I love podcasts, and recently, I took a break from TED talks and How I Built This and I turned my attention to the Good Life Project podcast (which, I think, is pretty self-explanatory).
The episode that I listened to is entitled, ‘To Succeed at Anything, Do This’, so I was expecting some juicy tips. What I got out of it was ideologies or practices I already knew about, but, actually, really needed to hear. That makes sense, right? Three points from the podcast really stuck with me, so I’m going to share them with you.
The first tip is to be practical, think objectively, and invest your time, energy, and love into what you’re doing. I, personally, don’t like to invest my time, energy, and care into anything I don’t think is worth it (including people! This is a non-toxic zone). I find it really difficult to invest myself into anything that I don’t genuinely enjoy, so I’ve always struggled with education, but I understand that to have a full understanding of a field of study, you have to study all the foundations, including things you don’t like.
Try to turn practices into daily practices; the operative word here is ‘practice’. Be mindful when you first start out, and eventually, you’ll have practiced it enough for it to be second-nature in your life, making it a habit. This is something I taught to all my swimming students, back when I taught swimming. When they’re first learning how to swim, kids and adults alike have trouble moving their arms and their legs at the same time. I’d always tell them to practice their kicking until they could do it without even having to think about doing it or the techniques involved. After they had their kicking down, I’d tell them to add their arms. Then, they could solely focus on their arms, instead of forgetting to think about kicking. And at this point, we haven’t even gotten to breathing techniques yet! But I digress – I never thought to apply this mentality to other aspects of my life. I think my next big habit kick will be to learn how to spend less money!
Lastly, take snapshots of your progress, whether they’re literal or figurative. That way you can really see how you’ve improved. It’s like when people are trying to lose weight or get lean, and they take pictures every week to literally see their progress. Although sometimes it’s harder to record progress, just find a way to measure your progress and use that as your gauge. For example, if you’re trying to spend less time on your phone, maybe you can measure your progress by making note of approximately how long you spend on it each day. And you can check in with yourself every week, dependent on your schedule and what you spend your days doing. Naturally, this isn’t the best measure, but just being mindful and catching yourself going on your phone or getting the urge to go on your phone is already a huge step. I think for me, the idea of taking snapshots of my progress is not too plausible (I know myself, and I’m pretty bad with keeping up daily practices like that), but as long as I’m mindful of the habits I’m trying to change or adopt, that’s more than half the battle.
Hopefully this made sense and wasn’t too abstract! Check out more of the Good Life Project podcast (or either of the other podcasts I mentioned) on iTunes.