Inner Change – overwhelmed

Photo: Pixabay

The last post was about the fact that we may not get our inner elephant moving because the goal we are aiming for is too “boring”, i.e. rather an underchallenge.
Underchallenge means that the thrill is missing, the goal does not stimulate, does not release energy and does not allow for a sense of achievement.

However, the exact opposite, being overwhelmed, can lead to the fact that you suddenly lack the motivation to tackle it. If a goal is too much for us, we start to doubt whether we can achieve it and our confidence and self-confidence in our abilities dwindle.

But how can it happen that we feel overwhelmed by a goal when we can set it ourselves?
There can be several reasons for this:

  1. Too big: We have bold goals in mind – e.g., achieving an additional qualification or degree, losing a major amount of weight, or overcoming a fear.
  2. Too complex (too much at once): We write a long list of things needed to achieve the goal. And suddenly we feel like we shouldn’t be working on just the one thing we want to change, but need to tackle 10 things at once to do it.
  3. Too fast (no patience): We want too much in too short a time. This happens especially when we compare ourselves with others in terms of what is doable instead of analyzing what is a realistic pace for us (based on our lifestyle habits, our body/metabolism, our possibilities).

So what can we do to not overwhelm our inner elephant with our goal setting?

  1. Small steps: Especially if you have something big in mind, it’s important to break your goal down into small sub-steps. For example, set a smaller weekly goal – how much time do you want to invest in learning per week? How many kilos do you want to lose per week? etc.
  2. Simple steps: Just as important as small steps is that the steps to achieve the goal are simple. If several different aspects are necessary to achieve your desired change, break them down as well. Take A in week 1, add B in week 2 and aspect C in week 3. For example, if you have a weight or nutrition goal, you can resolve to avoid alcohol in week 1, increase your fruit and vegetable portions in week 2, watch your sugar intake from week 3 onwards, etc.
  3. Your pace: Before setting your goal, check by when you would like to have reached it, what is realistic in your case. For example, if you are aiming for a degree or certification which asks for 10 hours of study a week, make 1-2 “trial weeks”. Plan concrete time slots in these weeks that add up to a total of 10 hours. Look back afterwards: Did it work out? Did you find it easy? If it didn’t work out – what would you have to let go off in order to reach the 10 hours? And are you willing to do it? Or is there another solution? E.g. to extend the total period of the training? You can also observe for 1-2 weeks how much weight you are realistically able to lose.

Regarding the aspect of being overwhelmed, there is even an appropriate saying with an elephant:

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

(But don’t tell him – otherwise he will get scared ;-))

Whatever you decide to do – chose your own way, do it your way, at your pace and step by step.

Good luck & appetite for the goal!

Birgit

Inner Change – Underchallenged

Photo: Pixabay

“Boooooooooooring!” – thinks your inner elephant, i.e. your subconscious, if you do not choose the right level of challenge on the way to the desired change.
Just as the unattainable or forbidden has a special attraction for us (see the article “Kill the ban”), we quickly lose interest when things are too easy or we are sure that we have everything under control.
This can happen in different ways on the way to your desired change:

  1. You set goals that are too small – You don’t want to stress yourself and choose small steps on the way to your goal that you definitely know you can do. However, this way you don’t really feel a sense of achievement, because you knew beforehand that it would work out and you didn’t really have to make an effort. Your elephant lacks, so to speak, the “kick and stimulus” in the matter. Because he really gets the desire through the happiness hormone Dopamine, which is released when you have mastered a hurdle! You’ll find just the right amount of challenge if you take your last performance as a foundation and demand a little more of yourself next time. So much more that you just manage it. Change one thing to have a new challenge. For example, if you ran 6 km last time, you can aim for 6.5 km this time – or 6 km again, but in a faster pace. Or you can choose a different route for the 6 km – for example, one that includes stairs, gentle inclines, or cross-country running. By the way, choosing the next development step in a way that the demands are slightly above your abilities is also the best way to get into the flow (more about this in one of the next articles – stay tuned ;-)).
  2. You always do the same – I like to call it “routine without comfort zone”. Your inner elephant is specialized in economizing. If you e.g. always choose the same round for jogging at the same time, your body will have already calculated after a few units how much energy has to be provided for it and will also provide it exactly – but not more. The round will then become easier and easier for you, “you just run it so you can check it off your list” and at some point it will be as integrated into your energy balance as brushing your teeth is into your daily hygiene. It’s no longer a special requirement – so it won’t push any further development. Again, the magic here is in variety. Different time, different day of the week, different route, different shoes … maybe even different sport? For example, if you want to integrate running as a regular sport in your life, it is equally important to stabilize your core to improve your running style. So why not weave in some weight training exercises with your own body weight? (Plank, situps, pushups). Routine remains important -but maybe we’d better call it consistency. Keep at it – but make sure it’s varied and fun and get out of your comfort zone!

