As we watch the day-to-day activities in Washington, we constantly hear about various ways to "jump-start" the banking system, "stimulate" the housing market, or "streamline" the healthcare system. With all the worry in our country about our economy, many people are cynical and angry, others are anxious and in a state of panic and some are withdrawn and depressed. None of these feelings are healthy or place us in a position of power. Instead, how can we get back to Hope and Optimism? I believe that to get through this time of change and transformation, each of us needs a personal stimulus plan. In this week’s blog, I have a few suggestions for backing away from the negative noise, finding more inner peace and moving towards truly positive action.
- First, find some time to be silent. Tune into your own center. This is difficult to do when you are feeling jerked around by conflicting messages and uncomfortable feelings. Focus on the sound of your own breathing. Let everything else be subdued background noise. When you do this you will become relaxed and centered so you can move through the next steps with clarity and ease.
- Second, create a gratitude list. Pay attention to what you have to be thankful for in your life, like the simple things that we take for granted including our health, our home, our ability to work, our families and our friends, having food and clean water, etc. There may be something that's in your life for which you are especially grateful right now. Notice how that feeling of instability and disjointedness dissolves when you think about the many things you do have going for you.
- Third, prioritize your daily tasks. If you can clearly see that there are three or four things that you definitely want to accomplish, you can relax about the others that you realize you may not get to right now. It’s important to be realistic about what you can get done. Don't set yourself up to fail by putting too much on your plate as a "must do" item, but do keep a system to keep track of all that you have to do so you don’t lose them knowing you’ll schedule them to happen at a more appropriate time.
- Fourth, take the necessary action to meet your goals for the day. Get into action! You will discover that you will accomplish more with fewer stops and starts because of the earlier steps you've taken. You will also see results from your actions that will provide you encouragement and a sense of accomplishment throughout the day. This step is critical, because without action you are left only with your wants and your task list.
- Fifth, do an evening review. Take a few moments to think about what really felt good about the day for you each day. Note those things that you want to remember. If there are things that you'd do differently the next time, write those down too.
- Sixth, reward yourself for a successful day. Take a few moments to do something special that you love, whether it’s reading a book or magazine, taking a walk, playing music, reading to your kids or just relaxing. You deserve it – and you’ll be motivated to do more tomorrow!
Get your stimulus plan underway. STOP where you are right now. LOOK WITHIN and get centered. LISTEN to your inner voice that is telling you how much you already have to work with. Then, JUST DO IT! You’ll reap the benefits of taking charge of your thoughts and feelings and putting them into action. Start today -- create your personal stimulus plan and invest in your most valuable asset – yourself!