Do you ever feel like you are going nowhere fast, and that there’s always so much to be done, or learn?
In the technology age, information is always available at the swipe of a finger, or the tap of a button. But there is just so much information, you can end up with brain fog trying to work out what’s fact and what’s fake. If you’re someone like me who loves to learn, there becomes a limit to what the brain can find useful, if you don’t take time to absorb between learnings.
But it’s not just information overload that causes us ultimately to become less productive, it’s also being surrounded by too much ‘stuff’. Clutter is a distraction and can be a driver for procrastination, or at least in my experience.
Oh my, I sound like Marie Kondo!
But this isn’t a post about decluttering, as there are thousands of experts out there that all have their own ideas, including the afore mentioned Marie Kondo. This is however a post on how the clutter in my brain, and the clutter in my home is affecting my life. I suspect there are many of you reading this that have a similar situation.
I work full time, I am in the early stages of establishing a business, and I love to ride my bike. My kids left home years ago, and my pets are old, so don’t require much attention either. There should be no real reason why I can’t find the time to do most of what I WANT to do, and have plenty of happiness in my life.
I stopped buying unnecessary things a few years back, adopting a ‘do I need it or is it useful’ approach before spending money. This has stopped me increasing my possessions tally too much. Gifts tend to be something I need, or an experience of some description….ticking the spark joy box nicely. But instead, I find myself consumed with manoeuvring around a plethora of things that are no longer useful and haven’t yet been moved on.
In addition to any physical clutter, there is the information clutter too. Like most of you I have a smart phone, tablet, kindle, laptop, tv…the list goes on. With all of these devices comes access to information. I remember in my youth, if I wanted to know about something I would go to the library, or look it up in the family encyclopaedia. Yes I am that old! Information wasn’t instantly available, and I was fine with that. But now, when a conversation sparks a question, we can now just look it up in just a few seconds, and another fact gets filed deep in our brains. But then a Facebook post might catch your eye, or a twitter comment, and then before you know it, a hour has gone by. Reading blogs or watching You Tube has overtaken reading books, and whilst there is nothing wrong with these activities, once again the urge to continue scrolling and finding new content continues, again sucking away at the hours in your day. I’m not saying that having access to instant information is a bad thing, but when it consumes your waking hours, you have you ask yourself how much value it really provides.
During last years lockdowns, even more digital information sources became available, to help us to feel connected to the outside world. Exercise apps were added into the mix, and now, a bit like unused gym memberships of the past, I’m sure that you’ve been a member of multiple fitness apps at once, and probably barely used most of them. If this is not you, then I’m impressed, and you must be really fit by now.
And so, it’s time for me to start my physical and mental declutter. I have a half written book to finish, a course to deliver, and several cycling events to market. I have my own health to kick into touch, and some big bike rides in 2022 to train for. Ultimately I also want to take a year out and ride from Argentina to Alaska, my No 1 bucket list trip. And if I don’t simplify my life then many of these things will still be on my list in 5 years time.
But what do I mean by ‘simplify’?
I mean that to simplify my information sources. I do not need to be a member of so many groups, and I will leave those that don’t serve any useful purpose for me, or provide joy. I will turn off notifications from my media accounts….and this is a big one as it means that I don’t need to ignore social media, but just use it on my own terms, and when I choose. I can turn OFF the internet when I’m creating, thus avoiding distraction. Instead of searching out information from hundreds of sources, I will chose channels that I trust, and stick with those. Maybe then I can finally get my book & course finished and delivered.
I mean to simplify my home. The long Christmas break for me means plenty of time to cull & organise my possessions. I am starting to believe that minimalists have it right. With less possessions there are less distractions, and less decisions to be made. It helps creativity to flow and avoids decision fatigue. Maybe this is why some of the best designers are also minimalist. I won’t be going down the minimalist route though, as I do find a lot of value in many of the things I own. But anything that has served it’s time will be gone.
And I mean to simplify my routine. Habits form best without distractions. If routines are unencumbered by other clutter based distractions, then my habits should form fairly easily and decision fatigue can be reduced. Habits around food prep, exercise, work and relaxation are what I need right now. Habits form best if you make small changes and then build on them. So as I begin my journey to simplify my world, I will also start to add in positive new habits.
It all sounds so straightforward written down, but of course things are rarely black and white. Well that is until they are simplified. In what has been a challenging few years, I am ready to make a change in my life that will see me embrace the things I want to be doing in my life.
What do you want to simplify in your life?
What has your clutter been preventing you from doing?
What could you change today, that will create joy for you tomorrow?
“In order to seek one’s direction, one must simplify the mechanics of ordinary, everyday life.”— Plato
If you’ve followed either this blog, or my cycling blog (mawonavelo), you will know that I’ve recently rebranded to a new name of Be Your Adventures. And that for me, cycling is a major part of my own adventure of life.
But why did I feel that was important to change, and why now? Let me start with a definition of the word adventure
The Cambridge English Dictionary describes adventure as
“An exciting experience”
The Collins English Dictionary takes it a step further
“Adventure is excitement and willingness to do new, unusual, or rather dangerous things”
There is a theme running through these definitions, and that’s excitement. With the year that we’ve all had globally, there’s one thing that has been sadly missed in the midst of lockdowns and social distancing, and that’s excitement. For many of us we’ve missed the excitement of packing for our holidays and that feeling when the plane first touches down on foreign soils. We’ve missed the excitement of crossing the start line of a marathon surrounded by thousands of other hopefuls and racing to the finish. We’ve missed the excitement of our festivals, shows and parties. We’ve missed the excitement in the preparation for a big event. But let’s not forget, it’s not always the event itself that creates the excitement, the planning is where it starts to build.
