This morning I woke up with an “Oh Shoot” moment – except I didn’t say “Shoot.” Today was my turn to write a post for our optimism series and I was not feelin’ it. My first thought was: “I have nothing to write – how can I even think about optimism when I’m exhausted.” My second thought was: “I just want to get a good night’s sleep.” My third thought was how wonderful and warm it was under the duvet.
I had unintentionally discovered a great tip for optimism. Take care of yourself and create a virtuous cycle. For me, better sleep means waking up ready for the day. Waking up ready for the day helps me be more resilient and optimistic throughout the day. This means I tend to accomplish important things. Then I sleep better at night because I feel like I’ve been my best self throughout the day.
For me, the focus needs to be on getting to bed at a reasonable hour. For you, the focus may be on eating less sugar or getting your daily steps in. Or I have a friend who plays with her new Corgi puppy. There is nothing more fun than playing with a puppy that looks like a hamster! Let your inner advocate speak the loudest and tell you what ONE thing you can try this week to support an optimistic outlook. Pick a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based goal. For me, the focus is on being in bed by 10 pm every night. I may hit it, I may not. But because it is a SMART goal, I will be able to see progress or variance.
And all of this leads back to multiple Agile Best Self principles. I’m giving myself the support I need, focusing on self-care and inspecting and adapting. I’m also focusing on being more (which means sleeping more) instead of doing more.
Give it a try! Pick one thing that creates a virtuous cycle with optimism and try it for a week.
Copyright © 2021 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson