After a holiday it’s normal to get home ready to make a zillion changes to your life. It might be wanting to eat better, sleep more, start a new business, change career direction. It’s a common theme in my life, especially this week after a trip away.
Easter brought me six days offline, not by choice (though I loved it) and it wasn’t unexpected. I was camping at Karijini National Park with my family for 5 nights. There was no mobile reception and no WiFi. I admit to having mobile reception when we drove through a pocket of technospace for about 4 minutes.
Camping at Karijini National Park was an amazing time to recharge, offline.
Karijini is pretty much in the middle of nowhere (North Western Australia) and a 5 hour-ish drive from where I live. Its’s red rock gorges covered in spinifex (a spiky, unfriendly small shrub that’s lime green colour contrasts beautifully with the red dirt), white gum trees, waterholes and vast blue skies are awe inspiring.
We camped at a site you can’t book in advance where drop toilets are the only facilities. We used solar power for our camp fridges and solar showers for cleaning our dusty bodies.
The days were spent exploring and walking or climbing in and out of the gorges, rewarded by incredible scenery and a myriad of swimming opportunities.
It’s a place that gets into your soul. Deeply.
It’s also a time where you can think. Perhaps a little overthinking and this is my point. It’s the overthinking that I find (and I’m sure I’m not alone) gets me into one of two states. Overwhelm and analysis paralysis or so ready for change in at least one life department that I start to make it happen.
Mostly, I tend to overthink everything and do nothing. This time is different.
I’ve learnt about the importance of creating habits to bring about change.
That it’s not about discipline or will power but the formation of small habits to bring about the change you want.
If you feel overwhelmed after a holiday, short or long, and then get stuck back on the rollercoaster that life can be (if we let it), know that it doesn’t have to be that way. Change is possible and you can do it.
Firstly ask yourself why you want to change and then the how is easier.
The why has to be something you really want, not what you think someone else might want you to do.
If it’s not, you won’t create the habits you need make the change.
Don’t let overthinking get in the way of taking action. If you want to get up in the morning at 5am without pressing the snooze button there are simple actions you need to do. When your alarm goes off at 6am you need to take the first action. If you lay in bed thinking about how you feel and if you want to get up, chances are you will not get up.
The first action is swinging your legs over the edge of the bed and connecting your feet with the ground. That leads to the second action once you are out of bed. For me it’s a 5-10 minute guided meditation followed by a cup of tea and 5 minutes of journalling. I then go for a bike ride or do creative work while the rest of the house is sleeping.
What I am doing in the morning is decided the night before.
How I will move my body or what I am creating is determined before I go to bed. If I don’t have these choices made, it is too easy to roll over and go back to sleep cursing myself for not being disciplined. I may need to be disciplined in the very beginning whilst I’m creating the habit but once the habit is in place, it’s a habit and it just happens.
If you let thinking about the action into your mind you won’t take the action you need to.
Some habits are harder than others to create. If you fall down, get back up again and start over. Tweak and repeat. One habit at a time. By doing things one at a time you are much more likely to create sustainable change.
Next time you have a day off, a short or even a long break (highly recommend some Wi-Fi and phone free time) come home with the intent to change one thing.
Start with something easy and be kind to yourself along the way.
Habits make life more enjoyable and give us more time to do the fun stuff which is what we all need more of.
If you want to read more on the subject of habit changing James Clear and Gretchen Rubin are the gurus in my world. Gretchen has an awesome quiz to find out your habit tendencies here. I’d love to know what your habit tendency is. Post in the comments below. And get habit changing, it’s easier than you might think.