How to Get Back to What's Important? Three Steps | SMart Choice Lifestyle

This past year has been so far full of events, opportunities and things to do. I almost spread myself too thin between travelling, managing three projects simultaneously, learning new things, planning and thinking things into minute details.

Don’t get me wrong, I am deeply grateful for all that has come my way for the past months. I love what I’m doing and had many breakthroughs and “aha!” moments that I’m happy for. But the constant push and pull of doing all these things wasn’t integrating my personal life. The time I had left for sleep, relationships and recharge was feeling smaller and smaller and it all was beginning to get suffocating. That’s when I knew it was time for taking a few steps back and look at the bigger picture while I get back to myself, to my core, to my WHY.

It’s important to be active, to do the things you love and are passionate about. But at the same time, it’s vital to not lose track of what motivated you to do all that in the first place. We tend to lose our Northern Star while we keep our eyes on the end goal.

There is the need for time to just look at the stars, look within and allow yourself to relax and just be. For me, for the past two years since working for myself, that time usually begins in July. It’s also the anniversary of the day I first met multiple sclerosis and got diagnosed, and it somehow gets me into a more reflexive state. The perfect time to take a break. This period extends to August and I go back to work on September.

It doesn’t mean that I’m just sitting on my couch all day doing nothing. That’s just boring! It’s a time I review ideas, thoughts, journals. I listen more than I talk. I learn. I sleep and take care of my mind and body. I get back to my purpose, to my why: getting people to be the best version of themselves, and help them not feel alone.

Since being diagnosed with an incurable illness like multiple sclerosis, I learned to make time for myself. Meaning I always prioritize my health above anything else. I can’t stress enough how important looking after yourself is. When we’re young, we think we’re indestructible, but life can prove us wrong. I can’t do anything to cure myself, just to recover and keep my health as stable as possible. On top of the yearly vacation, I also take a few steps daily, just to get back to what’s important.

And these are…

  1. Take time off everyday. No matter how busy you are, we all have just 24 hours to live each day: 8 hours of sleep are non-negotiable. These should be your “default prescription” for brain and mental health. Also, add brakes throughout the day, 10-20 minute naps (if the conditions permit it). At the end of your workday, switch off: shower, eat dinner, relax with family and friends, or on your own.

  1. Divide your day into active and passive segments of time. Meaning, the active interval is the one you are the most able, clear-minded and fit to do work. Schedule your tasks to be done during that period. The passive half has to do with switching off. It’s the time of the day when you can’t focus as well, when you’re sleepy and get ready for sleep. Respect your biological clock. It doesn’t matter if right now you’re out of sink. You can program your mind to wake up and go to sleep at certain hours, so that your clock works just fine. It’s all done by learning new habits, by choosing the right things.

  1. Review your progress, be it personal or professional. I assume that if you got this far into reading this article, you have a why in place. If you do, the need to measure where you are with your goals is important. It keeps you on track and connected to what really matters.  Keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings and achievements. Show gratitude for your wins and forgive your losses. See where you need to improve and plan how to do that.

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Sincerely yours,

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