Even if I have chosen an example from sports – the phenomenon of underchallenge and the two reasons for it can also be transferred to other areas.
For example, if you want to acquire knowledge about a new subject or learn a new language, you can always cram vocabulary at the same time and always practice only those words you already know or … look for other opportunities, such as a language tandem (contact with a native speaker in the language you want to learn), watch TV shows or movies in the foreign language, watch YouTube videos, buy a magazine with a topic that interests you in the foreign language, etc.

Whatever change you apply it to – don’t forget dopamine for Dumbo!
Don’t bore your elephant!

Here’s to an exciting week!

Yours, Birgit

Inner Change – Beliefs

Photo: Pixabay

The series of aspects that are roadblocks for our inner change continues.
Beliefs and convictions are, so to speak, the prayer book of your elephant, your subconscious mind. Thinking of beliefs may remind you of religion – and even though religion has nothing to do with it, the term is borrowed from it.
Because with our beliefs and convictions we create our own personal religion – with which we explain to ourselves every day what is possible and what is not, what we can and cannot do and why things are the way they are.
Have you ever heard yourself say sentences like “I’m just not an early riser” or “boys are just better at maths”? Then you know what I am talking about.

We are rarely aware of our beliefs – until we discover them. Lastest when we get stuck in a certain process, blocked or frustrated.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, they influence our actions, our possibilities and our progress. Basically, they are a tool – because to navigate ourselves through this world, we need explanations and the feeling that things have a meaning. When we are confronted with the unexplainable or when something bad happens to us, we look for reasons and a meaning. If they do not seem to exist, we create them on basis of our beliefs.

Beliefs are created through our experiences but also through our socialisation – some of them we take over from our parents (like the belief that you will definitely get sick if you walk barefoot all the time).
There are positive ones that are beneficial and negative ones that can block us.

Once you have identified a limiting belief, the next step is to remove it and replace it with a beneficial one. The following approach can help you to do this:

  1. The reality check – Questioning
    Ask yourself:
    Is this really true?
    Is it always true?
    Where does my conviction come from?
    Is there any evidence to the contrary?

  2. Looking into the future – get the feeling
    What does this belief do to you?
    How do you feel?
    How does it affect your progress?
    Which feeling would be more helpful?
    How does a belief sound that creates this helpful feeling?

    This step has helped me to eradicate my belief that I can’t exercise before breakfast. Well, my dog has also played his part. When our dog moved in with us a few years ago, I regularly took him for a walk before breakfast. And because a dog needs exercise, I was usually out for between 20-30 minutes. Without breakfast. And then one day I thought: “If you can walk the dog for 30 minutes on an empty stomach without dying, you should also be able to do a casual jog for 20 minutes.” And voilà … 😉

  3. Role models and hero actions
    You can also think of role models – historical or personal ones.
    The other day, a friend of mine, whose kneecap had slipped due to an accident with her dog while walking in the woods – and who was walking alone and had to get to the car somehow, said to me: “Then I thought to myself, what would Rambo do in this situation – ha, he would just push it back again – and bang, I had it back in the original position.”
    Maybe a drastic example, but it shows very nicely what our thoughts are capable of. She could have stayed lying there with the conviction that she wouldn’t make it to the car and that any further movement would ruin everything.
    So you can ask yourself, “What would XY be thinking in a situation like this?”

  4. Mrs. Mickey Mouse – make it a joke
    When nothing else works – and for the particularly stupid (but usually very persistent) beliefs like “nobody loves me” or “I can’t be helped” you can try the Mickey Mouse technique. Whenever the inner voice presents you with your belief, repeat it out loud – but at double speed and in a Mickey Mouse voice (just like when you used to fast-forward tapes). You’ll see, magic will happen 😉
    Alternatively, you can call a voice to mind that motivates and builds you up – and imagine that voice saying your positively corrected belief.

