Day 345-351/365 Days of Fulfillment Blog

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Day 351/365 – December 18

“Have an ‘If Then’ Strategy”

“If then” strategies are built around staying consistent with a routine, habit or activity by eliminating common rationalizations that come up when our ideal scenario is met with resistance. An organized individual often commits to doing something for a given number of days per week as a way to structure productivity and growth i.e. “i’m going to go for a run 4 days per week”, ‘I’m going to write a blog every day of the week” etc; These goals are great, but if our ideal state, environment or plan get’s disrupted, it’s helpful to have an ‘if then’ strategy.

We’ll use both of the above examples for our “if then” scenarios. For example, “If it rains on a day we plan to run, our ‘if then’ plan is to run on the treadmill at the gym instead”; “If we know we’re going to be too busy before and after work to write, we’ll take a shorter lunch and write a blog during our lunch hour.”

‘If then’ plans are designed to prevent us from rationalizing on impulse and unforeseen disruptions. Having a list of ‘if then’s’ for common habits we want to keep consistent in our life will help keep us accountable, and make it extremely difficult to lie to ourselves and see our rationalizations as authentic and credible.

Day 350/365 – December 17

“Write out a List of Must-watch Christmas Movies”

Christmas movies are a big part of the Holiday season for me and probably for a large majority of you reading as well. Especially now with Hallmark channel showing a new cheesy, yet innocently charming holiday movie all December long. Beside these, I have my Christmas classics and favourites that are a necessity for me to enjoy year after year. In order to make sure all of our favourites are enjoyed in the warmth of our home, next to our trimmed tree, make a list of “must watch” Christmas movies, with the added detail of the nights you want to watch them.

By writing the movies out and giving them the added prioritization with a date in mind, we help keep the busyness of the season at bay, and in doing so, make it a healthy reminder to slow down and find time for your must see feel good Christmas Movies of the season, while adding excitement with a movie countdown! With this plan it will be impossible to miss our favourites! I’m talking about the “Home Alones”, The “Christmas Story’s”, The “It’s A Wonderful life” or whatever movies happen to make it onto your list.

Day 349/365 – December 16

“Choose a Family Holiday Movie to watch together”

Christmas time brings great opportunity to spend time with a handful of loved ones and opens our month to fun seasonal experiences. Christmas movies in particular have become a tradition for many peoples’ holiday experience to be deemed a success. We all have our favourites, so much so, that Christmas doesn’t quite feel complete without them. A large part of this season is not just the traditions in itself, but who partakes in these traditions with us.

Having that one Christmas movie that is watched and enjoyed together by the entire family helps brings us closer together in a season that can quickly pull us in 100 different directions. This simple movie tradition can help cement time for the whole family to be connected, relaxed and feel extra Christmassy all at once.

My mom, brother and I have made “A Charlie Brown Christmas” one of our staple Christmas Specials to watch together most Christmas’s; my brother, Kirk and I, before he got married, made it a tradition to watch “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” the Sunday Night before Christmas morning (among many other movies throughout the season); and on Christmas Day my two brothers and I would always find time to sneak off After Dinner and watch “A Trailer Park Boys Christmas”. These movies brought us together in a unique way that we all especially looked forward to.

During Christmas time, the saying “the more the merrier” includes Christmas movie favourites as well.

Day 348/365 – December 15 – Productivity

“Try the 8 Stones Method”

Most, if not all us in some small way want to be more productive, and are also uniquely creative. We have ideas, passions, and we get excited about a lot of things in life, but managing so many desires can be overwhelming. In comes the ‘8 Stones Method” originally devised by artist Richard Avedon.

Here’s how it works: Take 8 stones and line them up on our desk, under each stone, place a piece of paper with a project that is related to our professional life or part of our creative passion projects life. As one of the projects get’s done, another project replaces it.

This unique approach helps us focus on multiple projects and interests simultaneously, but in a more efficient, organized, and meaningful manner. By allowing ourselves to divide our attention across multiple projects, we take the pressure off having all our eggs in one basket, that way, if one project doesn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, we have another project to place our focus on and get excited about immediately thereafter. This strategy can be incredibly effective to help avoid impostor syndrome (feeling of not being worthy) and help disconnect our happiness from our successes/failures (i.e. my happiness relies on the outcome of this project).

