Sometimes, our lives are set to the default setting. For me, it’s winter in Wisconsin where it gets to 20 Degrees Fahrenheit on nice days. The house thermostat’s default setting is 69 degrees, mainly because my husband says I don’t have much of a temperature range as in the summer it is set to 72 degrees. Therefore, if I’m cold, I should put on a sweater. So, when I feel cold, I do wear a sweater, use a blanket, or simply go work out. Each of these options adjust how I feel in the same environment. I could always raise the default setting when he isn’t home, but that happens less with COVID as he works from home.
Now if I don’t make an adjustment, then I’d feel cold all the time, living in this default setting. Like feeling cold, when we live in the default setting, we feel stuck. As moms, we go through the day-to-day routines making sure the kids have everything they need while our to-do list seems never-ending. The list is long, the hours are short, and at the end of the night, exhaustion sets in. Then it’s time to escape into entertainment to pass the time feeling like you can breathe for a moment. However, the next day, it starts all over again. There is never enough time or energy to do more.
If you find yourself stuck in default setting, there are three ways to go. The first one is to do nothing. In my example, get used to living at 69 degrees. If you find value and joy in your every day, congratulations, this is the option for you.
The second option is acceptance and giving yourself the grace to realize that you are in a period where you simply need to focus on yourself and take whatever free time you have to rest and heal. Feel comfortable again by resting and healing in terms of sleep, massages, baths, being still, being in nature finding a way to relax. In my example, you would be putting on the sweater or blanket to feel cozy and comforted by wrapping yourself up.
Finally, if you want to elevate your heart rate to warm yourself, you’d start that workout. Similarly, if you want to elevate your mind, to steer you in another direction, you turn to learn. Learning a new hobby, reading a new book, starting a new project which all work towards progress in your life. This will help you grow and change directions cutting off the stuck feeling.
However, when you are living in default setting, many times, you may not even realize it. We simply find ourselves doing these activities day-to-day, but if you take a moment to look at why your day is filled this way, you might wonder where did my day go, you are not even sure what happened. This feeling of puzzlement and confusion over the events and purpose behind your day may help you to see that you have been living in default setting. It’s this confusion that makes you see that you’ve been going with the flow and not making conscious decisions about what you want to do with your day.
The first step is deciding between the three choices. Choice one, do nothing keep going especially if your day is bringing you joy. Choice two, the hardest part is acceptance and giving yourself the grace to take the rest time. Choice three, it’s time to pick one habit you want to start.
What habit will you choose? Do you want to read first thing in the morning? Do you want to do a 10 minutes stretch? Do you want to cut sugar out of your diet? Do you want to meditate each day? Do you want to get outside for 20 minutes a day? Do you want to take up a new hobby? The choices are endless! The key becomes taking the moment to pause, and ask yourself, where am I? What direction do I want to choose?
If you choose to start a new habit, take a look at this blog for a starting place. Remember a habit is created by consistently taking action. It does not need to be something huge, one little new choice each day stacks up to make a huge difference taking you off default setting to living a life that you intentionally define.
Comment below: Are you choosing option 1, 2, or 3?