In times of uncertainty, it helps to stay productive and busy.
Rather than focusing on what makes us anxious, on problems and the unknowns ahead – many with few answers right now – let’s turn our attention to the things that could use some tending.
At moments such as this, idle time is not a friend.
Our list of to-dos or never-gotten-to projects can benefit greatly from this time, never mind our psyche.
You cannot control what’s happening out there for now. When nothing’s normal, let’s play pretend by keeping up regular routines and habits as much as possible.
Discipline & habit
If there’s a part of you at all that is disciplined, now is the time to put that part in charge.
Especially during tough times, it is self-discipline that keeps us moving in the direction of our goals. One foot in front of the other, even in the rainstorm.
Whatever comes next, it’s going to be challenging and require we push through everyday resistance: the world’s and our own. Our level of self-discipline and our habits can be our best friend or worst enemy.
Give yourself an action plan and then follow it every day. No matter what. No matter how you feel.
Discipline is about not allowing ourselves to be distracted – by a screen, by other people, by our own doubts, negative thoughts and especially our own apathy and inertia.
It means laying a brick every single day towards what you want to achieve. And then tomorrow another.
Depending on what you are trying to build, you will have many days of laying bricks where the growing structure may look nothing like where you want to end up. But it’s not about this day or tomorrow. It’s about a day in the future when you’re standing atop all you’ve built. It’s about holding a picture in your mind and being willing to do what it takes to make it real.
Over time, the self-discipline that allows us to get things done and exert self-control, becomes a habit.
Our habits are who we are.
What may start out as sheer will and discipline can become part of our make-up and can create positive, lifelong habits despite the effort. It can move from drudgery to enjoyment.
Self-discipline is about not letting ourselves or our goals down. It’s free, completely within our control and one of the biggest keys to success.
People willing to hunker down day after day in pursuit of a dream will eventually succeed because inertia is a powerful force that will hold the majority of people in place. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
In times of turmoil especially, regular positive habits can be lifesavers – and some of them quite literally.
10 Helpful Reminders: #4: Pandemic Rx: Exercise