If you’ve felt a bit lost, listless, not really sure if you’re in the right place or heading in the right direction, and not certain of what you even really want, then this is for you.
I’ve observed that for many people something has felt just “off.” This lack of clarity and motivation has lead to a feeling of overwhelm.
Typically, I would recommend focusing on making a plan for the next 90 days and even mapping out the year. These techniques are good and can definitely help.
But in this particular time, I’ve observed that a different approach is most helpful. This different approach is to stop thinking about the future and instead embrace the present.
So what does this look like on a practical level?
Here are a few steps that could help:
- Focus on the Moment: Instead of wasting mental energy on what you aren’t certain about in the future, focus on what you are sure of right here, right now. If you’re anything like myself and the people I talk to on a regular basis, you have more than enough to do in the moment. In times when the future is unclear, a plan for the day or for the week may be all you really need. Build momentum, satisfaction, and fulfillment by focusing on the mission of the moment.
- Have Fun: Often some very simple changes to our schedule can make a big difference in reducing stress and increasing happiness. In the book The Willpower Instinct, there’s a reference to American Psychological Association research that shows that among the most effective stress-relief strategies are exercising or playing sports, praying or attending a religious service, reading, listening to music, spending time with friends or family, getting a massage, going outside for a walk, meditating or doing yoga, and spending time with a creative hobby. Try to integrate one or more of these activities into each day. Even doing 20 minutes of an activity that you find refreshing can make a big difference.
- Build Joy: Sometimes we feel listless because we simply need more people connection. If you find yourself in that situation, it may be time to reach out to friends to set up time to go to a movie, be more intentional with family time, reconnect with a group that you used to attend, call more people, or even simply spend time at a coffee shop instead of at home. Loneliness can have a lot of negative health effects so it’s not something that should be ignored. We all need a sense of belonging and connection.
- The Necessity of Seasons: One of my favorite singers is Melissa Helser and she talked once about the “Necessity of Seasons” and how there’s no anxiety in the trees in the winter. They know that spring will come and that seasons of rest and barrenness are essential for the seasons of fruitfulness and harvest. Often we grow the most when we least understand our direction because we’re not simply operating on autopilot. Allow yourself to receive the gifts of learning from the season that you are in.
Most of all, stay attuned to yourself and if you’re a person of faith, aligned with God. When you do so, you’ll end up in the best place possible.
Here’s to a you full of hope, joy, and alignment!
About Real Life E
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also encourages Christians to align themselves with God’s heart through Divine Time Management.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review published her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Hachette is publishing her third book on Divine Time Management: The Joy of Trusting in God’s Loving Plans for You. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fast Company and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.