Regaining Control

Christmas has come and gone and thoughts of the new year are starting to seep in. Transitioning into the new year is always such a strange time. A time to reflect on the past year as well as setting new goals for the new year.

I always thought it was strange of people to wait until the new year to complete their goals. Then I started to really think about the way that time simply seems to escape us all. The new year is a reminder of the time that has gone and the “new” time that is to come.

It doesn’t help that these past couple of years have been nothing short of strange. Things that we thought were going to be temporary has shown more permeant residency and no one seems to enjoy today’s new normal in response to that. Due to this displeasure a lot of people seem to be in denial and heavily anticipate in all being over instead of simply accepting it for what it is.

The serenity prayer was always one of my grandmothers favorite prayers, I think about it often in times of need. The words are imbedded in my brain forever.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

The courage to change the things I can.

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Even if you aren’t a religious person or your faith follows a different path, you have to agree that these things still remain true. We have all been granted the means for acceptance, wisdom and courage to face this ever changing life of ours.

We have all been grated the strength to make these words true.

One of my goals for the upcoming year is to regain the feeling of control of my life. There’s something about me that has felt unsettled for the past couple of months, maybe longer. I simply feel at a loss. Not lost because I have direction and I have a purpose but at a loss in a sense where I don’t feel completely fulfilled. Things have taken the backburner that didn’t used to. I haven’t been living for myself as much. Drifting through life rather than living.

I want to walk in my life with purpose and drive again. I don’t want to just go with the flow as much. I want to stand firm once again. Do all the things I say I’m going to do and not just go idle. I want to make the changes I said I was going to make and commit.

“The best way to predict the future is create it.”

It’s not uncommon for me to get this fire lit within me and then let the passion die down after a few weeks. I have to commit to the idea of being consistent. Show up even on the days that I lack motivation. I remember the days when I would get asked all of the time what I did to stay motivated, although here lately I haven’t been asked that. The major thing that would drive me if the feeling of accomplishment I knew I was going to get at the end result. To me, that was worth it even on the days when I lacked the motivation to finish.

I’m going into this new year focused, happy and motivated. I am determined to make it to the end of the year which the feeling of accomplishment.

How I Plan To Regain Control

I did some research on how to regain control of your life and I wanted to share a couple of my findings with you.

7 Ways to Regain Control of Your Life

For many of us, the pace of life has accelerated to a level where we can’t fully adapt. We exist in a buzz of worry that we’re not doing what we’re meant to do, and the anxiety we feel, in turn, makes it difficult to get things done, creating a spiral of inaction. What we need is more agency: the ability to cut through all of what pulls at us, find emotional and physical balance, think more clearly, and advocate for ourselves so we can take a course of action that makes sense.

  1. Track your expenses and consume intentionally
  2. Set priorities and question your decisions
  3. Reduce your screen time
  4. Re-evaluate your relationships
  5. Limit your news consumption
  6. Get rid of 10 items that don’t add value to your life
  7. Be on top of your goals!

Control Stimuli

Begin with what you let into your mind. This means what comes in from your environment. If you are lacking agency, it’s likely your attention is being hijacked and you need to figure out how to restore it.

For example, research has shown that having a phone present while you work distracts you and interferes with your capacity to think. On the other hand, taking a walk (especially outdoors) is a good way to restore depleted attention in your brain so you can concentrate better later.

Practice going to quiet and screen-free spaces to escape overstimulation. That may mean spending time in nature, turning off your phone notifications while at work, or avoiding eating in loud cafeterias.

Associate Selectively

It’s impossible not to be affected by those around us—it’s easy to “catch” their emotions, for example, and our brains tend to synch up when we associate with other people. That means you should set boundaries with difficult people, disentangle yourself from negative online interactions, and be more conscious of how you might be vulnerable to “groupthink”—pressures to behave or think in ways that are contrary to your values.

Instead, surround yourself with friends, family, and communities who encourage you to reach your full potential, nurture your talents, affirm your values and difficult decisions, and give you a reality check when you’ve behaved badly or are stuck in negative thinking.

Get Up and Move

I have always preached about the importance of movement in ones life. Physical movement, along with proper rest and nutrition, puts your body and mind into balance, giving you greater motivation, strength, and stamina. Research has shown that sitting a lot is dangerous for your health, and that even short breaks from concentrated periods of inactivity, like getting up to stretch or walking around the block, are good for you. Studies also suggest that exercise can lead to greater self-control.

Managing emotions and beliefs

Increasing your awareness of how your emotions and beliefs drive your thinking, influence your behavior, and affect your judgment will help you navigate life with greater confidence. While uncovering these inner thoughts and emotions may take effort, being more self-reflective helps you keep grounded by slowing down your thinking process.

The next time you sense something happening around you or within you that doesn’t feel quite right, don’t ignore it and reflexively press on. Exercise the discipline to stop, pay attention, and work on finding a better path for yourself. By practicing more self control, you’ll have more influence over your life and greater impact on the lives of others.

What are ways you plan on taking control of your life in the next year? Let me know in the comments!

with love,

c.p

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