“Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.” – Zig Ziglar
A client recently returned from a trip to a wellness spa, her body recharged and her mind full of healthy ideas and positive thinking. Now she is back in her everyday normal with a full schedule and ongoing demands on her time. She is in danger of losing the entire experience to memory.
I offered her the idea that she need not incorporate everything she learned in her week away in order to maintain the feeling she has now. I suggested she spend a short time reflecting and ask herself two questions, intended to bookend her experience:
- why did you go? (or put another way; what did you want most from the experience?) Be specific.
- what from the experience most deeply resonated with you? Again, be specific.
The first question speaks to some deeply felt need – the one that prompted her to take an entire week away and immerse herself in something that offered the possibility of transformation. That tells me what she was moving towards – what she was seeking.
The next question invites action. We underestimate simple, yet simple can have enormous power. First, a simple habit can help her stay connected to the feelings she experienced during her week away. We do things to feel a certain way; healthy, successful, strong, capable, productive, etc. and if daily habits – even simple ones – have their genesis in the keystone events of our life, then that event lives on. The same way browsing photos can take us back, a simple action can recreate a feeling.
Secondly, that small thing – be it a recipe, a short burst of movement to invigorate your body and/or mind, a brief pause to center and ground yourself – whatever it is will have a ripple effect on the rest of your day. That feeling reverberates. That’s how small actions done consistently turn out to be game changers.
For example, she learned a simple recipe for a delicious soup. Easy to make. Nourishing. Simple + easy + nourishing = repeatable. She learned that just a few minutes of sitting quietly and focusing on something (breath, a visual, a sound) can still her body and ease the sense of chaos. Five minutes of calm & composed = better decisions & less emotional and spiritual clean-up needed at the end of the day.
Reflect on a recent experience that lit up your body and your mind. Bookend that experience; clarify your why and lock on to your powerful takeaway. Create a new habit – small and repeatable – that serves to connect you to those moments. Done regularly, this can not only be a catalyst towards the version of yourself you’re seeking, but keep you running the highlight reel of your life.