stressors and Eliminate Them
Take time and isolate the top 3 culprits of stress in your life. Assess why it is causing you stress. Once you find the root of it all, commit to one practical action you can do to alleviate the stress each one causes. Try replacing each one with something you enjoy. For example, let's say work is stressing you out because you have a big deadline coming up; to alleviate the stress, you might try asking for more resources. Replace the time you spend stressing with journaling or exercise
One of the things I found stressful in my life is my job. As an educator, so much is required from the district, administration, students, and even parents. I was taking so much work home with me, and it was a never-ending cycle. Once I realized the cause of my stress, I began leaving work at work. I did what I could while I was there and when 4:30P came, I clocked out. I knew it meant I would have a lot of work to do when I clocked in, but isn't that the point? Work is a black hole; it never ends and I don't get paid enough to take work home. Periodt!
What isn't resonating with the life you want right now? Is it the food you eat, the music you listen to, the people you spend time with, etc? Whatever it is, REMOVE IT!
Easier said than done -- I know. Out of sight, out of mind might work great for simple things like snacks or music. If it's more complicated like a person or an addiction, it will take time. My advice is do it gradually. Make yourself less available or deny yourself that luxury sometimes. Remember, if it's toxic, it has to go! Don't settle for the life you live, if the life you want is out there.
This one is interesting for me because at one point; I detoxed music. I found myself listening to music that negatively affected my emotions and I didn't like that at all. It wasn't intentional, but as I began building my personal relationship with God, I found it important to stop listening to certain types of music. I spent my drives in silence, praying and eventually began listening to Maverick City Music. Their music was uplifting, empowering, and filled with love and worship for God. Eventually, as I began listening to other music again but this time I'm a lot more choosy when it comes to what I allow into my ear gate.
3. Do Something You Did as a Child
Remember your favorite pastime you did as a child that you don't make time for anymore? That thing that brought you a sense of peace and tranquility when you were immersed in it? Whatever it might be -- whether it was journaling, reading, drawing, or playing ball -- Do it!
For me, it's reading. I loved reading novels and poetry as a child, but when I got to college, I forgot all about it. I have been reading a lot more novels and other books now; I even started a bookclub! I know sometimes it may seem like you don't have time for these things, but make time. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes and do your thing. You'll be enjoying yourself so much so, that you'll wonder where the time went.
4. Create a Digital Vision Board
Instead of creating a physical vision board, make a digital one and post it on for your phone. Use Canva, Prezi, or Adobe to create one. That way, it serves as a constant reminder for the life you desire.
Let's be real -- how many times did you look at your physical vision board after you made it? If you say more than 5x, then you're better than me! I remember spending so much time making a vision board on poster paper only for it to sit there and I didn't even look at it! So it occurred to, why not make a digital vision board since I spend so much time on my phone! So that's exactly what I did! I created a digital vision board, saved it as my screensaver. Now, I can constantly review the goals I'm working towards.
5. Declutter / Tidy
Find time today to go through an area in your space you’ve been meaning to sort through like your closet, car, or emails. Once you've decided on a spot, declutter by category. For example, if you're tidying up our closet, tackle your shoes first, then clothes, etc. This process can be time consuming so it may take you 2 days. If not, use day 2 to tackle another space. Play music and get to it! If you find it too overwhelming, make it manageable by focusing of 5 items instead.
As an artist, I thrive in organized spaces. The challenge is not tidying up, but instead returning things back where they belong. After reading KonMarie's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I realized I was having this issue because I never designated a spot for items to live. Now, I always put my keys in my key tray. Decluttering and tidying up is always a chore but the fruits of labor gives me inspiration. I am able to think clearly and create.
First, set an intention or prayer. It should be something you desire to hear from God. Next, choose something meaningful to fast. It should be something you will miss and without it's presence will allow you to focus on your connection with Christ.
I usually choose food but here are some alternatives: television, social media, or even (secular) music. Finally, decide on a set time limit. When I fast, I abstain from eating from 6am - 6pm for 2-3 days. If you decide to choose food, make sure to check in with your doctor, to see if this is right for you. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and eat something before and after your set time to prevent headaches. Remember to focus on your intention or prayer throughout the fast.
I want to share a bit of my testimony because this one is a game changer. The first time I did a fast, I was going through somethings and I wanted to hear from God on the situation. My fast was for 3 days and everything seemed the same on day 1-2. On the third day, I was fine up until the last 30 minutes of my fast. I was overcome with a wave of strong emotion. Little did I know I was about to receive the clarity I needed on my situation. It took me a while to understand what happened but it sure was an unforgettable experience. I say all this to say, it works!
We’ve gone through the first part and I challenge you to try them all (in no particular order.) I would love to hear about your progress? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for Part 2 on Resetting and Refocusing your Life!