This has been the most successful year of my life.
Few if any great things come without an equal share of work. Stress is often only associated with negative experiences, but what I’ve learned is that it is also the companion of the positive shifts and transitions in our lives. With any heightened emotion, we feel compelled to find a way to manage it. With the increased responsibility of my amazing year, I found myself relying upon certain substances to help me sustain or contain the accompanying energy and emotion. All things in moderation are fine, but I found that over time, these small habits compounded and began to have negative effects on my mental and physical health. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, they began to become larger than I had intended.
My two innocent habits gone rogue were drinking coffee and wine.
The adverse effects that I was feeling led me to create an activity in my journal. Each entry heading was the habit, under which I wrote a list of the feelings that I found in my dependence on these substances. Under coffee, I wrote energized, clarity, awake and motivated. Under wine I wrote relaxed, numb, to turn off the infinite noise in my mind, and to subdue the feeling of always needing to be working or doing something productive.
After that step, I took each feeling and broke it down by writing all of the healthier habits and behaviors I could engage in to feel those same feelings. Under relaxed I wrote getting more quality sleep, yoga, and creating art. Surprisingly, many of those same things were what also gave me clarity and made me feel more energized and awake.
When it was time to write what made me feel motivated, I felt stuck. After some deeper thought and self-reflection, I realized that I am motivated by challenge, accountability, and time. One would think that money or some other external factor would lead to motivation, but that’s not always the case. What I discovered here is that the things that truly motivate me align perfectly with my core values of creativity, connection, and learning. Challenging tasks allow for me to learn and be creative, having an accountability partner or group feeds my need for connection, and having a deadline or scheduled event where people are depending on me to deliver ensures that I get it done.
Feeling Formula: Challenge + Accountability + Time = Motivation
I tried out the new behaviors and eliminated the unhealthy habits for just ten days and instantly saw and felt favorable results. I started sleeping better than I had in a long time, my attitude improved, and I experienced an increase in mental clarity and focus.
What habits are holding you back? What feelings are you trying to get from these habits? This week I challenge to make your lists. Write the feelings or rewards that you get from those behaviors, then break down each feeling by writing alternative habits or behaviors which will get you to those same feelings and rewards in a healthier way. Don’t be too hard or restrictive on yourself as you try this out, that will only make you want to quit. As you plan, decide on a strategy that will work for you to find your feeling formula.
I am feeling my feelings.
I am engaging in habits and behaviors that serve my greater good.
I am gentle with myself as I heal and grow.
Master Your Mind + Master Your Body + Master Your Money = Manifest a Life You Love
Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide