These tiny but meaningful steps can help set your intention and bring much-needed focus to the health changes you seek.
This is something I think about a lot — how hard it is to focus, create a plan, and even remain calm in the face of current events. Look, whether you’re trying to eliminate hard feelings, conquer health issues naturally, or even imagine a bright future for yourself and your kids, the overall process can feel overwhelming and downright impossible at times. It’s one thing to “imagine” a brighter future and it’s another thing to create one out of the opportunities you have.
So, how can you keep your own goals front of mind without caving into the demands for your time whether from family (who you love), or from the hustle and bustle of running errands, checking in with social media, meal planning and clean up, yard work, and so forth? What I’ve learned is that while it’s nearly impossible to eliminate the hustle and bustle, I can set my intention to build momentum for what the outcome I want by keeping it heart centered. The great poet and novelist, Rainer Maria Rilke touched on this in his Letters on Life when he said, “We lead our lives so poorly because we arrive in the present always unprepared, incapable, and too distracted for everything.”
Change comes to us on a moment by moment basis, when we are capable of seeing opportunities as they arise —no matter how small, and through a bit of planning and prep work—-grab hold. In functional medicine, we refer to this as intention. Having intention is different from “hoping” or “believing”, it’s a power you have inside you to keep goals front of mind, including the ability to nurture those goals into existence. Start with a few simple exercises below, and as you get more comfortable, then build your own!
Make Your To-Do Lists Matter
I think of my to-do lists as mini-projects, and keep updating them regularly. So, running errands is one kind of “to-do” list you can write out on a scrap of paper, but it’s not the same as meaningful work that builds momentum toward lasting change. Think about shopping lists. If one of your goals is to “eat healthy” then a project notebook or a planner is essential. The idea could be that you want to move past last minute shopping (or take out) and instead develop a practice of cooking and have a set, seasonal menu that accommodates your health goals.
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To embrace this kind of change it helps to actually spend time writing out why this matters to you, a reminder of your intention if you will, and then break it down step-by-step into components. For example, a cooking notebook or planner would curate favorite recipes, include others that you’d like to try, identify any specialty items that are needed, plan a budget, make a calendar for batch cooking days, menu planning, and so on.
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List-building that matters will generate the perfect amount of momentum you need to create lasting change. The trick is to make sure the project is one you love or have wanted to do, is based on your personal beliefs, and the tasks aren’t too overwhelming to start. These kinds of to-do’s can be continuously refreshed and doing so gives you a clear idea of what you need to accomplish and visualize the next steps needed to reach your goals. By organizing your to-do lists into mini-projects (and having them written out on paper instead of in your head), it’ll help you sustain focus to the outcome you want to have.
Create Systems to Free Up Time
The most difficult aspect of putting a new system in place is the start up. Automated systems are powerful tools that’ll simplify your life, save you time, conserve your energy, and keep you on track towards achieving your biggest (or smallest) goals. They can also be easily aligned with your personal beliefs and values, which can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to creating lasting change that resonates deeply with who you are. Automated systems can help simplify tasks, such as regular delivery of food staples and household basics, and make it easier for you to focus on the things that matter most. These automated systems can include your weekly or monthly delivery services (including specific nutritional products or purified water refills), Smartphone reminder apps or alarms, outsourcing time-consuming tasks, etc. Find which tasks you can easily automate in your life that’ll free up your time and energy to stay more focused on your goals.
Practice a Bit of Personal Gratitude
Making change is hard and the best thing we can all do is be more gracious with ourselves throughout the process. My own firsthand experience with this is the transition I made as a practitioner into functional medicine. All the forces of time, money & energy, including all the people that surrounded me (well-intentioned as they were) and the mindset about healthcare and medicine, and the amount of work and personal risk that change would entail, meant that it would be a lot easier for me if everything remained the same. But, I couldn’t.
Develop the Power of a Calm Mind
Making a plan to bring change is one thing but implementing it can be a whole other story. Making it intentional, somewhat organized and FUN, or at least interesting and more artful will help you bring presence to the lasting changes you desire. How can you make your own plan more enjoyable? A few options include carving out space no matter how small within your physical environment to set your intention and boost your motivation. You can beautify your space with artwork and clippings, and find a special pen or app that you love, and devote it to reflections about your progress over time. You might even give consideration to setting up a daily gratitude practice, or tackle your budgeting lists while listening to your favorite music or podcasts. How you build it is up to you.
The key is to return to your space with intention again & again. Like all of us, distractions happen. But, part of the goal is to make your project part of your life’s work and find the time to practice decluttering it . 15 minutes each week will help keep yourself focused on the daily actions vs. the end goals. To be the eye on the storm, not to be the storm itself. This will not only make it easier to stay on track (and remain consistent), but it will make change less overwhelming at the same time.
By creating lists that are meaningful, adding in automated systems, and making the implementation of your plan enjoyable you can create lasting change with greater ease and confidence. Intentional and smart to-do lists will help you break down your goals and create momentum. Simple automated systems will save you time and conserve vital energy. And making implementation fun will help you stick to your daily actions necessary to reach your goals.
Are you ready to bring happiness & productivity into your day?
Let me help you with SHINE, my 15-Minute Morning planner. By automating these 10 powerful (yet tiny) habits, you can learn to free up time, create energy, and transform your wellbeing from the inside out!
Are you ready to bring happiness & increase productivity into your day? Let me help you with SHINE, my 15-Minute Morning planner. By automating these 10 powerful (yet very tiny habits) you can learn to free up time, create more energy in the most important waking-productive time of your day, and start transforming your happiness and wellbeing, from the inside out!
Dr. Doug Pucci, Founder, Pucci Wellness, is a functional medicine expert in practice for 30+ years. He was honored in 2020 to receive both The Best Of 2020 Awards for Functional Medicine in Oradell, NJ, and entry into Trademark Publications’ Who’s Who Directory, Honors Edition, for his pioneering work. He provides comprehensive testing for health biomarkers, advanced discovery into brain+body well-being and personalized nutrition for a diversity of people and symptoms. To speak with an expert and learn more about how functional medicine, neurology & nutrition can help you get back on track, book a time to chat.