Wanting to Change Before We Feel Like We Can

‘I can’t workout until I lose twenty pounds’

‘I’ll start saving money when I have money to save’

‘When I know more, I’ll start writing my book’

Why do we feel like we have to fix ourselves before we can fix ourselves?

This is a great example of getting in our own way.  We’ve all said or thought similar lines like the ones above some point in our lives. We desperately want to change, but if it’s not perfect, if we can’t drop everything we’re doing and go all in, we’d rather not even try.  Change isn’t perfect. It usually doesn’t happen the way we want it to, or when we want it to. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t change.

We need to upgrade our way of thinking and approach to change.

We’ve got lives to live. We have jobs or school work or family responsibilities or one hundred other things we need to take care of — we don’t have time to wait for the perfect moment to start.

The perfect moment to start is too late. The best time to start something is now.

Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, starting gives you the outlet to learn what to do.

You’re living your life this very second. If you don’t like what you see it’s time to start making small, daily changes to reach for something better.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner
IG: @Renaissance.Life

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

Related Insights

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

“Change is the end result of all true learning.” Leo Buscaglia

Break The Pattern

Patterns, Routines, Habits… Call it what you want, there are systems in our lives that we live out as we go about our day. Some patterns are good and lead us to where we want to go — happier, healthier, more financially free, more creative etc. Some patterns are bad and keep us stuck reliving our past or keep our car barreling towards a cliff.

These systems are ingrained in our mental makeup. It’s hard for people to quit smoking because they like it. They know its probably killing them (or at least ruining their teeth) but they do it anyway because it feels good, and that feeling outweighs the long-term side effects. It’s much easier to ignore problems when there’s an eventual-maybe-not-right-now major downside sometime in the near future. (My pithiness is on point tonight! :P) 

And smoking is just one, easy go-to example. There are a lot of other patterns that we may be doing that are holding us back and we don’t even know it yet.

The question is, how can we break the bad patterns?

Start with developing your self-awareness.
It’s hard to change things when you don’t know if you’re doing something detrimental to yourself and your goals. And if you don’t know what is bad vs. good for you, start with asking yourself who you want to be.

Who do you want to be in 6 months? What positive traits, habits, and lifestyles do you want to create?

For me, I want to increase my confidence, energy (or liveliness!), boldness, risk aversion, and ability to enjoy challenges (despite fear, failure or embarrassments that may occur). I want to work less and smarter while making more money to spend on learning and creating. I want to master finances and know where every penny goes. I want to prep food, while still eating as healthy as possible, and earn my way to zero debt.

Change Your Mental State

Positive mindsets and perspectives lead to positive outcomes. I’ve yet to meet anyone who was incredibly self-defeating and incredibly lucky at the same time. I don’t know if Luck with a capital L is a real thing, but I do know that the more you push positive thoughts towards yourself, the more capable you will become. And the more capable you are, the luckier you’ll be.

Affirmations is a fantastically silly way to start. Silly, because it sounds very woo-woo, born on a full moon kind of outlook. Fantastic because it works. A great primer on the positive benefits of affirmations is the book Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Naval Ravikant. Think of a phrase you want to be more of and repeat it over and over in your head. Write it down in the morning and the evening. Embody the phrase. Feel it in your moon bones. 
“I am confident. I am confident…”
“I will enjoy challenges. I will enjoy challenges…”

Change Your Physical State

Are you hangry? When’s the last time you ate something good for you?
Are you thirsty? How much water have you had today?
Are you tired/anxious/achy? Move your body!

Change your physical state can dramatically increase your mood and mental state. Our physical state directly affects how you think. If your life and work are stressing you out, your not going to be in the best state to do positive habits, or work on your dreams. Sometimes, a few rounds of pushups and a nice walk outside is all we need to increase our happiness. Do some burpees, dance like no one is watching, splash some cold water in the face — do what you need to do to break the bad patterns.

Our path in life is determined by the patterns we choose (or let happen to us). Anxious daily habits create an anxious life. We don’t get fat by eating one fry 🍟, we get fat by eating one fry mindlessly every day. Once you realize that you are on your way to a better you.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

Related Insights

Book: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” — Norman Vincent Peale

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” — George Bernard Shaw

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Future You 2.0

What would you the future you want you to do?

What would he or she wish you would do right now?

Worry more?
Watch more tv?
Eat another round of donuts?

We see our future as some far off event but really it’s happening right now.

What we do today determines who we will be tomorrow.

In a weird, mind exploding time travel movie way, we are all time travelers.

The best way to begin answering the question above is asking if you could go back in time to your past self, what would you change.

