Focus. It seems to be something that everyone has lost and that everyone is seeking right now. In every Facebook group and across my LinkedIn feed, I see messages from folks attempting to find their focus.
Let it Go
On the one hand, today is the perfect time to let go of your everyday stresses, perfectionist or workaholic tendencies. For the moment, life and the world have slowed down.
Ditch the Hustle and Bustle
The health of your family, your own mental and physical health, do not need you to do the hustle and bustle right now. Unless, of course, you are one of the many healthcare or other essential workers putting in overtime to make sure the rest of us stay safe.
Either way, I still invite you to ditch the idea behind “the hustle and bustle” and instead welcome the concept of self-care.
Selfcare is more than a massage.
Capitalism and marketing campaigns would love for us to believe that you can BUY self-care. Schedule a massage. A day at the spa. Shopping.
The truth is that real self-care starts within. It’s connected to self-awareness and self-compassion. You don’t need to leave your house to practice self-care.
Listen to Yourself
Self-awareness can be scary. Self-awareness is stopping to check in with our feelings. Am I sad? Scared? Worried? Nervous? Anxious? Do I feel overwhelmed? Whatever you feel. That’s okay. That’s human.
Whatever you feel, permit yourself to feel.
Notice. Name. Navigate.
Notice how you feel. Give those feelings a name. Then ask yourself what next.
Maybe you need a good cry. Perhaps you need a good night’s rest. Maybe you need a walk in the forest alone. Perhaps you need a good laugh or a phone call with your best friend.
Resilience comes from naming and noticing our emotions and then figuring out what to do next. Getting stuck in emotion is unhealthy. Denying our feelings is unhealthy.
And so, today, I invite you to notice, name and navigate.
Joan Baez is quoted as saying “Action is the only antidote to despair.”
And what’s an effective way to take action?
Why not set a goal?
SMART+ Goals are Actionable
Right now, the best gift — the best micro habit — that you can give yourself or anyone else is to learn the art of self-care. We often think of SMART goals in a workplace setting, but they can be used for personal development. Especially SMART+ goals.
I’ll let you in on a little secret too — not only does setting a goal to take care of yourself give you the structure to feel better about yourself — it also gives you a scientifically proven boost.
Humans love to accomplish, and so right now, while you may feel uncomfortable, unfocused, or overwhelmed, picking a small self-care goal is a beautiful way to embrace the human need to get shit done.
First, let us clarify what needs to go into your goal setting process — according to this method, your goal must be:
There is some evidence that we need to do something 21 times to create a habit, so if let’s look at some ideas for 21 Day Micro Habits:
Push-ups: Starting with one push-up move to 21.
Meditación: Starting with 1 minute, add a minute every day to 21 minutes.
Taking a walk: Commit to walking for 21 minutes per day for 21 days straight!
Going to bed at a particular time (or walking up at a specific time): Set a time and work towards it for the next 21 days.
Reading Scripture, Prayers, Or something else relaxing: Commit to 21 minutes per day for 21 days.
You can create a micro-habit out of anything that you feel might address your wellbeing and help you to maintain a positive attitude or optimistic outlook. I invite you to share this article with your friends and family and create a movement.
If you’d like, you can also comment below with your SMART+ goal. I am working on adding 1 minute of meditation each day for 30 days to go from 10 minutes to 40 minutes. Today I am on 19 minutes.