Holidays are over. School and work are back in full swing. And it's already in mid-January.
That's why it's time to get our thoughts clear on all our great ideas for 2020, and what's really important in the days, weeks and months ahead …
Let's make a pact to end January mentally strong !
First, let us remind you that the best way to achieve something worthwhile in life is to build small daily rituals that you practice every day (or at least every day you can physically do). A little daily ritual is a practice you consider special, an activity that should not be taken lightly, which you prioritize and differentiate yourself from the rest of your routine. It's something you voluntarily surrender to, not allowing yourself to reject the parts of what you like, but instead pushing forward and committing to the whole experience for a short time each day. And of course, the little pieces of progress you make every day add something big and eventually change the course.
A good example might be a five-minute daily ritual, where you decide to write every morning after breakfast, turn off the phone and other distractions and just write quietly. You have a clear intention, then you set a timer and give yourself fully to the writing and do not allow you to switch to other tasks until the timer goes off. When it goes off, you bow your head in gratitude for a job well done, smile and make your day. (This is just one example of how I do it; you don't have to do it exactly this way.)
With a little daily ritual like this, you have a clear structure and a reliable sequence … and yet, you I still think you want to rebel. You will catch your willpower that sometimes fights as you struggle with your usual tendency to reach the nearest distraction. However, this is not a bad thing, because it is where the most vigorous growth process takes place – in a consistent exercise of your little daily ritual, despite your inner rebellion. In the discomfort of staying in the long run, you become stronger and more self-disciplined with each passing day.
A little daily ritual can really be unimaginably transformative in a relatively short time.
And today, I challenge you to jump on the bandwagon with me and begin such a ritual in your life.
The specific challenge is actually to do some of what we have just discussed …
A Five-Minute Journal Ritual for Your Mental Strength
As I mentioned earlier on this blog, journaling is an invaluable tool for inner strength and real success.
Oprah keeps a magazine. Lady Gaga keeps a diary. Eminem keeps a magazine.
Successful people all over the world – those who consistently experience positive growth in their lives – reflect daily and learn from their life experiences. And they often use some kind of diary to achieve this. For the longest time, I knew the value of journaling – I heard other people's success stories – and yet I never took action. Why? Because I thought I didn't have time for it. I was "too busy."
Obviously I learned the hard way, but YOU don't have to.
If you want to get somewhere this year, you need a map, and your diary is to Map. It is a place to capture significant thoughts. It is a place to find out where you have been and where you intend to go. And it is one of the most underutilized yet incredibly effective personal development tools available to the masses.
So I challenge you to wake up tomorrow morning and get started on journaling, consistently, until the end of the month. I have listed 20 five-minute journal suggestions below (which are also excerpts from our New York Times best-selling book) that I have personally used in the past to push myself into growth-oriented self-reflection. These instructions will raise awareness of the beliefs and assumptions you have. And they will help you think through situations, big and small, and make better decisions going forward.
Challenge yourself to read and write on each shortcut in just five minutes each morning for the next couple of weeks. See how you do it changes how you think, as you prepare for everything that the rest of 2020 has for you …
Question # 1
You are not the same person you were a year ago, for a a month ago, or a week ago. You are always growing. The experience does not end. That's life. And the many experiences that seem so difficult as you go through them are the ones you will look back on with gratitude for how far you have come.
What is the most difficult thing you are trying to achieve or manage right now? What is something small and necessary about this fight?
Question # 2
Train your mind to see the beauty hidden in everything. Your positivity – your graceful acceptance of life – is a choice. The happiness in your heart depends on the quality of your mental perspective.
What is one thing you can be incredibly grateful for right now, if you wanted to be grateful?
Question # 3
As human beings we are constantly growing out what we once thought we could not live without and falling in love with what we did not even know we wanted. Life literally continues to lead us on journeys we would never go if it were up to us. Do not be afraid. Have faith. Find the lessons. Trust the journey.
What is something you have moved on from that once meant the world to you? And what is something you love today that you didn't even know you needed in your life?
If you do not allow yourself to go past what happened, what was said, what felt, you will look at your present and future through the same dirty lens and nothing will be able to focus your foggy assessment. Realize this. What you do now means more than what happened yesterday.
What is an unchanging reality that you still hold on to and resist? What can you do right now to help your mind accept this reality?
Question # 5
Happiness releases what you assume your life should be like right now and appreciates it for all it is. So relax. You are enough. You have enough. You do enough. Breathe deeply … let go, and just live right now in this moment. Then let your renewed presence push your next step.
Who would you be, and what else would you see about your current life situation, if you removed the thought that worried you?
Question # 6
When a flower does not bloom properly, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower itself. The same goes for YOU. You cannot heal yourself in the exact same environment you became ill. Understand this, respect this and do your best to surround yourself with people and situations that drive you to be your best. Less drama, less mess. Just higher vibrations and intentions, inside and out.
How has your daily environment affected you recently?
Question # 7
There are hundreds of people in every city on earth who live their entire lives in default settings, never realizing that they can customize everything. Don't be one of them. Don't settle for the default settings in life.
What is a small example of how you have "adapted" your life for the better?
Question # 8
Much of your life is a result of your choices. If you don't like any part of your life, it's time to start making changes and new choices. And it's OK to be low-key about it. You don't have to put everything on social media. Continue quietly and let your actions speak for themselves.
What have your recent actions been saying about your priorities? What kind of quiet progress would you like to make in your life at the end of the month?