You can do that right now with your ideal future you.

From this long-term perspective, some things aren’t worth your time and some are.

Imagine what you look like in 5, 10, even 20 Years. What would a habit of working out do to your body and longevity? What would saving and investing do for your financial freedom? What would taking challenges — even though fear — do to all the place you will go because of it? What would cherishing friendships do to your happiness and peace of mind?

Your future is written in the stone of what you do each day. So what are you going to do?

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

“The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones.” —  Steven Pressfield, The War of Art, Do the Work

“Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.”Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” — Vince Lombardiwas an American football player, coach, and executive in the National Football League.

Timing Important Decisions

I’m adopting a new decision policy with potential opportunites.

When opportunities arise, instead of immediately blurt out an answer each time someone pitches me on a project or idea,  I’ll say something equivalent to:

“This sounds interesting! I have a policy to never make decisions on the spot when it comes to projects like this. Give me 24 hours — same time tomorrow — and I’ll reach out with a response. I say this with every opportunity.”

Adding a buffer of space gives you time to mediate on whether or not the idea aligns with the life that you want to have / create.

Every decision I’ve made on the spot has a ‘UGH!’ moment attached to it afterward. Things I didn’t consider. Even with great decisions I can usually think of 3+ things I wish I had clarified instead of assumed (or not even thought about). Maybe you, my reader, are better at making decision on the fly than I am.

Even so, I think it’s good to pause and look at all the angles of what saying ‘Yes’ means.

Opportunities are abundant. But if we say yes to things we don’t honestly care about (or care enough about), opportunities can easily become burdens.

Not only does a 24 decision making policy give you time to let the opportunity stew, it also gives you a deadline to decide. In 24 hours, you either have to say Yes, or No.

And if they refuse to give you the 24 hours to decide, then it’s a good sign it’s probably not a great fit for you in the first place.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” — Tony Robbins

“There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice.” — Simon Sinek

“Think 100 times before you take a decision, But once that decision is taken, stand by it as one man.” — Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Embrace New Beginnings

I think New Years, and New Year Resolutions, in particular, feel good because we see them fresh starts. New Years is the ultimate clean slate. Last year was.. well sooo last year. This year will be different. It’s brimming with possibility. 

So we set multiple goals and stick with them for a week or so, but when we fall off the treadmill, we give up on the year. Maybe next year. (Well, I missed one day of working out, I guess I’ll go eat some cheesecake)

There are multiple problems with this mindset:

We expect the new habit, skill or challenge will be easy.

We try to do everything all at once, 90 miles a minute.

We see the New Year as our one chance for redemption and give up if we don’t perform perfectly.

We expect the new habit, skill or challenge will be easy.

During school, I always loved when the new school year came around. (Well, first I dreaded it and wished dragons would rain down fire on the school building, but I came around to the idea once I saw a new semester was inevitably going to happen.) New classes, books, and classmates. New opportunities to learn and connect. But then the class would sink in. Oh, wait we actually have to *study*… what did I sign up for… or God, please save me, why is this class/ teacher so boring.

Changing our life requires putting in the time, attention and work. The sweat, blood, and tears are the cost of admission but are well worth it. The results and our lives will be amplified by the amount of effort we put In!

We try to do everything all at once, 90 miles a minute.

I’ve been updating my 27 goals for my 27th year by rewriting out my goal list for 2018. 

I’ve got 5+ pages of goals I want to accomplish which even just looking at overwhelms me (I can’t imagine what my friends or Gabriella would do if I tried walking through them.) I’m bad about getting past wanting everything all at once. If not properly prioritized, prepared and tamed, your ambitions will kill your drive and ability to take actions.

Remember, your not competing against others, you’re competing against yourself. Instead of trying to lose weight, AND learn photography AND start an online business, start with one. The others will be waiting for you to accomplish them. And by focusing on one goal at a time and chaining each win, you skyrocket your motivation to do the others once you achieve each goal you set out to do. 

We see the New Year as our one chance for redemption and give up if we don’t perform perfectly.

But every second you are still alive is an opportunity to reset and change your life.

I’m here to tell you that you can push reset at any moment. You can’t turn back the clock, but you can move forward. Even when we hit rock up there’s always a way to find our way back up. It’s cliche to say, but every new day is a fresh start and opportunity to improve. All it takes is one little step in the right direction. 

And when we fall off the treadmill as we will inevitably do, know that falling is a natural part of living. We fall when we learn to walk. We fall when we learn to ride a bike. We fall when life punches us in the face.

But we can always choose to get back up and keep going. Hit reset. Grab a fresh sheet of paper, and start again.