Whatever step you try, be patient with yourself. Remember that your convictions have had decades to strengthen. They can’t be chased out of the yard so quickly.
Also remember that your beliefs are nothing more than thoughts that YOU have created. So YOU can change them at any time.
The most important thing, however, is that you believe it is possible that there is more than what your belief system limits you to. This is the first step towards your new, goal-supporting prayer book.

The next week will be fantastic! I am convinced 😉

Take care,

Birgit

Inner Change – who for?

Photo: Pixabay

“Oh gosh, again I haven’t managed to read a professional book this week.” – “Why do you want to?” – “Well, I’ve heard that one should invest at least 30 minutes a day in your development.”

Who is “one”?

If your intention to change or establish a habit is not working and you hear yourself saying sentences in which “one” is the justification for your desire for inner change, then it is very likely that “one” is the roadblock. Your elephant, i.e. your subconscious, will only actively support you in pursuing your goal if he/it feels directly addressed. Check for whom you want to implement the planned change.
Is it really your very own wish?
Is it YOUR goal?
Whose standards are you trying to fulfil?
Do you have a strong why that comes from within yourself? Or do you think you should do xy because it is expected of you or “one” should do it – but don’t really want to?

So, listen to yourself today:
Why do you want to implement the change you are striving for?
What did initiate your wish to make this change?
Is it in harmony with your values and what you want?

“One” will not be ablte to move the elephant – but you will.

To a powerful why!

Yours

Birgit

Inner change – a pinch of confetti

Photo: Pixabay

In the last few years I have become acquainted with a very interesting aspect of myself and my elephant, i.e. my subconscious, which has totally blocked the establishment of new, beneficial habits.

I have no idea whether there is a scientific explanation for the phenomenon I am about to describe or whether this is just a Birgit special 😉 But maybe you know it too, and that’s why I want to share it with you – and also how I got over it.

The following scenario repeated itself with different intentions:
1. i did something new that was good for me – e.g. a sun salutation in the morning after getting up, or meditating for 10-15 minutes during the day.
2. I was enthusiastic! It felt so good! What a beautiful discovery! -> Decision: this will be built into my daily and weekly routine on a regular basis!
3rd And so, for example, “meditating” was added to my daily To Do list. At first it went well, the initial enthusiasm carried me. I just did it, found a gap – without needing the reminder on the To Do list. But then, after a few days ….
4 … reality set in again, everyday life, lots to do. And I notice how at the end of the day I look at the tasks I still have to do, how “meditate” is still there and I think: “oh, you HAVE to do that too”.
5 -> What did me so much good at the beginning suddenly triggers other feelings in me. It stands there like one of the many “duties” that have to be done. My elephant crosses its arms. Nah, he’s not up for that! There’s already enough on the to-do list…. Now this too?

I have turned joy into a duty, my intention has become a “commandment”. And with my elephant, commandments work about as well as bans (see last week’s article).
Commandments cramp. Commandments restrict, commandments are stuffy, commandments take the joy away.
Yes, if you want to achieve something, you need discipline – not everything is fun, you might think.
But the more discipline pushes my elephant from behind or pulls it from the front, the more rigid it becomes.
If it’s no fun, then it’s no good, then there’s no point, he says.
If what I want to do regularly for my relaxation stresses me out, I might as well not do it.

To pursue the next goal with pleasure and joy and all one’s strength is the only way to reach the furthest.
Friedrich Hebbel

So how can I preserve joy?

The following has helped me:

  1. Lift your gaze: Away from micromanaging the To Do list, into the distance – towards the future, towards the goal. Why did I want to do it? How did it feel when I had done it? What is it good for? How important is it to me?
  2. A pinch of confetti: How can I decorate it with some confetti so that my elephant has fun? How can I link my intention, my new habit with something joyful to bring back the ease, the playfulness? For example, if you want to eat healthier – cook with friends once a week. Or run in a beautiful area instead of on the treadmill. Or – if you choose the treadmill – listen to your favourite music, an e-book or a podcast …..
  3. A surprising change: New things create excitement! So change one small aspect, do something differently – e.g. cook something you’ve never eaten before, choose a new route when running – or different shoes, maybe take your daily walk in the fresh air a few steps backwards – surprise your elephant!
  4. Drama-free consistency: Yes, it’s true, you don’t establish new habits overnight. But maybe drama-free consistency works better for you than discipline? To me, discipline has a patronizing taste …” brrr. Yes, there will be days when you like to do it and others when you have to push yourself. But just do it. Don’t question the whole project if you’re not in a good mood. Just keep going. No pressure, no drama, no excuses, no justifications – just do it.
  5. Appreciate accomplishments: Works the same way than surprises. What can your elephant look forward to once he has started moving? Stop regularly and appreciate what you have achieved. Maybe you can offer yourself and your elephant a reward when you reach an intermediate goal?

