How’s the summer going for you?
Are you reveling in the lazy days of summer? Do you go to bed thinking: “What a wonderful day this was! I feel close and connected with my kids, my spouse, and my self. I took care of my mental and physical health today. I showed up as the awesome mom and spouse that I am. Ahhhhh….I can’t wait until tomorrow!” Or, do you fall in bed frustrated with your kids, annoyed with your spouse, and making up excuses as to why you didn’t exercise or eat well today? Or, worse, are you so disconnected that you don’t even reflect on your day because you’ve sufficiently numbed yourself with wine, or Netflix, or online shopping?
I used to be the “fall in bed frustrated with everyone, blaming everyone, annoyed with myself” example above. I was stressed, anxious, and unhappy. Why? Many reasons but the greatest one was because I knew what to do but I wasn’t doing it.
- I knew that if I wanted my kids to be on their phones less, it was up to me. I had to take action.
- I knew that if I wanted a different romantic relationship, it was up to me. I had to take action.
- I knew that if I wanted to stop yelling or reacting, it was up to me. I had to take action.
- I knew that if I wanted to stop running from one activity to the next with my days pass in a blur, I had to take action.
We have all the information we need to get the life we want. There’s a quote somewhere that said if information was the solution we’d all be walking around with 6-pack abs and millions in our bank accounts. Information is not the problem. Taking action is. Stop researching the “best way” to do something and start doing something. Make a decision and then do what you decide.
There’s an expression “train hard, fight easy” or “train hard, race easy”. This means, if you put the time in and do some serious workouts before the race or the event, the race or event will be easy. I know this is true because I’ve done it both ways. I’ve signed up for a 10-mile race, consistently trained, and, on race day, enjoyed the experience and the effort. I’ve also signed up for a 10-mile race, not trained, and run a race where each mile felt I was running uphill with weights on my feet. Does life sometimes feel like that for you? Do you find yourself wishing you could crawl back into bed after breakfast? Why? Because you haven’t done the training. You must do the work to get the life you want. The marriage you want, the lifestyle you want, the health you want, the relationship with your kids that you want? All of that is possible. IF…you actually do something. If you take action. If you do the work.
Now you might be asking what does the “work” look like? You know what it looks like. You know what you need to do. You want a magic pill or someone to wave a wand with a new trick but there is no new way of doing things or a magic pill to take.
- To get a healthy body you must feed it the foods it needs, move it every day, and get adequate sleep.
- To get a healthy marriage you must consistently connect with your loved one through dates, daily texts, words of affirmation.
- To be less reactive you must use a tool to daily manage your mind (scheduling, journal, meditate, etc).
- To be more relaxed with and connected to your kids, you must relax and connect with your frigging kids. Sit down and have a conversation with them: What do they think appropriate tech use is over the summer? How does that differ with your vision? Where can you reach an agreement? Are you practicing what you preach?
You know what to do. Now you must start doing what you know. Train hard, race easy. Train hard, live easy. To get the relaxed, calm life of summer, you must do the work.
We have these ideas of what summer should be like, what we should feel like and what our days “should” look like. You might tell yourself that “life should be easier” or that somehow you deserve a different life than the one you are living. Stop. Get over yourself. Show up for your life. We want the ease of summer without putting in the work. I’m here to tell you that by not doing the work you’re actually creating more stress for yourself. I spent years avoiding taking action; choosing instead to complain, blame, and avoid the work. I created far more negative energy in my life by not doing what needed to be done than it would take to actually do it. Yes writing out my daily schedule takes effort, sitting with my kids to talk takes effort, planning a night out with my mate takes effort but….that effort brings ease and a level of contentment that complaining and procrastinating didn’t produce. I promise you, there is no magic wand or pill and no one is going to do “life” for you. You must do the work to get the life you want. Start with one small action today.
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