Embrace new beginnings: anytime, anywhere.

Happy New Years everyone!

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner 

https://forms.convertkit.com/317372?v=6

Related Insights

“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach, best-selling author

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” — Steve Jobs

Priority of Day

Are you lashing onto what others think is important or are you sticking with your own priorities?

I was having trouble prioritizing what’s most important to me. On paper, everything felt like a priority. I could picture all these future versions of myself, but being so far from those realities what do you prioritize?

Do I choose music or writing? Entrepreneurship or art? Speaking or programming? Is it possible to choose them all?

Here’s the secret:

Priorities are what you spend your daily time on.

So does your daily priorities align with your future self? 

Dreams stay in your head unless you’re working towards them consistently, day in day out.

Visualize where you want to be, then take small moments towards that vision.

If you are already pushing yourself to the limit and have 0 time to spare, then you probably shouldn’t be adding more to your plate. Too much food piled on a plate is eventually going to fall down. Knowing when to say yes, when to say no and when to say not right now is directly related to how much progress you’ll make on your priorities. If you end up having no time to spare yet you’re focusing NO time on your priorities, do what you can to slowly remove todos from your plate.

When the desire doesn’t align with the execution, your priorities are out of alignment.

Desiring to be healthy yet eating unhealthy day after day.

Saying yes to todos instantly without a whim of consideration devalues your time and wipes away your ability to prioritize.

Know your goals and your compatibility. Know who you are and where you want to be. And then compare notes to what you spend your day on.

Study a day in your life and your actions will tell you what’s a priority or not.

StayBOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” — Stephen Covey

“Action expresses priorities.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“Our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those decisions are determined by our priorities.” —  Myles Munroe

Grumpy Pants

One thing I’ve learned about myself is I️ need space for Josh time to read, write and have space for thoughts without interruption.

I’d call myself an ambivert — outgoing introvert —  so that makes sense. Anytime I️ don’t make space for myself (like today) I️ start feeling frustrated and put on my grumpy pants.  I’m short, distant and an all-around Scrooge McDuck. It’s like I’m hangry, except I’m hangry for silence and books. 
Reading, Writing, Music, and Reflecting is how to replenish. I️ don’t mean to be a grumpy pants, but whenever I️ don’t make the space to recharge I️ start losing my sanity when I️ try to write or read with a steady stream of interruptions for everyone (and every dog) around me. Don’t get me wrong it’s not them — it’s me. The last thing I️ should be doing is trying to write at my grandparents while my sister is watching a Hallmark Christmas movie, my other sister is asking me for the WiFi password, my dog Ren is nosing me to play with her, and my mom is asking me questions.

But what’s a grumpy pants to do?
I️ don’t know if I️ have a great strategy to overcome the grump grumps, but here are two things I’m trying to improve upon:

1. Let go of what I can’t control.

Focus on only things you can control, and let go of what you can’t. What’s important to you is important, but it’s not as important as the time you can spend with your loved ones.

2. Make space for what’s important to me.

We tend to fill up idle time with todos. If it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t happen. If you don’t *make* time for what’s important to you, you’re not going to have the time. (Extra free time won’t fall out of your 👖ss)

Certainly a work in progress for me, but necessary for myself and the sanity of those around me. Ha 🙂

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Wisdom:

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.”Epictetus

Scare Yourself Everday

It’s not until you start doing the things you want to do but are terrified to do,

for the life of your dreams to explode into view.

 

Action Step: Scare Yourself Everyday 

Expand what you think is possible for your life.

The question you must ask yourself is

What am I scared of?

And then go step into that fear.

Personally, as bad as fear may feel, living life in a box of fear is even worse.

 

Here’s my fear list, what’s on yours?

Interviewing (keep doing it)

Public Speaking (classic)

Performing Music on Stage

Renaissance Video

Theater

Improv

Success

 

— Keep Pursuing,

Josh Waggoner  Renaissance Man.  April 26th 10:43PM EST, Chattanooga TN

Best You 365: Gratitude is Attitude

Preface

This is a sample of our BestYou 365 Newsletters.

If you are seeking the best version of yourself you can be in creativity, work, and life, join our newsletter today (and/or share with a friend who would be interested).

Best You 365

Introduction

BY365 is about asking yourself the questions:

“How can I become my best self?”
“What does that mean to me personally?”
“How can I become a better person every single day?”
“And how can I help and enable people to do the same through my own actions and journey?”

 

today: Gratitude is Attitude

       
    When you find yourself seeking something more for yourself, it’s easy to get lost in the future and miss the good you already have given and receive every day. (believe me, I know) 

    To begin your journey to the best version of yourself possible, you must start by being grateful who you are right now, and what you have going for you already.

