Why I Threw Away My To Do List And Do This Instead…
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I use to be the queen of lists. Lists for family, business, grocery shopping, housecleaning, laundry and all these endless checklists. As a woman entrepreneur, mother, wife and queen of all trades I am driven to maximize my potential to meet my huge goals and I did this with lists. And as time went on, my list of lists grew and I began dreading my lists. In fact, I almost hated waking up in the morning because my lists RULED my life. I felt suffocated and I couldn’t breathe…
It was so bad, one morning I woke up and went into my closet. Why? Because my closet is the most disorganized messiest place in my whole house. It felt good to be away from order and lists! On that day, I sat in my closest, closed my eyes, and sat in complete silence for five minutes. I looked into myself and asked questions. What is the meaning of life? Are the lists worth it? How can I improve who I am as a person? It was simply magical. And that is how it all started.
I began going into my closed each morning for about 5 minutes before I would look at my 1st list. What I found is that I began to draw inspiration from that 5 minutes of letting my mind just sit still. In fact, the inspiration began to flow so much that I couldn’t keep up! I felt inspired to grab a pen and start writing down all my thoughts.
One morning as an afterthought, I picked up my inspiration notebook and noticed that the thoughts on it were entirely different from what was on my list. In fact, the things I had written down as inspiration to do were 180 degrees different than what was on my multiple to do lists. So I tried an experiment one day. I threw away my 7 lists that I was working from that particular day and used my thoughts from my inspiration notebook to began my day. It changed everything for me!
I got more done that day than ever before. Some things that I thought were important didn’t get done but other things that didn’t seem as important I got done. Here’s what I learned from that what my conscious mind deems important is not always the case – what my soul is telling me is usually right and so if I focus on that – the MOST important items to get done will rise to the top.
You will find that it will take you in a direction that you are really meant to go and the endless things to do just seem to magically take care of themselves. Somehow the right person or situation will materialize and those items will get done.
You might be thinking great! Well if Angela goes in her closet for 5 minutes every morning and threw away her lists – I can do the same thing. Yes, you can but I would encourage you to find your “sweet spot” in your life – like my closet is to me.
Think of it like this: We are all different people. Some of us wake up bright and bushy tailed in the morning. Some of us get our best work done at night. So find your place. It might be your closet, your car, your office, the bathroom, under your table, in the hot tub, in a sauna, sitting under a tree, etc. Just find it and then you need to began to meditate for just 5 minutes.
There are 7 vital strategies that I have found work incredibly well for meditating.
7 Strategies for Simple Meditation
Strategy#1: Go to a quiet Place!!
Make sure it is a place that you do not have distractions. I love my closest. I love the woods and with nature. At the same time, I can walk and breath fresh air. Regardless, it has to be your sanctuary and quiet. This is very important to calm your mind and prepare for your day. Other tips: put on soft and relaxing music, always have candles, incense are wonderful and these will help create relaxed environment.
Strategy #2: Physical Preparation
Some people like to shower before meditation or wash their face and hands. It is important to feel comfortable and wear light loose fitting clothing. Always, take your shoes off because your feet need to feel relaxed.
Strategy #3: Sit Straight up and have your back with good posture.
Your back needs to be erected properly. Begin your meditation with eight long breaths and eight slow breaths that release the stress of your thoughts. It is important to focus on your thoughts and to relieve the stress. It is important to think about your thoughts and realize what ones are not healthy and causing stress. You need to throw those thoughts away and think about calming things. This is the time to focus on relaxing and your breathing.
Strategy #4: Do not stress and take it slow.
Only do short amounts of meditation. It takes practice. Please don’t stress over not properly meditation. Experts learn everyday what calms them. It takes practice and the more you practice the better you become. If you feel tension or get a headache, you are overdoing it. Stop and breathe. The strategy of sitting in a comfortable place and acknowledging your breathing is so important. This is an amazing process, relax and enjoy the journey.
It is important to get in a routine and meditate every morning. The five minutes in your closet. It is imperative that it is treated as a sacred time. It is time for you to invest in yourself. While I do mine 1st thing when I wake up, you have to do yours at a time that works for you. The experts say it is best to do it in the early morning before you begin your activities. I think that is EXCELLENT advice. However, not everyone can do that so just set aside the time on your calendar that fits in your schedule and stick to it. Five minutes of precious time is worth it’s weight in gold as the ideas will begin to flow.
Strategy#6: Music and Journal
Soothing music will open up your soul. Use it as you meditate. After you meditate write your thoughts down in a inspiration journal. Be sure to include what makes you happy and why are so so blessed.This attracts such positive energy. Hint: This process will also help you develop the important tasks that need to be accomplished for the day.
Strategy#7: Power Within
You are so important and your health is a priority. It is important to realize this and visualize what you want in the future during meditation. Do you want to find a partner that completes you? How about visualizing a new client. Or a house in the country or abroad. You have the power with your thoughts and visualizing these things while you are meditating once a day is a great start because only you can change your life.
What Should Your Meditation Routine Look Like?
So now that you have the key strategies for success meditation, let’s talk about how I developed my meditation routine and what might work best for you. What do you do in the morning? Some people, hop on social media, start laundry, check their email, breakfast, exercise, pack lunches.
Which morning routine is the best? It starts with a consistent routine. I threw out my checklists and start my five minute meditation in my closet. Why did I pick my closest? It is the best place to hide from the world and just breathe. I need to relax and not get stressed before my day even starts.
I came up with my morning routine by researching other successful people to see how they start their day. We can learn from successful people and what inspires them in the morning. It is a proven fact that during the morning our ability to accomplish amazing things is at it’s peak. Many successful entrepreneurs wake up an hour early to start their day. So, I decided to start my morning routine with meditation.
I start with my five minute meditation in my closet. I think about how grateful i am . I have a beautiful family, loved ones that care about me, three teenage boys that keep me on my toes, a house, food, and a flourishing business. Sometimes, things get in the way and challenges have to be solved. Goals maybe not be achieved and things to be extended but we continue striving forward and work through in every aspect of our lives. That is the purpose of life right? To grow and learn from everything we experience! That truly is a joyous journey.
Have you heard that your first work of the day should be meaningful and significant, a task that might take a lot of focus, will, and determination to accomplish. With that in mind, I do this: After my five minute closet meditation, I dive into my hardest task of the day. I want to be clear and focused so I can get it done. As the day progresses, we get tireder so for me 1st thing in the morning is optimal to dive right into my most challenging tasks.
What I have found is that as my day progresses I get tireder, so my willpower to do the harder tasks diminishes 😉 Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” When you get the biggest task done, you will accomplish more throughout your day!! Eat the frog first, and then go clean the house in the afternoon.
I love Steve Jobs’ morning routine – He said “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Develop Your Morning Schedule
As we discussed previously, it is optimal to meditate in the morning. I would highly encourage you to make a schedule and stick to it. It will change your life. My morning schedule is as follows:
● Wake up at 5:30 a.m.
● Meditate in my closet for five minutes
● Exercise for 10 mins on my BowMax Trainer.
● Get kids and hubby out the door for their day.
● Get on my computer, turn on soothing music, light a candle
● Hit my hardest task first!
The key in life is enjoying it. We need to create less stress. Throw away your to do list, meditate and focus on the hardest project right when you begin your day! Have a wonderful life and enjoy it..
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