What a year 2020 was! The year started as most new years do with thoughts of what comes next, the to-do lists, the checks and balances that presumed a continuum of ‘same, same but different’ based on what previous years had shown. Now, after 12 months of lingering upheaval, what was is no longer valid, and what we thought we knew has been put to every test. How to gain self-control, and perhaps more accurately how to gain control over your life in a so-called ‘new’ normal has become more important than ever.
Control What You Can
Can you make plans now for 2021? I think so – but if this last year has taught me anything, you cannot control what you have no control over. A new playbook and a flexible mindset will see you through. The best way forward is a step-by-step approach to gain control of your life by looking at your own area where you really can have an impact.
New Normal What?
Changing the framework means a new set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) where the unknown is presumed to be the new normal. Heck, I say! Normal, what? To have normalcy, you need a sense of some baseline. And therein lies the challenge. Scientific curves are now what dictates what we can and cannot do. Rate of infection or rules that change as fast as the winds shift direction decides ‘normal.’
That is where you stop. You cannot control the outside world nor the constant changes. What you can do is impact how you move, eat, reach out, and, yes, plan for the future. You decide your SOPs and look forward with a sense of regained hope. How to gain self-control starts with looking at what you can and cannot have a say over. Challenge your limits by not not letting the outside world boundaries get to you.
Control of What?
In early 2020 the year ahead was full of to-dos, travel, and visits from our global nomadic families and friends. In retrospect, the calendar was fuller than most years, and we hoped to fit it all in. All, of course, came to a screeching halt, and nothing could prepare us for the months ahead.
As the year rolled on, the house and garden was the only certainty as here, at least I knew what was what. Many reached out via zoom to talk through changes in planned futures and, through coaching, gained insights into possible solutions in a different world. Yet the realization that there were limits and new borders in my world crept in. I needed to figure out how to gain self-control in order for my world to make sense.
Not Control What You Cannot
The way forward could be summed up as we cannot control what we have no control over. Also, perhaps acceptance of how letting go of the need for control of the world outside. This simple mantra meant a gain of control of your own lifestyle choices and how you let the outside crazy impact you. Seems easy enough, right?
Setting up a grid of what I could, and couldn’t get impacted by helped. I found a way forward that kept me zen and sane. How to gain control of your life when all seems pretty dark can be daunting. The first step of acceptance was a trigger towards mindfulness. The second was to stake a claim. The out-of-control changes are imposed, and I decide if they will get to me. Then – I make the choice to set up boundaries and look to the future. Can you too gain control of your life this way?
Control What You Can
What really made a difference during this year was how keeping a routine kept me zen and sane. The simple daily to-dos were how to gain self-control in my small world. Here are some tips that I happily share with the hope that you find them useful.
- Fitness: After the gym closed, changing up, my fitness regime became a fun mix of exercise DVDs and gardening.
- Food: Eating healthy and an extended vegetable patch took a greater meaning. Giving myself the time to cook was an unexpected pleasure and many recipes that I have created came to life again.
- Social Interaction: Learning new tech tools that allow for social interaction, coaching, and catching up with many worldwide. Overall life did and does go on so a way to gain control of your life is to accept that you are not in limbo – click to understand why.
- Sleep: Catching up on sleep and practicing what I preach, i.e., really listening to your body and savoring the need to rest as much as daily exercise.
- Find Limits: Figuring out that you can say No, even when your online time is high in demand.Take charge of you, yourself and you 🙂
- Overall, I grew to enjoy the sound of silence the most – but this is a topic for a different article. (feel free to join the newsletter to not miss out ;))
To Not Control is Not so Easy
My world may have shrunk, but in my own space, I have gained control. Letting go of plans and realizing how time doesn’t come back was – and is – far harder. Perhaps taking a slightly philosophical approach was the best medicine. To not allow the toxic get hold is my best advice, even though it is easier said than done.
Every corner of the internet is full of sad, destructive, and out-of-control politics, which adds to the sense of loss and lack of control. But therein lies the challenge for a way forward. Do we fall prey to the unknown, or can we start by clawing back some sense of ‘normal’ by finding snippets of routine to cling on to? I have found my motivation mojo that works in this strange new existence, and embrace that I am here, healthy and able to share how to gain control of my small part of the universe.
Choice or Control?
If you listen to well-meant advice, or for that matter, emotional blackmail, you are likely to fall back into the mind games where control is an element of power where you are but a pawn in some sort of mind boardgame. I choose not to do this. How to gain self-control is to decide that you are the ruler in your life. Mindfully aware that we have the luxury of choice to do or not to do what we can to move forward.
The emotions are there, but to follow them can be outright dangerous now. So I do not travel, nor do I venture out for more than essentials. I choose my control zones and take great care in maintaining hard-fought-for fitness and healthy living, whereby I believe this is my best weapon to fight any infections or mind fogs that may come.
Am I, therefore, out of control with what I can control, or is it a case of accepting that ‘normal’ is not what others tell me but rather a choice?
Clawing Back Control
Clawing back control for my world is my aim for the days and months to come… To do this, I decide to list what I actually can control and give myself a framework that will work in my small space. I like my to-do lists with chores and exercises and thank my lucky stars that my family stays put in various parts of the globe.
New is the year, new the hopes, new is the resolution, new are the spirits, and new are my warm wishes just for you. Have a promising and fulfilling New 2021!
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Recommended and Related:
- Mindfulness and Covid – the conversation.com
- 10 Tips For Keeping Calm During Covid-19 – ThinkHealthy.com
- Covid-19: The Stress of Deconfinement – human stress.ca
- Motivation Mojo: How to Recharge Your Wellness – thegoodista.com