My Sophie’s Choice – Netflix and Cheese or Taking Back Control of My Life (and 6 tips to help you take back control of yours)
My first big-girl job brought me to a new city across the country. I was alone, lonely and had no desire to socialize.
These were my “dark days of cheese” I call them. To fill my time, I would come home from work, grab a slab of mozzarella cheese, a plate of hummus and a box of crackers and I would lie in my bedroom watching countless episodes on Netflix. It was unattractive, to say the least.
While each piece of cheese was equally as delicious as the piece before, I realize now that I spent countless hours consumed by television, crappy food, and zero exercise or socialization. I’m embarrassed to share that I was averaging over 40 hours of television a week and over 160 hours of television a month. Do you know the possibilities of what I could have done, lessons I could have learned, things I could have achieved in the span of 160 hours? That’s an online course, that’s several books that could’ve been read, that’s almost a full yoga teacher training certificate, that’s hundreds of podcasts and videos that could’ve contributed to my journey of becoming the best version of myself. I was literally putting in a longer shift in on Netflix than I was at my actual job.
This might surprise you to learn that looking back, I don’t regret it. I realized I simply had to go through my “dark days of cheese” to know how unhealthy, unhappy and unmotivated I felt, so as to remind myself why I can’t ever go back into that place again.
The decisions that you make, the books you read, the thoughts you think, the food you eat and the people you surround yourself with are moulding you into the person you will become 5 years from now. Though we don’t think one month, one week or even one day would make a huge difference – small, daily actions lead to massive long-term results.
If you want a different life from the one you’re living now, you must be willing to do things you’ve never done before. (Or in my case, put away the cheese and turn off my computer.) During my never-ending journey to become the best version of myself, I found a few helpful tips that allowed me to be more productive than ever before – and I wanted to share them with you in hopes that they’ll help you do the same.
1.) Wake up one hour earlier.
Utilize the early morning hours (while the rest of the world is sleeping and won’t call, text or email you) to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Read the books you purchase that remain untouched on your bookshelf. Hit the gym. Prepare a healthier lunch so you don’t go and buy something greasy down the street from your office. Learn how to meditate, mix in a little yoga. Options are endless when no one is awake to bother you.
2.) Schedule your tomorrow, today.
We spend a lot of time on social media and browsing the web and then by the end of the day we are shocked to learn we barely got anything done. Write down 5 – 10 things you want to get done tomorrow and your mind will be less available to fill it with mindless crap instead of the things that matter.
3.) Schedule celebratory breaks.
If I am procrastinating (which happens a lot) I begin to schedule celebratory breaks in my day. I will set my phone for 90 minutes and switch it to airplane mode so no one can reach me, and I get down to uninterrupted work business. Once those 90 minutes are up, I give myself a 10 minute celebratory break to check out social media channels, respond to some text messages, grab a quick bite or a make a coffee, and then I set my timer again.
4.) Have a goal-setting party.
I do this weekly, monthly and annually. I jot down where I want to be as it relates to business, clients, location, relationships, media features, speaking engagements, quantity and location of events, etc. I look at big picture, then jot down what I can do monthly and then get as specific as what activities do I need to do today or this week to get me closer to those bigger goals.
5.) Figure out what’s stopping you from achieving those goals.
Is it fear? Is it an influential relationship in your life telling you to stop going for your dream because it’s not realistic? Is it because execution is not your strength? The first step to finding out what’s holding us back from being productive or moving forward with ideas that excites us, is awareness. Figure out what that is and then remove it from the picture.
6.) Surround yourself with people that you admire.
We all have people in our life that we look up to, that inspire us, that challenge us and teach us to grow. Do they exercise every morning? Do they read a book a week? Do they set aside “learning money” and attend conferences or workshops that help hone their skills, and master their art? Surround yourself with those people, and connect with the ones that will hold you accountable on your journey to become the best version of yourself that you can be.
About Your Guest Blogger: Sarah Lajeunesse is a lifestyle and wellness coach committed to guiding and supporting women out of fear, judgement and lack of self-belief so they can begin living the extraordinary lives they were meant to live. Through private 1:1 coaching sessions, speaking engagements, events and sharing weekly inspiration on her blog at www.sarahlajeunesse.com, Sarah uses a very non-traditional and contrarian approach to coaching. She helps her clients uncover past feelings of shame, guilt and internal suffering that control and hold them back from feeling worthy or deserving of their ideal life, while empowering them to move forward with more vibrancy, power, passion and purpose than ever before.