I like simple commitments that have profound, life altering, soul firing results. We all want to be creative, productive, present, vibrant, and positive but how do we get there? I have seen massive change, success, and satisfaction come from the simplest of commitments. Start with these.
1. Rest: Make a specific commitment to rest more. Increase your weekly commitment as it becomes easier. Some of you are committed to rest and that’s fantastic but for those of you that aren’t, and you know who you are, you will see a dramatic shift if you commit to rest more. I’ve seen creativity soar, relationships blossom, and productivity increase when rest is a priorty. The commitment could be to go to bed at a certain time, disconnect from work for a certain number of hours, or to take a real vacation even if it’s just for a day or two. Start where you are, and increase slowly from there.
2. Water: Make a commitment to drink water everyday. I don’t care how much water you drink, if you put lemon in it, if you drink herbal tea, if it’s hot or cold, bubbly or flat. It doesn’t have to be 8 glasses to be optimum, in fact, I myself am happy with much less. You just have to commit to drinking an amount that you are comfortable with everyday. Why? Because this is a simple way to keep yourself conscious. You get all the benefits of being well hydrated, it steers you away from eating when you are actually thirsty, and best of all it keeps you present. If you make a commitment to drink x glasses of water per day, you have to space it out, otherwise you end up drinking it all at night and then you just ruined commitment number 1. Look at drinking water as an opportunity to check in with how you are feeling and how your day is going.
3. Exercise: Make a weekly exercise commitment. Increase your commitment slowly as it feels right to you. I’ve watched people go from 0 to 60 on the exercise commitment one too many times to recommend anything drastic. As with rest, start with where you are, and increase slowly from there. Make a commitment to improve your fitness level. I’ve witnessed physical transformation and disappointment in equal measure. Try thinking of exercise as correlated to increased energy rather than physical results. One of the most dramatic wins I witnessed was a women in her 50s who went from not doing any exercise at all to walking 3 times a week for 20 minutes. At the end of 12 weeks I couldn’t believe the happiness and energy incorporating this simple practice into her life brought her.
4. Gratitude: Create a gratitude practice and commit to it weekly. This wasn’t something that I came up with on my own. It came from running accountability groups for entrepreneurs. The people that want to be in an accountability process for the most part are envelope pushers. They want to go further, faster. I set up the context for making commitments and then I get a unique vantage point to watch personal feats that might never occur to me as possible it I weren’t witnessing them first hand. Guess what I noticed? The ones that were the most personally satisfied, most productive, most in love with their lives, were purposefully practicing gratitude. Being a keen observer, I incorporated gratitude into my routine by being grateful for what I have and for what I want. A gratitude commitment can be writing down what you are grateful for once a day or sharing with your family around the dinner table what each person is grateful for. Find a way to practice gratitude that works for you.
I guess you’ve figured out by now that these commitments are specific, measurable, actionable ways of addressing much larger themes than our bedtimes or workout routines. Rest is about making room for creativity, productivity, and play and much more effective than trying to make yourself be more productive or creative. Drinking water is an opportunity to visit the present moment and more accessible than meditation for a lot of people and it also doesn’t require quieting the mind, privacy, or time. Moving your body is a means to increased energy and vitality especially when you concentrate on feeling good. Practicing gratitude is being intentionally positive and inviting abundance into your life. Anyone can do these things and get awesome results. But it requires one thing, you have to commit to taking care of YOU first. That is your most important job and your biggest challenge. Make the commitment, you are worth it.
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