Ahhh New Years… the begining of falling through on a bunch of goals I want but don’t end up achieving. January can be a pretty depressing month but this year has been different. No it’s not because of my new year’s resolutions (because I didn’t pick any), or because I started to some extreme things to whip myself into shape (because I haven’t), mostly I decided to change some small things and January just so happens to be when I began.
I have felt myself fall short on so many goals again and again and I was getting harder to feel that I was capable of achieving my goals, so in January I asked Neal for a blessing. I felt I needed God’s help to know how to change, after all, God understands me better than I do!
One thing I was advised to do in the blessing was to study a particular topic (the Atonement of Jesus Christ). So I found a manual to follow about this topic that gives specific scriptures and talks about what to study and began studying that everyday.
My study hasn’t been profound or life-changing but as I have been faithful to that counsel and learned more about our Savior’s love and power, it has brought more love and power into my life! I have been feeling greater steadiness since I began this (instead of a hormonal rollercoaster of ups and downs).
Here are some of the changes I’ve been making. I have been cleaning (I could stop right there and it would be amazing enough haha, but there’s more). I’ve been cleaning and it has been pretty easy like, I haven’t dreaded it! My home has been much more organized and manageable! I have been doing dishes (which prior to February I had done probably 4 times in the past 2 1/2 years) and I’ve gotten them done quickly. I have been getting my to dos done in less time with less effort therefor I’ve had more time to just chill without feeling the stress of putting off important things! I have felt less anxious or rather not anxious at all and I have been really doing a lot of self discovery and learning how to step back when I’m feeling overwhelmed and resetting rather than spiraling (which is what I always did in the past)!!! Also, my confidence has been through the roof compared to where it has been for the past several years! It has been such an incredible feeling to actually see the improvements and changes. I want each of us to be able to move forward and feel like our hard work is actually doing something.
The Savior has been the foundation that began all this change and these next steps have been building blocks on top of that foundation. All of us are different so I don’t expect that all of these things would work the exact same for you but listen with your heart as you read and sense what things resonate with you and focus on those!
Designing my Day.
I have been researching planners and looking for the perfect fit for over a year and a half and I kept on coming back to the Day Designer planner. This is not an ad (they don’t know I exist) and I am not saying this planner will be the perfect one for you but having a physical place to plan out my day and write down my thoughts has been invaluable for me!! It has made menu planning easier, getting things done more fun (get ready, check), and since it is beautiful it makes me feel more glamorous every time I use it!
My smart phone can do everything that a planner can do but I have found that my brain internalizes my schedule and to-dos better when they are physically written down. Here is the takeaway though, weather you use an app, a planner, or a blank piece of paper, freeing your mind from having to keep track of everything allows it to be used in more productive ways. Example, instead of me repeating in my mind all day that I wanted to text Emily and I need to talk to Neal tonight about this weekend. I can just write it down and then forget about it. All I have to remember is to check my planner a few times throughout the day! Much much easier!!!
Here are links to some popular planners that I’ve found…
Photos courtesy of Classy Career Girl.
Aren’t they sooo pretty?!? Basically write down everything and your mind can be productive in more important ways (there is lots of research and entire books written on the subject, trust me).
2. Pregnancy and childbirth Affirmations.
Neal and I are doing a more natural route with this baby and in preparation for that we have taken a birthing hypnosis class (which I could go on about for days but I’ll save that for another post). Part of the class is listening to a track of positive birth affirmations everyday. Here’s a few of them, “Growing my baby is empowering for me. I enjoy eating healthy foods everyday for my baby. I love my pregnant body and accept it everyday. Its good for me to take care of myself, I have a voice. I can say “no, thank you” and still be respected.” May sound cheesy but let me explain the science of it before you judge.
Our brains are amazing, there is loads of science and research to back all this up but basically we have our concious mind, our subconcious mind, and a filter in between. I love this clear description of the concious vs. subconcious mind…
“Your conscious mind is a bit like the captain of a ship standing on the bridge giving out orders. In reality it’s the crew in the engine room below deck (the subconscious…) that carry out the orders. The captain may be in charge of the ship and give the orders but its the crew that actually guides the ship, all according to what training they had been given over the years to best do so.”