You might think of adventure as a thing, something that you can hold, like something that you can buy in a shop. To a certain extent there’s some truth in that. After all, if you decide to take a holiday, you’ve probably purchased it’s component parts. And yet, just taking the trip does not make it an adventure. It’s the people that make a trip and adventure. That might be just you, or a group, or the people you meet along the way.
So, what IS an adventure really?
Well, an adventure can be anything you want it to be. For some people it’s jetting off to the Far East to take a trek across a country, and immersing themselves in local culture. But for others, it could be as simple as going out to buy a new bike, so they can start to enjoy their local surroundings and keep fit. The key thing though is to be excited by it. You need to own your adventures, and not be worried about anyone else’s point of view. Your personal adventures will ultimately define you.
You need to BE YOUR ADVENTURES.
Do you know what your adventure will be? If not, here are some tips to help you find out what your next adventure could be.
What is it that gets you excited? If you are struggling to think of anything right now, then look inside and think about what you would love to do if you had none of your personal insecurities or blockers. Have you always wanted the freedom to ride a bike, take a road trip across Europe, to walk in the Alps or swim with dolphins? Do you have a bucket list of adventures that you’d love to do, but haven’t ticked many off yet. Pick something that has the power to excite you, and at this point, don’t even consider any of the reasons that might get in the way.
Consider your resources
Make a list, of all the resources that you already have, and new resources that you might need. For example, you might already have a bike, or walking boots, or a camper van. You might have time or savings already, but you might need new clothes for the task ahead, or someone to help you train. Is your passport valid?
Consider your reasons
To remain excited about something, you need to find a personal reason or you may struggle to keep motivated when the going gets tough. One of the main reason that people fail to achieve their goals is that they don’t have a compelling enough reason to keep fighting through the difficulties.
So, if for example you want to lose weight or get fit, in itself it’s not a compelling goal. You need to understand why. What does it give you? If you couple that goal with the reasons why it’s important, then it can have unlimited power to motivate you. So it could be that you want to be able to take a trip with a friend, and raise money for a charity that you are close to. Or you want to encourage others to take on their own journey, by letting them follow yours – involving others is a really strong motivator. Maybe it’s someone else’s journey that has inspired you. Imagine then how your journey might inspire action in others. Whatever your reason make sure that it involves what your benefit is from achieving it, and you’ll find a reason to get excited every day.
Address the blockers
Now this is where things start to get difficult. It’s time to get honest. If you haven’t embarked on your adventure yet, why not? What has been stopping you?
Confidence is a massive blocker for women all around the world. So many feel that they are too fat, unfit or untalented to be able to take on their own adventures. Even if weight and fitness is an issue today, it doesn’t mean it needs to be tomorrow. That is part of the journey you take. It all starts with the first step. And yes, talent has a part to play in obtaining world records, but you don’t need talent to climb a mountain or ride a bike. What you do need is grit and determination, and that’s all down to your mindset. And the good news is, this can be learned. Better still, once your mindset changes, you will always have the knowledge that will help you in other areas of your life as well.
It’s time to create a new list, of all the reasons you tell yourself that you can’t do something. The second step is to reframe your perspective to what you want to be like instead. Your brain is hardwired to look for evidence that supports a point of view. If it can’t find evidence, then a view is considered to be false, if it can find evidence, then it believes the view to be true. Now you can use this knowledge to change your negative self talk.
Let’s take an example….
Negative self talk – I cant ride a bike, I’ll look ridiculous and everyone will laugh at me.
Reframed positivity – I can learn to ride a bike, and by doing so, I’ll start to loose weight. I can find a group of like minded riders and we can all inspire each other.
Action – Buy or borrow a suitable bike, and join a local cycling group (for example Breeze). Explain that you are a beginner and that you are nervous right now. A good group will understand, and might even suggest pairing you up with someone before hand to help you with some cycling skills.
The important thing to note in this example is that with the negative self talk, you are unlikely to ever take the action that will ensure the situation changes. Once you have taken action, then your brain has all the evidence it needs to believe the reframed positivity.
Yes, I know this has already been mentioned, but if you’ve taken all the steps above, your excitement will be building. You will have started to take the steps towards your adventure, and you will be owning your adventures. Just remember, the adventure isn’t the event itself, but the journey that you take along the way. Life is one big adventure, so how will yours turn out?
BE YOUR ADVENTURES!
If you want to take your own adventure to the next level then I can help. Whether you just want some accountability, or formal coaching to blast through your confidence issues, and find your motivation, then contact me to discuss your next steps. We offer a range of programs suited to your own individual circumstances.
Click here for a call back or to make an enquiry
I’ve been quiet for a while and some may have wondered why.
At the beginning of 2020 I had very clear goals and set out early to achieve them. But, in March everything changed. The pandemic caused me to re-evaluate many, many things in my life. I thought about what was important to me, and how I could adapt.
One of the decisions I made was not to stop my cycle training, but to take on a new but personal challenge to keep me motivated.
I continued my program with my coach, decided on a new, home grown challenge since I wouldn’t be able to take part in my event in Europe and set about training harder than ever before.
So, on 3rd September I became the 1st female to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again, setting a world record along the way.
You do not need to be the fastest in the world, but you need to work hard, stay consistent and show up.
I adapted my mindset to ensure that the Pandemic didn’t hold me back, but instead released new opportunities.
Does your mindset see obstacles or opportunities?
If you want to break free from seeing only obstacles then get in touch and together we can see how you can break free.