By the way, the meditation is still on my daily list – because if it’s not there, I signal to my elephant that it’s not that important – and that I’ll only do it when I have time for it – which, as we all know, is never 😉

Have a joyful week!

Birgit

Inner Change – Kill the Ban

Photo: Pixabay

“Inner Change” series continued.
Last week I mentioned the elephant, our subconscious, which we have to bring to the table in any kind of change, so that something moves, so that our elephant moves.

What definitely gets him moving – but in exactly the wrong direction 😉 – are bans.
I still remember a special situation in my childhood. In the living room of my parents’ house there was a cupboard where the sweets were kept. In the beginning, it was always open, always accessible. Until my mother discovered that the sweets disappeared miraculously and quite quickly 😉 To put a stop to all this, the cupboard was locked from that moment on and the key was hidden. And from then on my calling was: Find the key (and don’t let anybody know ;-)). It was amazing how much energy and time I spent to get to the forbidden goodies again! They were even more appealing now!

There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it incredibly desirable.”  -Mark Twain

That’s what Psychology calls the “Forbidden Fruit Effect”. “Forbidden fruits” get a special appeal because they trigger our desires to know the unknown and to test the limits. Also, we don’t like bans because we feel they restrict our freedom.
The effect was already described in the Bible (perhaps you remember the story of the apple?). But it is still highly relevant. A study among young people, for example, found out that the the information about age group adequacy on video games tended to have the opposite effect: the young people found the games that were not approved for their age group particularly interesting.
This effect is also used in marketing, where it comes into play in the Scarcity Principle. The less there is of something on offer or the more exclusive and difficult access to something is made (“only today” / “only for the first 10” / “5 exclusive tickets”…) the more valuable it appears to the consumer/receiver.
And to stay with Mark Twain: maybe you know the fence scene of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn? Actually, Tom is ordered to paint a fence and therefore can’t go swimming with friends. One of the friends, Ben, comes along and from his initial pity for Tom, he wants to paint the fence himself. Why? Tom tells him that not everyone can do it: “the (fence) has to be painted very carefully – one boy in a hundred, maybe, or even fewer, can do it the way it has to be done.”
In the end, Ben paints and Tom can relax.

Talking about inner change, the Forbidden Fruit Effect comes into play specifically when we want to stop doing/consuming something or at least reduce it. For example, plans like drinking less alcohol, not consuming sugar or giving up fast food.
If we try to achieve this with a ban, our focus will be on exactly the wrong thing – on how we can get it after all. And the likelihood that we will then exaggerate wildly when we get access to the forbidden is very high. Many “cheat days” have developed into binge eating this way. Afterwards, we have a guilty conscience, get angry with ourselves and often go back to our original plans with such a rigour against ourselves that our elephant will definitely not see any reason to move in our direction.

So what do we do when we want to give up or reduce something? The following questions can help you develop a strategy:

  1. What is the good about the bad? When we give something up, we never just give up the thing itself, but also the feelings associated with it. What has been the benefit of what you want to give up? When and in what situations? For example, when I have to concentrate hard at the PC for a long time, I get a craving for something to nibble. Salty, sweet… It’s about releasing the tension by chewing and supplying the brain with energy.
  2. Can the good be generated differently? Is there something else, better, healthier… that could give you the same effect? In my case, I always have a few nuts on hand, but when I’m under a lot of tension, I prefer to reach for a carrot or chewing gum.
  3. Can the forbidden be given a designated place? Refering back to the cheat day: It is often used, for example, when you want to give up fast food. Then the rule is: once a week I’m allowed! Hm. In my opinion, the magic of sustainable change lies in balance. Is there perhaps another way not to banish the “forbidden” – and above all not to use it as a reward for your stamina in eating healthier foods? (It would mean that the rest of the week is “suffering” – not very attractive for your elephant to join in). When I stopped eating meat in 2013, I left myself a loophole. I promised myself that if I did get an insatiable appetite for meat, I would get it in small quantities and from organic farms. But I haven’t had to resort to it at all. The only craving I felt was for a raw ham for supper. For about a week. Then it was gone. What did I do at that moment? I remembered …
  4. What is the good about the good? Namely, why I didn’t want to eat meat anymore. And then I asked myself if the desire for a slice of ham was actually more important to me than the reasons why I became a vegetarian. Bam. End of craving. Do you really have good reasons for wanting to change? Ones that are important to YOU? Ones that are strong enough to withstand outside temptations and comments? Incidentally, when we succeed in giving up our short-term desire for a long-term goal, it trains a mental muscle that makes us more successful and satisfied in the long run. It is the muscle of frustration tolerance. There are interesting – and funny – studies on this with children. If you’re interested, have a look here.

In short: bans are an incentive for our elephant to become a defiant rebel and to want even more of what we actually wanted to avoid.
So: Kill the Ban!

Have a successful week,

Birgit

Inner Change – Loving Kindness vs. Rigour

Photo: Pixabay

Over the past few weeks, I came accross the question why it’s sometimes so hard to change something about ourselves — a behavior, a habit, a perpective or belief – in various contexts. Most of the time, we hit that roadblock when we set our sights on something, such as a sports goal, or when we feel like we end up in the same place again and again certain areas of our lives — a place we don’t want to be.

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.”
Tony Robbins

We are well aware that we should be doing something differently. Most of the time, we even know what and how. So the problem is not that we don’t know what to do, but that we don’t do what we know.
Why do we get stuck?
This week and the following ones, I’d like to introduce you to a few of these roadblocks – and also how you can overcome them.
Not all of them may apply to you, but maybe you will recognize yourself in one or the other.
What all obstacles have in common: they arise from a force that we tend to underestimate. Some call it the inner pig, others the elephant – meaning our subconscious.

Let’s stay with the picture of the elephant. Imagine that you are the rider of this elephant. You know the direction, where you want to go, maybe you have already planned out everything. But that is no guarantee that the elephant will start moving.
How do you get him to move?

In the end, it is about bringing the two systems in us – the conscious and the unconscious (recommendation for an interesting book on this at the end of this article) – into harmony. These two systems interact continuously and inseparably. Normally, we believe that our conscious mind has the upper hand. However, numerous studies (see link to Mark Solms) still come to the same conclusion: when our conscious mind makes a decision, our subconscious mind has long since contributed to it.
So what moves the elephant and what makes it “buck”?

Our elephant is very sensitive to two main aspects:

  1. Our attitude – What we think about what we are doing and about ourselves – including the elephant
  2. Our behaviour – What we actually do or don’t do. Our elephant measures whether we really mean what we say by our actions.

Let’s start with attitude.

Roadblock 1 – rigour – or: pressure creates counter-pressure

What is your reason for wanting to change something about yourself?
Something like “I’m too fat, too emotional, unreliable, messy, …?”

How exactly do you convince yourself that you really want it?
With sentences that start with “I must / have to …”?

And how do you talk to yourself when things aren’t going the way you want them to?
“Why is this still not working?” // “I can’t get anything done.” // “I’m just too stupid, too weak, too dumb …”

Do you know such or similar sentences?
Imagine you would try to convince a good friend to change something with these sentences – or comment on his/her lack of progress.
How likely is it that the friend will open up to what you have to say?

If the desire for change is initiated by an accusation, how likely is it,
that the desire will be considered?

Why should your elephant start moving for you, why should your body and mind joyfully follow your desires when you see them as your enemies?
How friendly are you to yourself?

How could you convey your intentions to yourself – and to your elephant – with more loving kindness?

  1. Everything had its reasons – and its time
    How about starting with the perspective that the inner “programs” you want to change had evolved for a reason. They are a part of you, an experience, something that served you well those days. But now the reasons have changed or are no longer there and therefore it is simply time for an “update”.
  2. Joyful expectation
    What is the good thing about it, if your inner change works out? Why is it worthwhile, why attractive? And isn’t it then rather an “I can and I will” instead of an “I must/I have to”?
  3. Sustainable assurance instead of bad conscience
    And if it doesn’t work yet – don’t look away, don’t dramatize, don’t self-accuse. Look with curiousity at the intermediate state of your project, learn from it, draw your conclusions and plan again. Keep going, without accusations and bad conscience but with sustainable certainty that you can do it.

