Follow Up: Raise Your Standards

It’s been roughly a week since I published Raise Your Standards and I’ve had a few insights since then that I want to share.

If you read my previous post thoroughly (props to you!) you know that I decided to start with the ‘Early Riser’ project. The first week went well, I even started getting up at 6:30 am on Monday. A whole day before I was supposed to! I even feel like an early riser at various times during the day.

What made the most difference was practising to get up everyday for a week. I’ve been able to get up easy the last two days. It feels like it’s the normal thing to do and that I’ve always had this habit (before my mind catches up). Because of this I’ve revised my plan to continue practising getting up two days per week, instead of my original plan to only practise getting up whenever it became harder to get up.

The visionary dreams weren’t quite as I imagined they would be. Don’t take me wrong, they have certainly helped me. But it was a lot easier to stay focused in the beginning; nowadays my thoughts find a way to wander off to dream about something else.

Maybe it’s because I don’t feel as strong motivation to continue to envision me as an early riser because I’ve already succeeded in this area (for the moment). I haven’t realized my goal of feeling like an early riser through and through so I’ll continue with my original plan to have visionary dreams everyday.

Insight 1: Envisioning the same experiences and feelings, even if they’re slightly different, becomes dull and a commonplace after a week.

Question: How can I make visionary dreams have the same effect after a week that it had the very first day?

On the third day of the project I added another tool, namely a pain vs pleasure list. The left column contains all the pains I will receive by staying in bed and sleeping in. The right has all the pleasures I will receive by getting up early.

When I created this list I noticed one alarming pattern: on average I lose 2 hours in the morning. Either because I sleep too much or because I browse Facebook or other disempowering sites the first thing I did in the morning. Losing 2 hours every day means 720 hours per year, which is roughly 30 days per year. Those are days I would be awake. I.e. not regular days, but active time I could spend doing something else. That’s quite a lot of time I’ve lost. After I graduated from high school that would sum up to 9 months I could’ve spent doing various things.

This list proved to be a very effective tool for changing my beliefs and habits. For every bullet point I envision and embody that it becomes true. I.e. I link the outcome with either sleeping in or getting up.

I’ve had a success vs fail list before. But I find that pain vs pleasure gets me into another (better) mindset. It’s easier coming up with pains and pleasures that resonate and feel true.

Insight 2: Use a pain vs pleasure list when you want to change a belief or habit. As you read through all bullet points, envision them to come true and embody the feeling you would (want to) get if they did.

I’ve not only come to insights in my early riser project. In fact I would say the last insight I had is the most valuable. Because I explored and wrote so thoroughly about (most of) the projects I noticed during the week that I’ve been thinking about them both consciously and probably unconsciously too. The effect being that I’ve made a small leap, but a leap nonetheless, in all other projects. Yay! 😀

I feel and see myself as a person who has an easier time to ask people for spontaneously hugs. I’ve also opened up to another person. Even when I haven’t focused one bit to take a step forward on the other projects I have followed the new beliefs and taken a step forward. Which is awesome 😀

This means that it’s generally a good idea to write about something I want to change even though “I neither have time nor energy” to change. Because just writing about it will bring a real change.

Insight 3: “Just” writing about my goals and the beliefs I want makes a real change. I begin to take action that takes me closer to my goals and act in according to the beliefs I want.

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