No matter what setbacks you are facing, I can assure you someone else out there has it worse.

Even at its most extreme feels, when has hating yourself ever worked out for someone?

We must learn from the mistakes and pain. Use them as drivers to embetter yourself and inspire others.

Becoming your best self is not about rejecting your old self. To move on to something bigger, you must be okay with who you are.
I mean, doesn’t the idea of accepting who you are — mistakes and all — sound like you are already becoming someone better?

Look @ me for example, here I am surrounded by privilege, living in the land of the free, home of the brave, but am I giving thanks every day for what I have?

Do I use my freedom to pursue bravery or am I just living within my fears?
Questions we should take the time to ask ourselves.

Gratitude is Attitude.
It’s something you bring to the table.
It’s a perspective you must practice.
It’s a lens that changes even the bad things that happen to you, to the good.
 

Practice

Gratitude Tips — There are many resources out there for gratitude, but here are some of my favorites to get you started:

1. Each morning, write down three things you’re most grateful for. It can be anything you want.

2. Before you talk to anyone, say ‘I love you’ in your mind to them. (Learned this from TF’s book, Tools of Titans.) You won’t believe how effective and mood-lifting this can be, even towards someone you dislike!

3. Practice frugality (like Marcus Aurelius, or Benjamin Franklin) for one day each month. Spend the smallest amount possible on food (eating rice and beans, or something like that), wear cheap clothes, even sleep on the floor. Not only does this make you grateful for what you have, but also reduces the anxiety of losing it all. Showing you it’s not that bad to have nothing.

4. Send a thank you note to someone. Write a letter, reach out. call someone. There’s nothing like gratitude than giving someone presence. It tells them,
‘I see you.’

5. Give a random person a compliment. Think of the last time someone did this to you. Doesn’t it immediately boost your mood for the day?

#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner

My Evening Routine (as of January 2017)

My last post was about my morning routine (you can check that out here.)

The first thing you need to know about routine is 

Your morning routine is only as good as your evening routine+

An ideal morning begins and ends with how you set up your evenings.

Here’s my current evening routine:

  • Try and be home @ around 9 to start winding down the night.
  • Turn my phone on Night Mode. (3 seconds)
  • Take a hot shower, run through the day’s events, and end with cold water. (10 min +)
  • Layout my clothes for the next day (reducing mental energy in the morning) (2 min)
  • Roll my legs using a mobility ball [goal: my leg flexibility is pathetic, the goals is to be able to bend my legs enough to be a base in Acroyoga] [note: I feel a noticeable difference in my legs when I wake up, compared to not doing mobility at night] (5 min +) 
  • Make a SleepyTime drink (2 Tbsp of Raw Local Honey + 2 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar [I use Braggs] + hot water in a mug mixed up) — This smells awful but is super tasty. It’ll knock you out real’ good too. (5 min. make time)
  • A glass of Calm Magnesium Supplement [This combined with the SleepyTime Drink is a one two punch ….zzzzzzzz] (1 min)
  • While I’m drinking my healthy version of a night cap, I’ll read a fiction book or a book that read like fiction (such as history or biographies) [current read:  Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson ] (Usually just until I finish my Sleepy Drink)
  • Teeth Health (3 min)
  • Get in bed, lay on a sleep acupressure mat [I use the Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat] (10 min)
  • By this time I’m out. zzzzzzzzzzzz

Evening routine is about turning off and relaxing. You certainly don’t have to do what I do, but you do need to do what makes you feel at ease and turns off your todo-list-mind.

Rest is equally as important as effort, but also the easiest thing to neglect +

 

Sidenote

 I like to practice pushing my mental will capacity at night.

You know that feeling you get when you’re in bed and you forgot something and you HAVE to get up. Ugh!! I like to push myself by lingering in those moments. The easy choice is not, it’s saying no and going to bed anyway. But that’s not my M.O.

I like to think that if I linger in that desire to not do something, and by do it anyway, I’m expanding my willpower. 

Expand your capacity.

Linger in those moments of inaction, then train yourself to take action anyway. 

I have no way of testing this, but my discipline in taking action has never been sharper.

Ask yourself,

Q: How can I expand my willpower more when it feels depleted?

 

If you feel like you don’t have the time to have a evening routine, it’s time to give yourself the space to create one. Make it a game, do it with your significant other, your kids and or your friends.

#KeepPursing — Josh Waggoner

Q: What’s your Evening Routine?

(leave your answer in the comments below, if you feel the urge to share)

 

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