Recently, I learned about the power of the ridiculously easy. I overcome every difficult day with a ridiculously easy task. I usually focus on just a single task. I treat that one task as the big to do.
I make the task so laughably easy like brush my teeth, stand instead of lie down, leave the bedroom, go to the portico instead of sit in front of the TV, or do some 3 minutes of breath work and body scanning (when my monkey mind keeps me from sustaining a strong 20-minute meditation session).
Once the first tiny task is accomplished, I smile then I ask myself: “What’s the next tiny thing that follows?” Believe it or not, the tiny ridiculous goals I set daily in a row that don’t take 2-3 minutes to finish snowballs. Those baby steps help me eventually transition into 2-4 hours of powerful, deep, uninterrupted, and focused work.
Eventually, the mornings become more productive, but no longer with the frenetic tone of losing breath just to keep up. It’s a new reality I am getting used to, coming from decades of spinning at breakneck speed.
Spinning Bike to Walking Pad
Speaking of spinning, I had a very good manual spinning bike last year. It was said to burn a lot of calories. Unfortunately, it ended up collecting dust and rust after 8 months. I could count in the fingers of my hand the number of times I used it. We had a gym membership that time, too, so I also did not have a lot of home workouts to justify its use.
Later that same year, I saw on TikTok the walking pad that people set up in front of their TV while watching movies on Netflix. I was deeply fascinated by it.
I decided to sell my spinning bike. I traded it with a new walking pad I saw on sale in an online store. I have been able to use it regularly and rebooted my exercise routine with a more feasible 15-minute morning walk after waking up. My husband also uses it while he watched the morning local news.
I typically choose a nice video with affirmations to set the tone in the morning. I also use the walking pad when I am watching TV5 French channel shows or checking out my favorites on Netflix and Prime Video.
Technically, the bike burns as much as 500-700 calories per hour and the walking pad will require thrice as much time to achieve that. But I valued the consistency of use over the intensity of the workout.
My kids liked it for a different reason. They put their toy cars and crayons and treated it like a conveyor belt.
Ditching Social Media for Alternative Communities
In the interest of spring cleaning my mind, I also deleted mainstream social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Bondee, and Twitter. I also hibernated my LinkedIn account.
I needed the space in my mind redirected to different things, so I made a drastic ultimatum with my doom-scrolling habit. I cut the supply cold turkey and got going with my life. My evening feed of ideas is no longer harvested from a mammoth tech giant’s algorithmic conveyor belt. I was able to redirect my attentions, intentions, and energies.
It was surprisingly very refreshing. It made deliberate intention setting and energy management more possible. On Mother’s Day, around 10 people greeted me. I did not feel bad compared to previous years where I had all those emojis and comments. My kids gave me flowers, my sister-in-law gave me a cute bag, and I ate some good food. It took some people around 6-7 weeks to notice that my profiles went missing. I got a few messages here and there.
Removing the mainstream, I still have online communities. It’s not an ivory tower smugly built to keep people out. It is merely a safe space I built for myself as I close out old unhealthy cycles. I was sucked into a vortex of spinning like a hamster in a wheel. I am unlearning to relearn better things. Eventually I will reach out to my old friends when I am ready. The true ones will patiently understand why I needed this space at this stage. The mere acquaintances will fall away naturally.
I mindfully choose enriching interactions, healthy topics of conversation to surround me. I also notice that when I meet with my friends, I am really there physically and mentally. I am not anymore checked out or compelled with the need to check my phone constantly.
The removal of the dopamine rush also fosters more of those silent moments where I am able to think more deeply. I had more detailed conversations in my eldest son’s latest pediatrician checkup. I picked up my calligraphy pads again. I no longer forget things in the hospital bag when I took my youngest to the ER for his measles.
I was there, period. Grounded and radically aware, I had the presence of mind for myself and in turn, that presence of mind allows me to really show up for my children, for the nearest and dearest.
Podcasts, TED Videos, and Affirmations
My Kindle is 8 years old now, and I have subscribed permanently to Kindle Unlimited. The reading adventures continue. It is also this year that I discovered the wonders of audiobooks. I got hooked through an EmpowerYou audio subscription.
During my NLP training 3 years ago, I learned that I was a dominant auditory person. That explained the love for music and podcasts. I leveraged on this inclination and began the journey of rewiring my subconscious, especially the ugly subconscious beliefs that keep me from becoming the best version of myself. It is empowering not to be bogged down by limiting beliefs.
I used powerful audio cues, and this has greatly helped in my almost 2 years of meditation practice. Recently, I have been a bit sluggish in my energetic work of meditating regularly. But I keep going back to it because it sets the right foundations for the rest of what I do day in and day out.
In a recent podcast guesting, I talked about how I was able to anchor wearing red lipstick to my most productive days. It comes in handy when I need to be ultra productive.
I am still figuring out what new NLP anchors I will be creating and reinforcing this year. Like many other things, I will start small and steady until I get it right.