Harnessing our elephant is an art. But especially when outside conditions are stressful or less benevolent (whether people or circumstances), it is important that we are at peace with ourselves. We rarely have any influence on external circumstances, but we do on our elephant.

Peaceful change is joyful change.

Be good to yourself!

Birgit

Thinking, Fast and Slow (English Edition) eBook: Kahneman, Daniel: Amazon.de: Kindle-Shop

Mark Solms’ theory of consciousness – SelfAwarePatterns

Expectation kills Curiosity

Photo: Pixabay

Have you ever wished that people around you would change their behavior according to your expectations so that you would feel better?
Or did you enter new encounters with certain expectations?
So far so normal – but not really helpful – for us and for others.

Most of the time we want to influence situations and people in a way that helps us keeping a sense of security and control. After all, our mental and emotional system prefers to stick with old familiar patterns. No change please – because change means the unknown and the unknown means danger. So the best way to stay with the well known is to try to change our environment – including people – so that it matches what we know, our expectations.

Expectation is based on experience

Apart from the fact that it hardly brings anyone joy if we want them to change, expectations and demands are like a prison for us and others. Expectations are based on experience. I can only expect what I already know. But if I continuously move through the world and approach other people within the framework of my known expectations, I deprive myself from the chance to get new experiences – and I deprive people of the desire to really open up.

Expectation kills curiosity

In addition, I limit my openness to new things, my confidence that there are other ways to reach my goal, and my curiosity to explore those ways.

How can I free myself and others from this prison?
Dropping expectations is easier said than done. The following three tips can help you get closer to that goal:

  1. Humbleness: You may think what you expect from a situation or a person is reasonable. But how do you know if it really is? Your frame of reference is only ONE frame of reference. There may be many other possibilities that you can’t even consider due to lack of experience.
  2. Spirit of discovery: Keep the curious spirit of discovery of a child. What if you knew nothing, what if everything was new to you?
  3. Courage: Have the courage to leave the box of your expectations. Perceive them and then question them and step out of them consciously. Stay open for what happens – even if it does not develop according to your expectations. Marvel and learn – also about yourself.

The best things happen unexpectedly

Try it out for the next week. Catch yourself having expectations and try to let them go. It’s worth it!
When we succeed in freeing ourselves and others from the prison of our expectations and demands, we often get more than we could have ever imagined.

Stay curious!

Birgit

10 motorcycling tips for everyday life

Photo: Pixabay

After weeks of clouds, rain and wind, finally the weather for a ride again!
I couldn’t pass up the chance and went for a nice one. And while I was enjoying the weather and the landscape, it occurred to me how much motorcycling teaches for “real life”.
Many of the techniques and tips for riding can also be applied to everyday life.
Therefore today – also for all those who don’t ride a motorbike –

10 tips from the motorbike saddle for a smooth, safe and joyful ride – through your everyday life:

  1. Your bike follows your gaze.
    • look at where you want to be and keep your eyes and your focus on what you want to achieve
  2. Brake before turns, assess, release the brake, let it go.
    • Pause before “changing direction” = change; in order to approach change consciously and thoughtfully – don’t rush from one into the next straight away.
    • But also release the brake = let go; curves = changes and new things can also be “braked to pieces” because of the need for safety.
  3. Overcome the fear of leaning in.
    • In addition to point 2: letting go if followed by leaning in. Trust – this is the only way to get into the “flow”. As long as fears are still hold you back, you lose the chance of a nice experience. Especially with new experiences, it takes some effort – but it’s worth it.
  4. Keep physically fit with sports that train stamina and performance. Then even long rides are no problem.
    • Our everyday life is often like a demanding route – or a long tour! Take care of yourself as like you do take care of your bike! 😉
  5. Every ride is the perfect training for the next ride!
    • See mistakes as learning opportunities – if you get angry about them, your focus will be lost and you will head in the wrong direction (see point 1).
  6. When you ride a motorbike, only ride – and nothing else.
    • No distractions. Keep all your attention on one thing you are doing and only on the one thing you are doing NOW.
  7. Pay attention to the signals of your body – pause in time!
    • There is nothing more to say 😉 Tiredness on the bike can cost you your life – exhaustion in everyday life leads to mistakes – which in turn lead to more work. So – rest and refuel in time!
  8. Stick to your riding style – don’t let yourself be provoked into risky riding manoeuvres.
    • Pursue Flow = know your own limits and expand them bit by bit = beat yourself – instead of pursuing superiority.
    • Let YOUR abilities and YOUR values lead the way
  9. Always expect the unexpected – use your imagination in unpredictable situations and curves to adjust to different possibilities.
    • Also in everyday life it helps to play through different situations mentally to prepare yourself.
    • Likewise important: always ride at a speed that leaves you with some resources for manoeuvres = never ride contiuously at your limit – to make sure you can face the madness in a relaxed way 😉
  10. Don’t get angry with others.
    • 1:1 transferable. Anger at others causes the same as anger at oneself – an unfavourable shift of your focus and your energies. Better: Accept what is and think about how you want to deal with it the next time in order to stay in a healty state of mind.

