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 when our ideal structure is met with a halt. Humans often commit 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 what happens if your ideal state, environment or an uncontrollable circumstance get’s thrown your way? Insert our ‘if then’ strategy.

We’ll use both of the above examples for our “if then” scenarios; to make sure you stay consistent regardless of the uncontrollable, you need to give yourself an ‘if then’ plan. For example, “If it rains on a day I plan to run, I’ll run on the treadmill at the gym”; “If I’m too busy before and after work to write, I’m going to take a shorter lunch and write a blog during my lunch hour.”

These ‘if then’ plans prevent you from rationalizing based on impulse and potentially less than ideal circumstances. Have a strong list of ‘if then’s’ will help you hold yourself accountable, and make it extremely difficult to lie to yourself, and actually believe in the rationalizing you are presenting.

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. I have new cheesy, but mostly enjoyable Hall Mark movies to experience, but most importantly, I have my Christmas favourites that are a necessity for me to enjoy year after year. In order to make sure all of your favourites are enjoyed in the warmth of your home next to your 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, you 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 – the movies that make it feel like it’s truly Christmas time; 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”

Christmas time brings great opportunity to spend time with a handful of loved ones and opens our month to fun experiences. Christmas movies in particular have become a staple for many peoples’ holiday experience. 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 in a season that can quickly pull us in 100 different directions. This 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 “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” one of our staple Christmas Specials to watch together; 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 (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.

The goal is to bring as many of your loved ones together as possible to share in this experience. During Christmas time, the saying “the more the merrier”, has never rung more true.

Day 348/365 – December 15

“Try the 8 Stones Method”

Most, if not all people want to be more productive, and are also really creative in their own way. We have ideas, passions, and we get excited about a lot of things in life, but how do we manage the things we want to do? In comes the ‘8 Stones Method” originally devised by artist Richard Avedon.

Here’s how it works: You take 8 stones and line them up your desk, under each stone, you place a piece of paper with a project that is related to your professional life or part of your 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 yourself to divide your attention across multiple projects, you take the pressure off having all your eggs in one basket, thus if one project doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, you have another project to place your focus on and get excited about. This strategy can be incredibly effective to help avoid impostor syndrome and help disconnect our happiness from our successes/failures (i.e. my happiness relies on the outcome of this project).

Knowing you have more to look forward to, regardless the outcome of a particular project, keeps you moving forward. By also making the projects visible (written under a stone), they often seem more real.

Be sure to approach this tip with the self-awareness that not all projects should necessarily be taken on at all times. Doing great work, does require detailed attention and time. Some days a particular stone may get all the attention, and is a necessary part of the process. But also be aware that you have a lot of exciting projects to look forward to taking on; knowing this will help paint a beautiful future.

Day 347/365 – December 14

“Tell a Trusted Friend a Meaningful Secret”

Secrets should be a meaningful experience between people, as trust is never something to be undervalued, and sharing a secret shows the utmost of trust. To build stronger, more intimate connections with our friends, we need to have a deeper understanding of who each other are. We are all used to having surface level conversations, which is all fine and dandy, but what helps build a friendship to that next level of, “like family”, is the sharing of intimate feelings or discoveries with oneself. I don’t think telling secrets that are truly close to once heart, should be an activity we just impulsively do; sharing real secrets should be done with intention and caution, but with that being said, sharing an intimate detail about your 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 you know they have your back regardless of all the baggage you come with. Knowing someone loves you and wants to be in your life, with true transparency and authentic understanding of what we have gone through will never be something we don’t want or need.

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

Day 346/365 – December 13

“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 they are always coming in, that it’s impossible to catch up on all of them, and that email has made you into an easily accessible working professional at all times (not cool, email!) In order to help alleviate the appearance that you are available at all times, it’s important not to send emails during off hours, or people will start to get the wrong impression. The easy solution is to write an email (whenever you see fit), save it as a draft and send in the am, when you 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 your emails sent, while still setting rather concrete and visible boundaries to your network of clients, and co-workers. As soon as you get to work, open your emails, hit ‘send’ in your saved drafts folder, and let the day begin.

Day 345/365 – December 12

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

Treats are usually something that feels great in the moment, but doesn’t quite aid in our long term happiness or benefit. It’s easy to convince ourselves to eat that “cheat people”, “eat a big tub of ice cream”, “skip the gym”, “pick up fast food”, “not work on that project” when we find ourselves amidst the “blues”. Instead of feeding your sadness with something that will only mask your pain in the short term, treat your “blues” with a productive activity that will give you an immediate sense of euphoria, but also promote long term happiness, momentum and growth, which should be our ultimate goal. Adding another item onto 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 your resiliency, but will actually allow you to rectify the issue much faster, and not compound your blues to another area of your life.

Help make this decision to avoid the treats by asking some questions to yourself: “Is this a momentary fix”; “will I authentically feel better about myself after treating myself with this”; “Is this an impulsive, woe is me decision”. Be mindful of our “treats”. Some treats are given and well deserved at the right time. In a moment of sadness, I don’t think overindulging with “treats” is going to help your cause.

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