It is winter and I live in Colorado. That can only mean one thing…IT’S COLD. Don’t get me wrong—there is nothing that can compare to the beauty of the gorgeous Rocky Mountains in winter (except maybe the gorgeous Rocky Mountains in spring, summer and fall!) but as beautiful as it is; it is still COLD.
These cold temps are not only hard on humans and animals—they can also take a toll on vehicles. In fact, just the other day I saw two different cars being jump-started in the parking lot at my office. As I stood inside my relatively warm (thanks to my ever present space heater) office and watched out the window; I caught myself feeling a little sorry for and even empathetic towards those two cars. Now, before you call the psych ward on me—yes, I know that cars are inanimate objects that don’t experience emotions. Still, on some level, I felt like I could relate to their plight. I mean—who among us hasn’t needed a little jump-start at one point or another in our life? I know that I certainly have.
Unlike cars however; we humans can’t just hook up some jumper cables to get ourselves revving again. No; our jump-starts require a bit more intentionality and mindfulness. If you find yourself in the middle of a cold winter (even if it’s summer) and needing a little jump-start; here are 10 suggestions on how to get your psyche revving again so that you can get back on the road to FabYOUlousness.
10 Ways to Jump-Start Your Fab-YOU-lousness
1.) Just Quit It. We’ve all heard the Nike slogan “just do it” and though I love how motivating those three little words are—I also feel that there is a great deal of power and freedom in the act of quitting something that is no longer important to us or that no longer serves our best interest. When I start to feel my physical and spiritual battery draining, one of the first things that I do is grab a pen and write out my “Quit List” (there is another name that rhymes with this and starts with an “sh”—but “Quit List” sounds nicer.) In this list, I include all of the things that I am currently doing that are not feeding my FabYOUlousness (drinking too much soda, volunteering for projects that I’m not passionate about, spending time with negative people, etc.) and then once I have my list compiled; I pick a few items to quit. Interestingly enough, not everything on my “Quit List” is bad but just because something isn’t bad, doesn’t mean that it is necessarily good for me. For example—I have a lot of experience in planning events so I am constantly being approached by people who want my help in planning their next party, fundraiser etc. Now…I like these people and I am sure that their causes are all good ones; however, their causes are not necessarily my causes. So, I have had to learn to quit saying yes to these requests when my only reason for saying yes in the first place was to avoid letting people down. This has freed up my time and energy to focus on the things that are important to me and that feed my FabYOUlousness.
We are often taught not to be quitters—but when something is draining our personal battery, quitting it is a necessary step to jump-starting our FabYOUlousness. Think of it this way—by quitting something that doesn’t charge your battery, your are freeing yourself up to start with something that does.
2.) Make Some Goal Friends. Girlfriends are great, but sometimes we need to take it a step further when our life is in need of a jump-start. That’s why I strongly suggest forming a group of GOALfriends. These friends aren’t the ones that you cry to when you’re elbow deep in Haagen Dasz because the latest love of your life turned out to be a dud—instead; these are the friends that will hold you accountable and keep you on track when you aren’t quite strong enough to do it yourself. GOALfriends need to know what your goals are as you strive for a life of FabYOUlousness and they need to be able to lovingly hold your feet to the fire as you pursue those goals. GOALfriends act as cheerleaders, mentors and accountability partners. When you are in need of a jump-start—GOALfriends are the ones who can supply the figurative jumper cables and help to get your engine revving again.
3.) Write it—Post it. Often, when we find ourselves in need of a jump-start, it is because we’ve lost sight of our goals and the FabYOUlous vision that we have for our life. That’s why it is SO important to keep our goals and visions in front of us so that we can see them and think about them every day. One easy way to do this is to type up your goals in a pretty font, print them on decorative paper, put them into a cheap (but pretty) frame and display them someplace where you’ll see them every single day. If you’re like me and use your computer every day, you could also save a decorative image representing your goals onto your computer’s home screen. We can have amazing goals and concrete strategies on how we are going to reach those goals, but if we don’t see and review these goals and strategies on a daily basis, it is way too easy to lose track of them. Having reminders of our goals in front of us is a great way to jump-start our enthusiasm and get us back on track to a FabYOUlous life.
4.) Recharge Your Vocabulary. Nothing can drain our battery faster than living in a cloud of “shoulda, coulda, woulda”. Stop focusing on lost opportunities or regrets and instead, focus on the steps that you can and will take right now to get yourself firing on all cylinders again. Use positive words of abundance, energy and action to add the necessary ignition spark for your jump-start.