Have a safe journey – whether in everyday life or on the bike!
Take care,

Birgit

Motorcycling tips inspired by ADAC

Morning Moments

Photo: Pixabay

How do you start the day? Reading this article? 😉
Do external influences get you started or do you take your time to set the course?

Depending on what’s on my mind, I sometimes have days when it feels like my head is awake before my body is… And before realising it, I’ve answered the first message before I’ve even had breakfast. Ouch.
Days like that usually continue the way they started. I feel “pushed through them”, somehow constantly behind, only reacting to requests for lack of a plan of my own. And with the recurring thought “you wanted to do that too” in my head, I sometimes start three things at once without finishing a single one of them. Like someone who has been beamed into the car and onto the acceleration lane of the motorway in his pyjamas.
Zack, you’re in the left lane and the car behind you pushes and urges you to go faster! And because of all the “getting carried away” you even miss the exit at the end ….

If you are in a hurry, take your time.

If I don’t succeed in mentally slowing down these days and stopping this actionism, I often feel in the evening as if I’ve been going at it all day – but achieved nothing.

What has worked for me is a morning routine. That is, I consciously take time in the morning to prepare myself for “the race” and to set my course for the day. This includes certain rules, such as not looking at my mobile phone for the first time until after breakfast.

My morning routine consists of the following elements:

Move – activating the body.

  • If I have a lot of time, I do a sports session, if I have less time, I do at least some yoga (sun salutation) or stretching exercises.

Mind – aligning my thoughts

  • Motto of the day: I take a moment of silence, sometimes when still in bed, sometimes on my Yoga mat, the other days with my tea in my hand in front of my kitchen window. I listen in – how do I feel today? What credo could help me during the day? (e.g. “I focus on what I am doing.” or “One thing at a time.” or “I take my time.”)
  • Milestones: Reviewing my appointments.
  • 3 Wins: what tasks and activities are the most important ones today? What do I definitely want to get done today?

Mastery – inspiration and development

  • Depending on what currently helps me most, I listen to a podcast, audio book, or do some online learning.

How much time you want to and can take for this certainly depends on whether you are a slow or fast “starter” (I belong to the slow starters) and what obligations (dog, child etc.) are waiting for you. Plan your time for this. The more demands on you, the more important it is that you are already emotionally and mentally in the saddle and holding the reins before the rodeo starts.

There are many books and articles on the subject of morning routines and rituals. Some people get up at 5 o’clock to fit everything in. For me, as an owl, that would be nothing – and would mean stress. For someone else, this is the least stressful way. You can recognise a good morning routine by the fact that you feel

  • more motivated, clear and sorted in the morning,
  • more self-determined during the day
  • and more successful in the evening.

Below this article you will find a few links and suggestions. Have fun trying out your morning moments!

Birgit

Good Morning, Good Life: 5 Simple Habits to Master Your Mornings and – Schmittauer Landino, Amy – Amazon.de: Bücher

The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM: Amazon.de: Elrod, Hal: Fremdsprachige Bücher

My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired (Hörbuch-Download): Amazon.de: Benjamin Spall, Michael Xander, Arthur Morey, Dominic Hoffman, Will Damron, Kaleo Griffith, Ms Hillary Huber, Fred Sanders, Karissa Vacker, Sumalee Montano, Penguin Audio: Audible Audiobooks