“Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation, count on discipline” - Jocko Willink, Ex-Navy SEAL.
I have made plenty of bad decisions in life. We all have. I’ve have also made plenty of good decisions too. Outcome aside, if I am honest with myself I have probably always known the difference between good decisions and bad decisions. You know it in your gut.
This year I have made it my goal to make myself my own priority, which is the result of self-assessing and figuring out where I’m at. I know that investing in myself will pay dividends across every aspect of my life. This doesn’t mean that my aim is to become ultra-fit and eat carrots. To me it means being consciously aware of my physical, nutritional and emotional health. This includes things like my diet, exercise, sleep, relationships, understanding what is really important to me and what isn’t, and generally putting more energy into things that fill my cup.
I think it probably comes from gaining perspective through life's ups and downs.
Losing a best mate to suicide was a massive moment. And when I reflect, there are countless other significant moments, both good and bad, that have given me the perspective that life is short and we’re here for a good time, not a long time, so make the most of opportunities. But having that perspective is the thing that makes me know that I want to prioritise myself more.
I know what it feels like to be flat.
I know what it feels like to be depressed.
I know very well what anxiety feels like.
Overwhelmingly, I know that when you experience any of those feelings, it is impossible to imagine not feeling like that forever. The feeling consumes you and dictates all your decisions and behaviour.
I also know what it feels like to be content, happy and good.
And when you’re in a positive headspace, it’s far easier to make good decisions mentally, emotionally and physically - that keep you feeling that way. But, like anything, these feelings are impermanent and so learning how to regulate this stuff is the challenge that I’m learning as I go
Does that mean the goal is to be perfect? Far from it. We still have vices and I think as humans we need to be able to treat ourselves from time to time, let our hair down and just blow off a little steam. In fact, this is imperative, and I would encourage it. But again, we should know the difference between the occasional blowout and when blowing off steam becomes a habitual problem.
We live in an age where we are more informed than ever before, but does that mean we make the right decisions? Nope!
People know that we should exercise.
People know that broccoli is healthier than fried food.
People know that excess consumption of alcohol is not good for us in the long run.
You ask any smoker, and they know beyond doubt that it’s killing them. But do we even care about the long-term impacts? To be honest, we do. It’s in the back of your mind, but so are a million other things. People are feeling more pressure than ever before, so clutching on to unhealthy coping mechanisms is the quickest and easiest way to help alleviate that pressure.
Mental health is such a broad, complex and multifaceted issue. There is no such thing as a one size fits all approach when dealing with the cause or symptoms, to finding treatment and solutions, it’s all subjective.
But there are positive things that we can be doing to help, at various stages along the way. Again, we know what these things are, but knowing that doesn’t help. Taking action does.
In every instance, you need to want to help yourself. You need to want to change. You literally need to want to take action.
This means learning how to best manage yourself in whatever situation (physical, emotional and financial) that you find yourself in.
Having goals is proven to be positive for your mindset.
It gives you something to work towards which as a bare minimum, gives you some purpose, something to look forward to and direction that you might be lacking. Making goals can be as big or as small as you like.
However, research has shown time and time again that if you’ve got a big goal and break it down into smaller achievable chunks you are far more likely to achieve that bigger goal.
If your goal is to implement something into your daily life, great. Keep it small, aim for some consistency and keep a diary of how you’re going with it. But over-all, doing the best you can is key. That’s all anyone can do. If the wheels fall off, that’s ok, it happens. Don't beat yourself up. Put them back on and go again today. Because today is all you’ve really got so just have a crack.
Here are some examples of goals that might be relevant to you:
You don’t have a job or an income:
- Big Goal – Become self-sufficient and independent
- Small Goal – Have your resume up to date with plenty of copies printed off, have an outfit cleaned and ready to go which looks presentable, hand out the resume to 5 businesses a day.
- Big Goal – Nail Gun
- Small Goal – Save $50/week for 10 weeks (use a separate account that you can’t touch)
- Big Goal – Lose 10 kgs
- Small Goal – Pack a healthy smoko and drink more water (challenge yourself to drink 3L a day, make a game of it)
- Big Goal – To feel good again
- Small Goal – Go for a 30-minute walk every second day
- Big Goal – Buy the house
- Small Goal – Implement a budget that still lets you live a little (BareFoot investor is great)
Goals don’t have to be ground-breaking and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. But they help your mindset, they help with purpose and direction and they help with feeling accomplished and successful. So go and have a crack!
And if you want or need an extra nudge, let us know! We’re here to help and support you – further we have even more qualified resources to help you if you are really struggling. Just drop us a DM and we’ll sort you out – at TradeMutt, it's our promise to you that you’ll never have to walk alone again.