Knowing we have more to look forward to – regardless of the outcome of a particular project – should keep us moving forward with real purpose. By also making the projects visible (written under a stone), they often seem more tangible. Projects can vary from writing a book, hosting an event, building furniture, training for a marathon, to growing our own vegetable garden.

Be sure to approach this tip with the self-awareness that not all projects should necessarily be taken on at all times (8 projects at once can quickly divert our attention and leave us with 8 incomplete poorly produced projects). Doing great work, does require detailed attention and time. Some days/weeks a particular stone may get all the attention, and is a necessary part of the process. But also be aware that we have a lot of exciting projects to look forward to; knowing this will help paint a beautiful future and open our world up to constant purpose and meaningful tasks.

Day 347/365 – December 14 – Connection

“Tell a Trusted Friend a Meaningful Secret”

Secrets should be a meaningful experience between two or more people, as trust is never something to be undervalued, and sharing a secret shows the utmost trust. To build stronger, more intimate connections with our friends, and partners we need to have a deeper understanding of who each other are. We are all accustomed to having surface level conversations, which is all fine and dandy, but what truly helps build a friendship to that next level is the sharing of intimate feelings or discoveries with each other. I don’t think telling secrets that are truly close to once heart, should be an activity we just impulsively engage in. Sharing meaningful secrets should be done with intention and caution, but with that being said, sharing an intimate detail about our life is a great way to strengthen a bond, and let both parties feel a connection that can only bring two people closer together.

Human connection on this sort of level is necessary for humans to thrive and feel truly loved and understood. This is why family is so critical for well-being. Family are sometimes the only people we aren’t hiding from; they know our secrets, they know who we are deep down, and we know they have our back regardless of all the baggage we come with. Having unconditional love, with true transparency and authentic understanding of what the other has gone through will never be something we won’t want or need.

Allow yourself to open up and let other’s who we love and truly trust, in. The growth that comes from an exercise like this is priceless.

Day 346/365 – December 13 – Productivity

“Create email drafts to easily send in the Morning”

Emails can be a b*tch (said everyone at one point in their life). It feels like emails are always coming in, that it’s impossible to catch up on all of them, and with this, email has made us into an easily accessible working professional at all times (not cool, email!) In order to help alleviate the appearance that we are available at all times, it’s important not to send emails during off hours, or people will start to get the wrong impression of when we’re available. The easy solution to this is to write an email (whenever we see fit), save it as a draft and send in the am, when we are available to respond and want to appear “on-line”. Boundaries are critical to a healthy work-life balance, and this simple life-hack make’s it easy to get our emails sent, while still setting rather concrete and visible boundaries to our network of clients, and co-workers. As soon as we see fit in the work day, open our emails, hit ‘send’ from our saved drafts folder, and let the madness begin.

Day 345/365 – December 12 – Productivty

“Don’t treat the “blues” with short lived treats”

Treats are awesome. But they are easily abused, especially when we find ourselves in vulnerable states. It’s easy to convince ourselves to eat that “cheat meal”, “indulge a big tub of ice cream”, “skip the gym”, “pick up fast food”, “postpone working on our passion project”, when we find ourselves amidst the “blues”. The blues signify sadness, and when we are in this fragile emotional state it’s natural to act more impulsively. Impulsiveness doesn’t typically work in our favour long term, and can make one thing to be sad about turn into a quick 3 or 4.

Instead of feeding our sadness with something that will only mask our pain in the short term and due more harm than good long term, we should aim to treat our “blues” with a productive activity that will give us an immediate sense of purpose and fulfillment, but also promote long term happiness, momentum and growth; a concept that should be our ultimate goal. Adding another item to our list of things to be sad or disappointed about is not a sound strategy. Making the productive logical based decision in a moment of sadness or mental exhaustion (this takes practice) not only builds our resiliency, but will actually allow us to rectify the issue at hand much faster, and not compound our blues to another area of our life.

Help make this decision to avoid the treats easier by asking some questions to ourself: “Is this decision just a momentary fix?”; “will I authentically feel better about myself after treating myself to this?”; “Is this an impulsive, woe is me decision?”. Be mindful of our “treats”. Some treats are well deserved at the right time, like after a jog, following a long hard study session, during a celebration etc. In a moment of sadness, overindulging with “treats” is not going to help our cause and can easily lead to excess.

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