Once the weekend comes, I know I do not want to do anything aside from relaxing from all the stresses that came from the week prior. I sit in my living room on a sunny but gloomy Sunday, not wanting to do anything but lay down and be a couch potato. However, subconsciously, I know I need to get up, clean, organize, and plan for the week ahead. If we want to ease stress and accomplish the week ahead we must sit down, plan, and check in with ourselves.
Step 1: Start-of-the-Week Check-In
By physically creating a start-of-the-week check-in, it will help you visualize what you want to accomplish in the week and keep yourself accountable. You can write your check-in list in a journal, on a whiteboard, or in something else that you will see every morning or night! I constantly check my planner, so I personally write it there because it is a nice reminder, but I also write it in my journal because it helps me see what I have accomplished that day. First, begin with recognizing what your number one priority is for the week. Second, write down at least one thing you want to do less of, such as screen time. Third, create a goal that you want to do more of, such as cooking. Once you have recognized your goals, it is time to pay attention to your feelings. Fourth, write down how you want to feel throughout the week. Then, you must establish how you will feel like that so finish this sentence: “To feel this way, I will ____.” Lastly, if you get into a funk, you can remind yourself of what you wanted to accomplish for the week by finishing this sentence: “If I get stuck, I’ll remember ____.”
Step 2: Mood Tracker
As mentioned before, how you feel is essential to whether or not you accomplish your weekly goals. Creating a mood tracker can show what days tend to be a little tougher than the rest. Being able to visually see when you are having not-so-good days versus the happy days will bring to light what makes you happy or what brings you down. This will help with your next week’s check-in when you have to write down your steps two through four. I personally just started doing this in February and it made me realize how much I needed to remove some toxicity out of my life. While the past week has been rough, it has shown me that my other weeks have been great, which made me grateful and goes to show that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Step 3: 3 Things to Remember
The third tip is just a general thing to do and that is to remember your motivations for the week. It’s important to remember that life is more than just what is in front of us. First, slow down and do not rush. Enjoy the little things and the process that comes along with this thing called life. Second, take a break to give thanks! Write out a list of what you’re grateful for. Third, give someone a compliment today. Show kindness by affirming those around you! While I am a positive and kind person, I used to struggle with not appreciating the little things in life because it would seem to not fit my future goals. I went through multiple periods of my life where I struggled to be appreciative of what was around me because I was in a funk, and that is when I started to do these three things. Every day, I try to accomplish these three things to remind me how far I’ve come and what I have in my life. It honestly has helped shape me as a person.
Step 4: Reset Habits
I want to end with resetting habits as the final tip because you not only have to recognize what you want to accomplish, but you have to align your mindset and your habits to be able to achieve those goals. Just like with your weekly check-in list, write down the following habits that you would like to recognize, reset, and execute through the following questions. You can try to reset these habits all at once or, just like the check-in, only tackle one habit or thing that you would like to do less of or change each week so you can fully commit yourself. By doing only one change each week, you are not overfilling your plate with too many tasks, which gives you a feeling of sustainability. So, write down your answers for the following: “Habit I want to change,” “What it gives me,” “What I can replace it with,” and “So, I will…” I try to do this every week, and while I may not be successful every week, at least I tried and it has helped reduce these bad habits. I do this for screen time on my phone or with cravings. I still mess up and that is okay because I will keep working on it and improving.
Cutting out 15 minutes of your Sunday to sit down and align your mindset and goals for the week will truly help you achieve those goals. I started implementing these routines for about a little over a year now and they truly helped. I was letting life overwhelm me which led me into a funk. I wanted to get out of it but did not know how, so I started with little reminders of what I love about myself and what I am grateful for in life. Slowly but surely I started accomplishing these goals I created and became more confident in myself. With time and these routines and habits, I started to enforce these practices in my life, helping me get out of that funk and creating the stability that I needed. I stand by these habits and think they are beneficial to living a fruitful life because they have helped me cut out so much stress and anxieties from school and other worries. We are creating a more sustainable and healthy life for ourselves and we are in it together!
Image courtesy of www.studyclerk.com