“An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones.”
W. Somerset Maugham
To create new habits, it’s easiest if we create a ritual or a trigger to know we’re going to get started.
Every time I walk into the woods:
1. My mind becomes more clear
2. My ideas grow bolder
3. My fears spill into the ground
4. My dreams soar among the trees
5. The birds tell me what to do next
That’s just a few steps into the woods.
My dad used to have a piece of chocolate after dinner. He really enjoyed it. In fact, it got to the point where if we didn’t have any chocolate in the house and dinner was over, he would get antsy.
Dinner meant it was almost chocolate time.
Yep, the “bad” ones are harder to kick than new (good!) ones are to create.
Still, find the trigger, create a ritual, go a little nutty with it.
Watch professional athletes and their rituals. Each time that Steph Curry makes a 3-pointer, he taps his chest and points upwards. It’s his ritual or even prayer or thank you for making the shot.
Yet, we can do the same before something happens.
I walk into the forest.
What do you do?
What could you do?
Where might be your “creative space” where you’ll let your ideas arrive without having to go through security or customs?
Let’s make up a simple one just for example’s sake here. Say you want just a bit of clarity in your life. It could be for anything, short-term decisions such as what to make for dinner all the way to some help with your next career choice.
Create a daily ritual, a physical symbol, a motion, even a whispered mantra to let you know, “Hey, here we go. It’s about to get real around here.” Then give yourself the time to do the thing.
It could be as simple and quick as:
1. Brushing your teeth with your eyes closed and letting the humming brush shake loose your next fabulous idea. Twice a day. Boom.
2. Taking just two tiny little extra minutes after your shower to sit down, in the bathroom, on the toilet if there’s nowhere else (PRO TIP: close the lid first), and with some deep and slow breathing, shed the dread of your upcoming day and gather the strength to go on the offensive. (Ooh, “shed the dread,” I like that! See, I’m “being creative” here sharing tips on how to let creativity in!)
3. While on a walk, even if it’s a short as around the block or to the mailbox, take out the earbuds, put your phone in your pocket, and just listen. What do you hear? Birds? Cars? Dogs? Filter everything else out and hear what you want to focus on.
There you have it, 3 extremely non-scientific but possibly powerful triggers to get you started to tap into your deeper knowledge, your quick-witted charm, and a bit of the unknown.
Relish it. Do it daily. Follow the trigger.
• Possible: wait for perfection to arrive magically
• Impossible: change yesterday’s trigger
• Repossible: trigger daily clarity