5.) Set a Timer. If a jump-start seems too hard or overwhelming maybe it’s because you’re overthinking the seeming enormity of the process. If your goal of writing a book seems insurmountable, set your timer to write for 20 minutes. Rather than stressing out about your lack of physical fitness, hop on your treadmill and walk for 30 minutes. Breaking up larger tasks into smaller, bite size pieces will make any project more manageable and therefore doable. Having small victories in areas that are important to you will get your engine firing in no time and will provide the momentum to maintain the positive action.
6.) Start and End Each Day in a Meaningful Way. The beginning and the ending of each day can and should be the most sacred and important parts of your day. In fact, taking a good look at the ways we “bookend” our days is a good way to determine if we are, in fact, in need of a jump-start. If our battery is running out of juice, we may find ourselves hitting the snooze button six more times before dragging our butt out of bed in the morning or we may discover that the last thing we see before hitting the sack at night is some lame infomercial for junk we don’t need at a price we can’t afford. One of the most effective and efficient ways of jump-starting our internal battery is to treat these two parts of our day as sacred—because they truly are. Instead of hitting the snooze button again, set the intention of getting out of bed in the morning and doing a few simple yoga stretches while your coffee brews and then savor your coffee as you read something inspirational or simply watch as the sun rises over the horizon. You can also use this time to mindfully plan your day and think about the things that you’d like to accomplish. At night, resist the urge to check your emails, watch late night TV or stress out about tomorrow’s bills. Instead, try drawing yourself a nice bubble bath, light some candles and listen to some soft, meditative music. Night time is also a great time to jot down five things that you are grateful for and to intentionally welcome more opportunities for gratefulness into your life. It has been said that the final few minutes before we drift off to sleep at night are the most important moments of our day because those are the moments that determine what our inner, subconscious mind will be working on while we sleep. Jump-start your life by making sure that those final moments of your day are filled with thoughts of goodness, gratitude and abundance regarding the FabYOUlous things that you’d like to accomplish in your life.
7.) Track it. How much time do you spend in front of the TV each week? How much money do you drop at Starbucks on your way to work in the morning? How many calories do you consume? Do you have any idea as to the answers to these questions? The reason our batteries die is because we use up too many of our resources (time, money, energy, emotions etc.) on things that don’t matter. In order to get a jump-start in life it is imperative that we learn to better manage our resources and the first step in that process is to know how our resources are being spent. Try carrying around a small notebook so that you can jot down all resource expenditures during your week—or, if that is too “low tech”, use your smartphone to help you capture the information. At the end of each day—transfer your data into a journal so that you can keep a running total of your expenditures and develop a clear idea as to what tweaks need to be made. By getting a clear picture of your current situation, you wil know what actions need to be taken in order to regain some control and get your engine revving again with your time, energy and finances going towards the things that truly matter to you.
8.) Sloooooowwwww Doooowwwwnnnn. Often, we drain our batteries by running around in a million different directions at a million miles an hour. This frenetic busyness uses a lot of energy but does it actually accomplish anything? In the Japanese philosophy known as Kaizen; gradual, continuous movement is believed to be more beneficial, sustainable and productive than frantic bursts of energy and adrenaline. When our battery is running low, it is important to keep in mind the story of the tortoise and the hare. Slow, intentional and continual movement will get us to our desired destination without burning us out. Slow down, think before acting and take gradual, continuous steps towards your goal.
9.) Make Good Choices. It sounds so easy but boy can it be hard. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are where we are in life because of the choices that we have made. If our battery is drained—it is because we have made the choices that have allowed it to happen. This is both good news and bad news. It’s bad news because—well, we have no one else to blame for our situation. It’s good news because we need no one else to help remedy our situation. We are always one choice away from a better life. If we continue to make make better and better choices over a sustained period of time; we can and will see a dramatic improvement in our circumstances. These choices run the gamut from the way we spend our time & money to the attitudes and behaviors that we carry into each day. If we truly want to jump-start our life, we must make the choice to do so and then make the choice to back up our intention with proper actions. We can’t always choose the things that happen to us—but we can always choose the way that we react/interpret and deal with the things that happen. Start making better choices for yourself today. You’ll thank yourself tomorrow.
10.) Remember the Two V’s. The best way to truly jump-start your life is to remember the two V’s—values and vision. We all have our own set of core values and our own FabYOUlous vision for our life. Use those values and that vision to fuel your passion, sustain your momentum and keep your motor revving even during the coldest season. Ultimately, it is these two elements of values and vision that help to keep you moving forward so it is imperative that you have them ingrained within your psyche. What are your values? What beliefs, behaviors and practices do you hold to be sacred? What is your vision for your life? What dreams provide passion and excitement in your life? Knowing the answers to these questions and keeping those answers ever present in your mind will help to ensure that your battery remains charged as you work to create your FabYOUlous life.