A wise man once said, “That which you give attention, improves.” Simple, accurate, and without a doubt thought-provoking. These words from Mark Paulsen, founder of Wilderness Athlete, can undoubtedly be applied in many areas of our lives, and give us a swift kick in the “pay attention to where your focus is” department.
After a few long days in a row, I was just about ready to wind down when I felt this deep dissatisfaction with what I accomplished. Have you been there? Like, the day wasn't bad, but there was opportunity left on the table?
Sure, my list was mostly finished, the kids were happy, and the yard work was done - still, the day didn’t feel like a win. So, I sat down to do a little reflection as to why.
It didn’t take me long to realize the one area I’ve committed myself to give daily attention to had shifted to the back burner. I was crossing everything off my to-do list except for one thing: SELF GROWTH.
It may sound like a daunting task to work on daily personal growth, but I will say this: on the days that I don’t focus on improving, growing, or learning in some way, I always feel a little “unfinished.”
Now, I want to be crystal clear. I’m not talking about transforming yourself in earth-shaking ways every day. I’m not talking about spending blocks of time enthralled in self-help or therapy (although it can be great). I’m referring to the small daily habits, books, podcasts, mantras, routines, or areas of improvement that can be front and center. The little things that over time become significant shifts in your mindset, focus, motivation, and life.
Let me be a bit more candid and say that I recently fell out of my groove. No, I feel like I was body-slammed out of my groove -- thanks, COVID-19. I lost my usual upbeat attitude for my family, clients, self, and even the things I usually enjoy doing. I was in an honest “stay away from me ” funk. Been there? It doesn't feel good, and those around us can be affected by our off-putting mood also.
Having the unavoidable realization that I needed to evaluate and make a change, I carved out some time to look in the mirror and do a self-check. What was different (outside of everything these days), what was I neglecting, and where was my mind? It hit me like a ton of bricks. I let go of almost all of my time and focus on self-growth.
Stay with me here, this is not just hippie talk for meditation or "self-help" sessions.
I'd been hitting my workouts, logging runs, and keeping that routine afloat, but I stopped reading, stopped falling asleep to my favorite uplifting podcasts, stopped meditating, skipped church sermons, and pulled away from my friends.
Many of us have recently realized how much we need the energy of others, and maybe, even more, the need to CREATE a (new) groove and routine.
I can’t convey this enough, as Coach P said, “That which you give attention, improves.”
If you’re feeling a little (or a lot) off-balance, take a minute and see what's stealing your attention these days. Give way and lean into self-growth, listen in to podcasts that uplift and empower, or get lost in that book all about encouraging you to be a better version of yourself.
Here is a list of my favorite books and podcast that can help you shift your focus to the GOOD in life and help you grow through trials, no matter what they are!
This New York Times Best Seller is a fun and captivating book that can help you shift from defeat to a CAN DO attitude.
Marie also hosts the award-winning show, Marie TV.
Brené Brown is a MASTER at motivating me, usually in the form of a swift kick in the ass. This audiobook was a hard and much-needed realization of foundations I needed to reform and acknowledge.
Grab the audio for The Power of Vulnerability now.
Let's face it, the world is FULL of distractions! Beeps, dings, tech, you name it. One minute you grab your phone to make a call the next you're trying to remember why your holding your phone. This book by National Bestseller, Nir Eyal, is packed full of actionable ways of staying on target, being more present, productive, and Indistractable.
Now, when it comes to quick, daily doses of inspo I have to say, IG or Facebook is not the place to show up and be inspired. Chances are that if you jump on the Gram for a little "motivation" you'll find yourself in a downward spiral to comparison and dissatisfaction.
Join me with this one daily hack and propel yourself toward growth and a positive mindset: listen to one (uplifting or educational) Podcast a day!
Here are a few of my favorite podcasts:
"The Model Health Show is a fun, entertaining, and enlightening look at health and fitness. No subject is off limits here! World-renown author and nutritionist Shawn Stevenson breaks down complex health issues and makes them easy to understand and overcome. Whether it's weight loss, chronic fatigue, heart disease, diet, exercise, sex, hormones, sleep problems, or countless other health topics, the insights you get here will help you transform your health and live your best life ever."
"Tangible and tactical tools for your life and business. Hosted by New York Times Best-Selling Author Rachel Hollis, RISE is a series of bold conversations with fellow business powerhouses and personal development leaders that provides the listener with real-life valuable takeaways."
"Find out how some of the world's most successful people were able to level up and create everything from nothing. Join Natalie Jill, Fat Loss Expert turned High-Performance Coach. On this podcast, she'll be talking to some of the most inspiring and courageous men and women on the planet, who at their worst, learned how to achieve success greater than they ever dreamed possible LEVELING UP - creating EVERYTHING from nothing."
"Get ready for a dose of raw and authentic inspiration to women (and men) pursuing their dreams, enjoying the outdoors, and balancing life. Her Inspired Journey is a combination of solo and featured guests, you can find topics on motivation, mindest, health and fitness, hunting, preparing for backcountry hunts, gear, and more!"
No matter what area of life it is, if you want something different or better, give it your attention -- you can and will succeed, my friend.