Tag Archives: self-improvement

Unsticking the Stuck

Stuck. That’s where I am. Not in the middle with you. Just stuck.

In fairness, today was a day that invited melancholy. It dawned grey and grisly, with a thorough downpour. And not forgetting it was a Monday. Factor in a house undergoing renovations (read: no roof. I repeat: NO ROOF!) and you are probably getting an idea of how my week kicked off. (Ferrying soggy cardboard boxes around as their bottoms fell open spilling my worldly goods on the ground and generally feeling sorry for myself.)

But actually the weather and the worldly goods spilling on the ground weren’t really the problem, if I’m honest. I was just having one of those stuck days. Those days where the awareness of the length of your to-do list weighs so heavily on your shoulders that you can’t hold your head up straight. But equally you’d rather check in on Facebook just one more time rather than face action-ing just one of those suckers. And let’s face it, it’s not your fault. If you can’t hold your head up high enough to look at your to-do list then you can’t really be expected to tackle it, now can you.

So that’s how my Monday went. Avoiding. Sitting. Hitting ‘like’ on Facebook. Letting my woes mount. And then it struck me. The way to become unstuck.

There is no one item on my to-do list right now that will make me feel immeasurably better through doing. But there is one thing. And that thing is writing. Which is why I’m here. Unsticking the stuck.

Please bear with me. And you? What do you do when you need to shake things up? Have you a cure I need to know?

One Simple Technique That Will Change Your Life

It’s true. Slightly hyperbolic but true nonetheless. And, what’s better, it’s not even a technique that you need to learn. It’s something we all do, all of the time. You just need to become aware of it and choose to focus it positively.

Visualization.

It’s as simple as that. Visualizing a positive outcome. Picturing what you want to happen. Keeping your eye on the prize.

It really works. You do move towards what you focus on. It’s like riding a bike. Look where you want to go. Don’t look down, or you’ll have a wobble. Don’t look back or you may take a tumble – you’ll certainly slow down.

I don’t know about you but sometimes I can be pretty good at catastrophizing. Particularly on those nights when I wake in the wee small hours, mind churning with work undone, bills unpaid, forms unfilled. I can quickly work myself up into a sitting-bolt-upright state of sleeplessness. That’s me scuppered. It’s entirely counter-productive.

Keeping my eyes on the prize....climbing onwards and upwards

Keeping my eyes on the prize….climbing onwards and upwards

So, recently I have decided to stop it. Now I know from bitter experience that when you’re lying awake in the dark busily catastrophizing it can be far from simple to just stop. The secret is not aiming to just quiet and still the anxieties that are pressing in but instead to replace them. By visualizing positive outcomes I leave no space in my head for the niggling anxieties. I busy my mind with lovely stuff, with dreams and fantasies and ideals. With what I want to happen.

And soon enough, I fall asleep with a smile on my face and wake the next morning to face the day refreshed and raring to go, ready to make those dreams a reality.

Try it – you might just surprise yourself with how easy it is and what a big difference it can make to your life! And if you do, please come by and tell me how it worked out for you.

 

Self-Actualized?

It’s been a while. You could be forgiven for imagining that perhaps I had self-actualized and ascended on to some higher plane in a flurry of new year resolution fever. Sadly this is not the case. I’m still here, with the same old feet of clay.

Having said that, January 2013 has been a good month. A positive start to the year. My one simple resolution has been serving me well. Despite my sneaking suspicion that perhaps my deliberately singular and undeniably vague resolution might just be a clever avoidance tactic on my part, it has in fact worked very well.

Despite making no specific resolutions regarding the old faithfuls of exercise, diet and alcohol consumption, I have been behaving impeccably in all of these arenas. Well, I say impeccably. What I mean is pretty good. Certainly better than usual. Which is good enough for me.

Exercise-wise I have been rock climbing regularly, at least 3 times a week and, best of all, thoroughly enjoying it. My head has been in a good place, in terms of both putting effort in training and enjoying the actual climbing – not letting my head get in the way, being scared or psyching myself out. Result.

I’ve also started running regularly, 2 to 3 times a week. Not particularly far but far enough and hilly enough to feel it. I’ve buddied up with a friend of mine who lives near by and who until recently was more of an acquaintance than a friend, if I’m honest. It’s nice to spend some time and develop a closer bond. Friendships are always a good thing. As is fitness. My energy levels certainly feel the benefit, as does my mood. I am now more keenly aware than ever of how grumpy and ‘stuck’ I feel if I don’t at least get some exercise every day.

Diet-wise there has not been much change. I have a fairly healthy diet anyway – mostly home-cooked meals at regular times, with lots of fruit and vegetables and a good fluid intake. I toyed with the idea of intermittent fasting (the latest thing in dieting) – it appeals because of the health benefits attributed rather than weight loss per se. But in the end I decided against it as I really don’t need to lose any weight and, given that, I believe it could be psychologically unhealthy to embark on a diet and to start to potentially obsess over food.

Funnily enough, I have actually gained a kilo or two since New Year’s, which is unusual for me. I am normally very constant in my weight. This is going to sound like self-delusion but I am actually pretty convinced that it’s through muscle gain. I have been training more than ever and focusing on power in climbing and very much on my core. I even thought for a fleeting moment that I might have caught sight of the very beginnings of a six-pack but then it disappeared into the mists like a deer startled in the woods.

While I made no plans to give up alcohol in January, my consumption of it has definitely decreased. Training and being more active is a great incentive to drink less. Exercising with the dregs of last night’s alcohol in your system is never going to get you the best results. Equally hooking up with friends to train in the evening leaves less time for boozing.

So, yes. All good. Still room for improvement, obviously, but wouldn’t life be boring if it were otherwise?