Ready to have more of what is meaningful?
Here is a daily process that helps clarify what is meaningful for you; develops supportive habits and redesigns counterproductive ones and nurtures gratitude to keep you in a state of motivation and inspiration.
For the process to be effective, it takes daily action that comes in the form of short writing prompts. The act of writing sets a stronger intention than thinking or talking about does.
Writing not your thing? Don’t worry. It’s still a valuable tool because it avoids the dreaded “analysis paralysis” or the rut of too much information gathering and no action. The daily writing is intended for your eyes only, so don’t be concerned that anyone will judge it.
- Write a MORE list every day.
A MORE list simply describes what you want more of in your life. It can include anything from material to spiritual. Only you can decide what is meaningful for you.
Eventually, the MORE list may refine itself into a core values list. Core values are guideposts that you define to keep you on track with what is most fulfilling.
Get started now by jotting down what you want to increase in your life as you are aware of at this moment. Every morning, as early as you can, re-write your MORE list changing it as often as needed to reflect what feels most true. The act of writing provokes honesty as we face ourselves daily on the page.
You can write in a small notebook by your bedside or type it on computer or smartphone. Choose the method that will be the easiest to follow through every morning.
Phrase the statements as a choice, use the word MORE (and any other descriptive words to make it compelling). MORE signifies that you already have at least some of what you want versus believing you are in a state of total lack.
Example: Wanting more money could be written as I choose to have MORE that enough money to pay all the bills and a whole lot extra. Wanting love could be I choose discover MORE love in every single interaction I have today. If you want to stop a negative behavior (overeating or smoking) phrase it in the positive result, I choose eat in a MORE healthy and mindful way or I choose to breathe MORE clean, fresh air into my lungs.
This brief daily writing process will keep you focused on what is meaningful and keep your attention and energy directed to where you want it to go. (“Where focus goes, energy flows”- Tony Robbins). You will make decisions that are in alignment with what you want and filter out choices that are distractions. You will naturally create supportive habits and begin to live a more authentic life. You will feel more content and have a greater sense of trust in yourself. (If you are curious about the effect of writing on our emotions, here’s an interesting article)
2. Redesign habits that get in the way.
As you write your MORE list daily, counterproductive habits that hinder or distract you from what you want more of will become apparent. With your MORE list habit of daily focus on what is important, you will be easily motivated to change conflicting behaviors or patterns.
It is easier to work with these counterproductive habits rather than try to resist them. Try redesigning these habits with this process:
- Notice when the habit gets triggered. What happens directly before you do this automatic behavior or pattern?
- Figure out the benefit of this habit (there’s always as payoff, usually hidden from your awareness until you take a look).
- Using the following template, fill in your answers for a clear picture on how this habit gives you a temporary benefit but defeats your larger, meaningful goal. Once you have a clear picture of how you are getting in your own way – redesign it so that is supports what you want.
Here’s the template:
I choose to ________ (something from your MORE list) BUT whenever________ (the trigger), I___________ (the habit). The payoff is______________ (the hidden benefit/payoff from this habit).
- Example: I choose to earn MORE than $100,000 a year BUT whenever I get on Monster.com to look for a better job, I tell myself it’s no use. The payoff is I avoid feelings of rejection. (easy to see the self-sabotage)
- Rewrite the above substituting a new positive action that will yield the same benefit. In the new statement be sure to change BUT to AND.
- I choose to earn MORE than $100,000 a year AND whenever I get on Monster.com to look for a better job, I tell myself some lucky company is going to get me. The payoff is I avoid feelings of rejection.
Write down the redesigned habit three times to set your new conscious choice for this situation. Also, write it down daily along with your MORE list to remind yourself to practice it when triggered. You won’t have to redesign every counterproductive habit you come across – consciously correcting just a few will raise your awareness in other areas. With practice, you will eventually be making automatic corrections in your behaviors and thoughts.
3. Celebrate and be grateful your efforts.
In the evening, before you fall asleep, mentally scan your MORE list and ask yourself, “Did I do my best to…” checking in on each statement. This is a simple way to stay accountable and appreciative of your efforts every day. It boosts motivation and inspires you to do better tomorrow.
If you did your best, it’s easy to celebrate. If you didn’t, that’s great too. Ask yourself, “what would my best have been?” Your brain is wired for learning the “lesson” in anything that it believes will make your life better. It’s still a win when you look at it this way.
Either way, merely asking yourself this question every evening is a BIG reason to celebrate and be grateful because where focus goes, energy flows…
4. Read the ReadySetMore posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
These posts are designed to keep you on track and include 5-minute action items in the form of writing prompts. Follow/sign up for the mailing list so you don’t miss a post. Here are the themes for each day:
More Mondays-Clarify what you want MORE of.
Whoopsie Wednesdays–Recognize counterproductive habits.
Fab Fridays–Celebrate wins and losses with gratitude.