Question # 9
If it entertains you now but will hurt you one day it is a distraction. Don't settle. Do not exchange what you want most with what is easiest at the moment. Study your routines and habits. Find out where your energy is going and remove distractions. It's time to focus on what's important.
What is a distraction that has gotten the best of you recently? Why?
Question # 10
You become a true champion of your life as you learn to master your focus – wherever your attention goes. Evaluate what you give your energy to. Get up over the blacksmith and try to pull yourself in. Focus on what is important. Where attention goes, energy flows. Where energy flows, things grow.
What is most important to you right now?
Question # 11
Get up. Make that call. Go on that date. Apply for that job. Begin that side piece. Do not be afraid to reject, fight or fail. It is no shame to try your best. Live, learn and grow through every risk you take on inner growth and fulfillment.
What is a small risk that you think is worth taking in the coming months? What is the first step?
Question # 12
Nothing big happens overnight. Real progress takes time. Do not give up because you can not yet see the result of your work. It can take months of focus and dedication to get results you can actually see. You have to believe even when the immediate results are invisible to the eye.
What is something great that you have accomplished before that once seemed impossible?
Question # 13
Life does not want to cause you pain, it wants you to grow and develop. Repeated battles are not punishments, they are opportunities to show strength and progress. Anyone can talk about how strong they are, but life requires you to prove it. Prove that you are ready to plan!
Why are you ready to plan now? Answer why are the painful parts of this process totally worth it?
Question # 14
Working hard is important, but the rest is too. It is tempting to fill in every waking minute of the day with tasks. Don't do this to yourself. Leave space. The space between the things we do is as important as what we do. Your overall goal right now is to live a life that is unclear by most things that people fill their lives with, giving you room for what really matters. A life that is not constantly busy, rushing and stressful, but instead conscious contemplation, creation and connection to people and projects that you really need in your life.
How can you give yourself some extra time and space to make the right decision daily?
Question # 15
It's OK to … Say "no." Speak up. Tell the truth. Ask questions. Believe differently. Change yourself. Prioritize your needs. Learn from your mistakes. Embrace your flaws. Forgive and seek forgiveness. Start again, stronger than before.
What is one thing you would do differently if you knew no one would judge you?
Question # 16
You cannot control how other people feel, or how they get your energy. Everything you do or say is filtered through a mindset occupied by what they are going through right now, which has nothing to do with you. Just keep doing your thing with as much love as possible.
What is a good, recent example of someone with a negative attitude who totally assesses you? How did you manage it, and what did you learn?
Question # 17
When you guide someone who is confused, when you hold someone who is sad, when you hug someone who has lost their hope, you will also feel yourself healing and growing stronger. So regardless of what has happened or what is happening today, please be kind to your superpower. Being extra kind to people is a peaceful way to live in every moment and a beautiful legacy to leave behind in the long run.
Who was the last person who was unexpectedly nice to you? What can you easily do to be a little nicer than usual today, and beyond?
Question # 18
As you get older, how you look on the outside becomes less and less of a question, and who you are on the inside becomes the primary point of interest. You eventually realize that beauty has almost nothing to do with appearance – it is who you are as a person, how you make others feel about themselves, and most importantly, how you feel about yourself.
What makes your meaning to others (or anyone else you love) really beautiful on the inside? What makes you really beautiful on the inside?
Question # 19
Just breathe, be, and pay attention to what it is like to be YOU at this moment. Nothing to fix. Nothing to change right now. Nowhere else to go. Only you, breathing, are, with presence, without them. You are welcome here. You belong here. Here you are. Close your eyes. Breathe …
What is true about yourself that you need to embrace more openly and lovingly today?
Question # 20
There will come a time when you think it is over, everything is ready … you have reached the end of the road. That's the starting line. Be humble. Be teachable. The world is bigger than your view of the world. There is always room for a new idea, a new step … a new beginning.
What does "a new beginning" mean to you right now?
Choose to live your truth
My biggest wish for YOU right now is that you use the urges in the magazine to live your life not as an onlooker …
Not as a prisoner to the false beliefs that sometimes hold you get stuck in your place.
Instead, live in this world, on this day and every day 2020 as an active participant. Ask yourself what is real and important to you and find the courage, wisdom and willpower to build your day around your answer.
It's your choice.
You choose right now.
And if you choose …
to complain …
to blame …
to be stuck in the past …
to act as a victim …
to feel insecure …
to feel anger …
to feel hatred …
to be naive …
to ignore your intuition …
to ignore good advice …
to give up …
… then it's time to choose different!
But let me also remind you that you are not alone. Generations of people in your family tree have chosen. People around the world have chosen. We have all chosen at one time or another. And we stand behind you and whisper now:
Choose to be present.
Choose to be positive.
Choose to forgive yourself.
Choose to forgive others.
Choose to see your value.
Choose to see the possibilities.
Choose to find meaning.
Choose to prove that you are not a victim.
Choose to release your false beliefs and stories.
Choose to find the mental strength needed to take a real, productive step forward today.
( Note: Marc and I build small, life-changing daily rituals with our annual participants Think Better, Live Better conferences, and also with our students in the "Goals and Growth" module of the course Getting Back to Happy. And we would really be honored to work with you.)
Your turn …
If you are, we know, we would love to hear from you right now.
- Which journal prompt above resonates most with you today, and why? [1 9659094] Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
In addition, we recently released our NEW podcast, THINK BETTER, LIVE BETTER (yes, it shares the title of our annual live event). You can listen to the first 10 episodes of your favorite podcast player right now (M&A on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts).
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