I just finished the last session of the Shift Your Biz online course. It was excellent! I learned a lot, and I’m still integrating some of the lessons. One of the most practical and profound for me, though was about re-framing your daily actions as ones you are choosing to do.
Linda and Dani, in one of the class sessions, talked about updating your language. The first step, of course, is to notice it. When you hear yourself saying “I have to…” or “I should…” – stop. Re-frame your language right then, using the words “choose to.” You can also use “choose not to.” For example, “I choose to stop writing at 5:30pm and make dinner.” Or “I choose not to make that phone call right now.”
This has been such a help to me. I found that, during my day, I had been dividing my tasks up into ones that I felt I “had to” do versus the ones I really wanted to do. And for some perverse reason, I was prioritizing the “have tos” over the more pleasurable tasks. I think it’s that whole “finish your dinner and then you can have dessert” syndrome. Who says?!
I would do the housework, the appointments, the running around, and then when I finally sat down to write, my energy was low and my inspiration had gone into hiding.
Since practicing this technique, I find that I’m much more true to my priorities and what I choose to do with my time. This morning, I got up and, ignoring the dirty dishes, sat down right away to work on the e-book I’m writing. “I choose to write first, and clean the kitchen later.” No guilt, no stress, just prioritizing what I want to do with my time.
When you’re able to see the freedom you have in the small daily choices you make, then it’s easier to see it in the big picture, too. If you feel like you “have to” keep your day job, turn it around. “I choose to work for someone else and save up the money to start my own business.” “I choose to spend my time off creating an awesome website for my new venture.” “I choose the security of having insurance and a regular paycheck.” And when you know that you’re the one making the choice, you also know that you have the freedom to change those choices as time passes and situations change.
This freedom to choose also brings more joy to daily life. You know that you are the one in charge of your choices. Sure, you still have to take out the garbage and other unpleasant tasks that are a part of life. But you decide when, and how to organize your day for maximum fun and productivity. You include your favorite things in with garbage and the dishes, and soon you’ll find yourself living in the moment, smiling even when you have to chop the onions.