Do you ever feel overwhelmed with things you need to do?
Maybe a project you need to finish, or something like that?
We all do.
Let me tell you a story about a time I felt overwhelmed, and what I did about it.
My husband and I moved to the city we live in in 2013. We moved here for his work, and we didn’t really know anyone in town. He had a few friends through his work, but I didn’t know anyone and we had no family around. Not a great support network.
But we found a great neighborhood and settled in nicely. We had wonderful neighbors and met lots of great people!
Fast forward to two years later and we moved again. We had always wanted to live on a larger piece of property, so when an acreage came available, we bought it and moved in. We didn’t move far – we can get to our old neighborhood in 20 minutes – but far enough that we were kind of starting over.
The community we moved to is a wonderful rural community, with a lovely small-town feel.
But the first thing I noticed when we moved here was how we were “from away.”
Everyone was very friendly. But we weren’t from around here.
One of the first neighbor I met waved me down shortly after we moved in and asked me who we were and where we lived. He realized we lived near the “new” neighbors who moved in in 1975. By that math we won’t move in for 30 more years…
A couple of years later, I met another man who asked me how long we’d lived here. I told him we’d been in the area a couple of years, and his response to the same question was that he’d lived there for 6 generations.
So, needless to say, while everyone was friendly, I felt VERY much like an outsider when we first moved here.
And I struggled with that.
I love meeting people, I love connecting with people, and I love being part of a community.
But I didn’t feel that here.
I still had friends in our old neighborhood, but I really wanted to build a network in our current neighborhood.
How to fix it?
I decided I had two options: 1) I could sit around and wait for people to come to me and tell me they wanted to be friends with me, or 2) I could go out into the community and do something about it.
So, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, and I joined our schools parent’s council.
I knew no one, but I went to that first meeting.
And then the second.
And the third.
And then Covid hit, and we couldn’t do the meetings in person anymore.
But I kept going.
And eventually I felt comfortable enough participating.
And I stuck with it.
Putting myself out there.
And getting to know the other parents on the committee.
And their families and their kids and their connections.
And this year, 7 years since we moved into our house, I finally feel like we’re starting to build a network. A community.
7 years of effort
This did not happen overnight.
It took many years, of showing up consistently. Not big, grand, extravagant gestures. But small, consistent activities that worked over time.
Would I have loved to have shown up to that first parent council meeting, where everyone welcomed me in with open arms, and scheduled some social events right away?
But it wouldn’t have been real. I wouldn’t have known, or trusted, anyone. They wouldn’t have known, or trusted, me.
We all want things to happen instantly. As humans, we’re very attracted to instant gratification.
We want instant results.
We want to feel better instantly.
We want instant community, instant friends, instant whatever.
And sometimes instant works. If you fall in love with a pair of boots, you can order them tonight and have them on your porch by tomorrow.
But mostly? Instant doesn’t work.
Instant deals with the superficial.
But it doesn’t deal with the real, root causes.
The same is true when it comes to your health.
I’d like to present you with 2 challenges:
To start, pick something you want to do, achieve, or work towards, and pick ONE simple thing that you can do, five days a week, for 7 years.
It doesn’t need to be big. In fact, it shouldn’t be big.
When you can keep any behaviour up consistently, you will see results. They won’t happen right away, and you might need to adjust as you go, but you will see results.
This is key when it comes to your health.
If your goal is to sleep better, one of the key recommendations I often make to help improve your sleep is to move every day.
So if you go for a 30 minute walk today, will you sleep better tonight?
Well, you might (exercise is powerful) but you also might not.
And that’s OK.
Because when you go for a 30-minute walk, most days of the week, eventually you will find that you are starting to sleep better.
And the second challenge I have for you is that I want you to embrace the discomfort of not seeing results instantly.
We can get discouraged when we go for a walk, and we aren’t suddenly in great shape, or sleeping perfectly.
We can get frustrated or annoyed when we don’t have instant gratification.
Don’t beat yourself up if that’s your reaction.
I just want you to recognize it, and challenge it.
It’s OK to be disappointed!
But it’s important to be realistic.
You don’t need to try something for 7 full years! When you’re trying something new to improve your health, I always recommend trying something for at least 6 weeks. That’s generally how long it will take before you notice results.
Can you commit to trying something consistently for 6 weeks without any changes?
Now, if you’re exhausted, and feeling low, and snapping at your family, and you’re struggling to lose weight – sleep is absolutely something you should be focusing on.
And where to start?
I have a workshop, all about sleep, that will show you exactly what you need to focus on and where to start. You can check that out here.
Including a few simple steps you can start today, that if you keep up consistently, will have great impacts on your sleep, and your health.