So although your conscious mind is doing a lot of work everyday it is your subconscious mind that is actually doing the majority of the work. What we see, hear, think, and feel all shape the way our subconscious behaves. Here is the thing though, there is a filter in between the two. This is why someone can say to you, “you look stunning today” and you don’t believe them. It’s not that you don’t look stunning but prior to that compliment you had fed your filter greater proof of the opposite. Maybe you woke up and didn’t take a shower (which made you feel nasty), and because you were running late you put new makeup on top of old (which you feel always emphasizes your dry skin). So even though your outfit is adorable and your hair is on point (and the person genuinely thought you looked stunning) you presented your filter with more compelling evidence that you look like trash today. Basically your filter wants proof from multiple sources or multiple times before it allows your subconscious to be changed (and habits, behaviors, beliefs, and reality can’t be changed until the subconscious is). So basically listening to or saying positive affirmations everyday is a super powerful way to get past your filter and start changing your subconscious which will then change your habits.
With this birth method I listen to about 40 minutes worth of positive affirmations about pregnancy and childbirth. So for 40 minutes everyday I am building confidence in myself, my body, and what I am doing right now (aka. growing a baby). And like my girl Alison from the Alison show always says, “Where your energy flows, grows.” Here is a link to her podcast, cause you’ll want to start listening to that! I am pouring energy into thinking positively about my capabilities and my body and it has definitely been spilling over into other parts of my life.
How can you do this? Read yourself some affirmations every morning (these ones are pretty amazing). You can record yourself saying them on your phone and listen to them while you work out or whatever! Write down who you want to be and change that into a present statement. For example you want to eat healthier. Say, “I love giving my body life and energy as I eat well! I want to eat clean whole foods.” Ya see? Easy peasy!
3. Curating my social media experience.
“If you don’t change your approach than you will never change your results.” -Jim Rohn
Preach Jim!!! Seriously, a solid quote! Have ya ever felt sluggish or just plain depressed after getting on social media? I know I have! I began to pay attention to how I felt after getting off of social media and I started to see a pattern. Certain platforms left me feeling worse than others and certain people left me feeling more uplifted than others. This isn’t a social media is evil speech (after all I graduated in social media marketing), it is a take control of your social media experience speech though!
For me, I have noticed that scrolling through my feed on Facebook 9 times out of 10 leaves me feeling sad. Whereas on Instagram only certain people left me feeling off. Pinterest completely depended on what I was doing on it and how much time I spent (not sure I’ve quite mastered this idea on Pinterest, haha #timesucker). So I decided to make some changes. I now only get on Facebook once a week and usually I just check my notifications and messages. For me it was the scrolling and seeing all the political upheaval, personal opinions filled with hate, shaming, and name calling that left me feeling down. Obviously that’s not all that was there but that is the stuff that stuck with me!
With instagram I began to analyze how each person I followed made me feel. Did I feel judgemental, or tempted to compare, was this person really up to stuff that I wanted to stay informed with, was their information useful or uplifting, were they reminding me of the positive changes I wanted to make in my life? For example, I began following people that make healthy, delicious food instead of just the pastry chefs who make decadent desserts. I unfollowed some influencers who I realized were on a different path than I wanted to be on. I have been searching for women who speak to me and make me feel more capable and positive (hence why I have been talking about Alison all the time recently. Obsessed much? haha). As a result, when I get on Instagram, for the most part I am able to feel better rather than worse! Another switch is trying to make actual connection. I have been trying to comment more and be more engaged (which studies have shown us, makes us feel more positive on social media). If you don’t like what social media is doing for you, change it! You’re the driver of your car, xo!
My next step I’m working on is making more real life connection. Like, calling up a friend when I’m having a hard day, going out to lunch with some gal friends, or taking a treat to the friend who posted about having a hard day instead of just commenting with a “I’m here for you girl”. I think this switch will be the real game changer!
4. Mantras, mantras, mantras!
Oh mantras! According to google a mantra is “a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.” So I guess technically my mantra is actually a phrase but I think the principle is the same. Every Sunday, I take a few minutes of quiet time to think about what I want my focus to be throughout the week. I write down whatever I feel is important for me to focus on and then I turn it into a background on my phone. Each time I get on my phone I am reminded (even if only subconsciously) of my mantra that week. My mantra this week is, “He fills my cracks.” This is a reminder to me of the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where you repair broken pottery by filling the cracks with gold. The result is a piece of artwork even more beautiful and valuable than the original. This reminds me that in my imperfections (cracks) are opportunities to have the Savior (the master artist) fill me with His power (gold) and transform me into something infinitely better than my original self.
Here are some of the backgrounds I have made for myself. Feel free to use them!
Haha, can you tell which font I prefer?
There you have it! The changes I have been making recently. They have made a world of difference in my life and if any of these resonated with you then go ahead and put them into practice! Good will come of it, I promise! I would LOVE to know what things you do to shift gears and change your habits! Please, please, please comment below with your tips and thoughts, cause I’m a noob and I’m always wanting to learn more!
Aubrea (the noob)