I don’t know about you, but every now and again, I need a reset. It could be after finishing a project or achieving a goal. Or it could be a feeling of being stuck and exasperated by being busy but still be frustratingly a long way away from my goals. Either way, I need a way to reset myself so that I can move forward with renewed clarity and motivation.
So how do you reset yourself? For me, there are five parts to a mind reset…
5 Simple Steps to Reset Yourself
1) Shake Out Your Current Mental State
Our emotional state colours everything we think or experience so before we can figure out what we should focus on next, Tony Robbins says we need change our state. I also think it’s useful to try to change your self-image – the ways in which you think about yourself. Obviously this can be a big, monumental change that might take weeks or months of processing, but there are also plenty of small things that you can do to change your state and self-image quickly.
Here are a few ways to quickly change your current mental state;
- Exercise! Run, walk, yoga, swim, lift weights, ride your bike, or even just do 10 push-ups and 10 star-jumps. If you’re in a funk, it might be the last thing you feel like doing, but it will help.
- Take some time to relax with a bath and a good book.
- Have a night out with some friends. Sometimes a good laugh in familiar company is what you really need.
- Meet with your Mastermind Group. Tell them about all the things that are bothering you or you have on your mind, and ask for some perspective.
- Go to a new location to work – eg a great cafe, hotel lobby, open working space, or even out in the garden.
- Clean up. Change your working or living space by decluttering, cleaning or moving things around. This can be as simple as tidying your desk, or it could be a whole shift towards a minimalist lifestyle.
- Journal. Write down all that crazy stuff in your head. Once it’s out of your head you can often see those thoughts more clearly for what they are. Sometimes there are important links that you hadn’t noticed, and other times, you realise you’re just being crazy and you don’t need to pay attention to those thoughts.
- Change up your image. This can be as simple as painting your nails or wearing a colour you don’t normally wear, or it could be a complete new look.
All of these things can be powerful as they change the way you look at yourself and the ideas you have about what you should be doing and what you are capable of doing.
2) Re-Clarify Your Why
Once you’ve given yourself a shake-up and you’re feeling better, it’s time to turn your brain on.
Some people call this your vision, others, your five-year plan. Either way, you need to take your thinking up a level and look at the big picture of your life. For some people, this is easy – they know exactly what they want. For others, it can be confronting and daunting. A few questions I find helpful are;
- What are the really big things that are important to you in this phase of your life?
- What would you regret most if you didn’t do it?
- Who do you feel a pang of jealously towards when you hear about their success? (This gives clues as to what you might really want.)
- Imagine yourself in 5 years and think about how old you’ll be and what stage your family will be at. What do you want your days to look like?
3) Write Down Your Goals
Once you have an idea of what you want your future to look like, get really specific and actually write down your goals. Decide how to timeframe your goals – will they be one-year, 6-months or even 3-years? Goals that are too long-term tend to be easily forgotten and don’t inspire any immediate action. On the other hand, goals that are too near-sighted lack the bigger picture vision. A good compromise is to set one-year goals and then break them down into 3 monthly, or even monthly targets.
A trap that many of us fall into, is having too many goals. Even though you think you can work on lots of things at once, the fewer goals you have, the more likely you are to achieve them. That’s not to say you should only have one, but having 20 is definitely too many. Somewhere between 2 and 5 is probably a good number of goals to have.
Where do you write them? Somewhere that is easily accessible by you. I like to have mine in Evernote as well as my paper notebook that I carry most places.
4) Create a Clean To-Do List
Now, take your goals, and write down your to-do list of all the immediate things that need doing for each goal. Don’t be tempted to look at the to-do list you might already have running. The idea here is to start anew – with your goals top of mind.
Some people like to take each goal and write down each micro-action that will be needed to achieve that goal, but I prefer to write down about a week or 2 worth of the actions that are most important.
5) Write Your Today List
Finally, take that list and write out your today list. These are the 3 or so things that you are actually going to do today. Be careful not to be too ambitious, it’s far better to have success and feel over-accomplished, rather than feel like you’re failing. So set yourself up to succeed here! Remember, you can also do more than is on your list if you finish it.
Once you’ve got your fresh new focus for the long-term, medium-term and short-term (with your Why, your Goals and your Today List), you’ll be feeling a lot more inspired and focussed. Get started on your Today List and force yourself to work through those things before anything else.
Do you have other ways to get yourself out of a funk and reset yourself?