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Jump Off the Hamster Wheel

We go about our lives everyday not always paying attention the habits we've built overtime simply because we JUST DO! Do you have to really even think hard to remember to bath your body, brush your teeth or even eat for that matter? I THINK NOT! We also form what can be considered bad habits overtime and you define what that bad habit is, not necessarily me but if you know it's not serving you, let's just call it your bad habit. However, if you want to replace any bad habits, I've got some great nuggets and suggestions for you for a happier and healthier personal power life in forming new habits.

Busy vs. Productive

Alright now one great habit for a happier and healthier personal power life is how you spend your time. The definition of busy is having a great deal to do. The verb for busy is to keep occupied. While the definition of productivity is achieving or producing a significant amount or result such as "a long and productive career." After having read these two definitions, I want you to assess long and hard on which camp you fall into on AVERAGE, busy or productive. Not today, yesterday or last week but over a period of time that you can honestly average out how busy verses productive you have been with your life. We won't say that you ARE but that in the past, you HAVE BEEN because we're going to work on your future. Not where you currently are, but where you desire to get to.

Okay now, fast forward. You've done your long thought process to assessing where you have been, good. What can you improve upon from your past experience with busy versus productive? I'm not judging by assuming you are in one camp more or less compared to the other. I just want to ensure you understand your starting point to know what the endless possibilities are for your change. Your transformation to get to where you want to be which is nowhere near the hamster wheel in the future. The hamster wheel is no longer reachable. The truth is that happiness looks different on different people. We all know the saying, what works for one, doesn't necessarily work for everyone. For example, being happy for one may mean being free. And free may mean having time freedom which makes one happy. Time freedom doesn't necessarily mean doing nothing with time. It may simply mean using it in a different way, say in the short term, to only produce significant results leveraging the time one has. The rest of their time could be focused on the future/long term to produce more happiness in their lives. Whatever that means to them. For example-more time with family and/or friends or to travel.

If we focus our attention on being MORE productive, not to say that you aren't now, what might that look like? Consider these two ways to great productivity in your life that doesn't necessarily mean you have to be busy and constantly on the hamster wheel to make them happen; and can define a happier and healthier personal power lifestyle on your terms:

Value "just enough for today", not "all or nothing." Good is good enough when you are aiming to achieve results in a day, week, month or even a year. Let's just focus on one day at a time because tomorrow has its own challenges with trying to burn you out.

Take Action

Do a brain dump by dumping all the things you want to do today onto paper. Whatever comes to mind, write it down. Once down, think about what's most important to do that will get you closer to accomplishing your goal for your project, etc. If you went the whole day, what's that one thing that you must get done. Once you identify your top task, put it to the top of your list. With that one task prioritized, it more than likely has subtasks that are dependencies to accomplishing the main task. In a sub bullet, write those mini-tasks down that back into accomplishing the results for the main task. After doing this, if you have a second or third main task that you brain dumped, follow the same approach. Your main objective is to only focus on that top priority. If you have accomplished that one task that has gotten you closer to meeting your goal/completing your project, you have achieved your results for the day and you have been productive. Notice I said productive and not busy. When you are productive, yet get NOTHING else on your list done for the day, SO WHAT! Let it go Queen. Create a space of appreciation for rocking what you got done and it is that which was most important for the day. Yasss! Own that feeling because it feels good and feeling good is feeling happy. Feeling good is also feeling healthy. Being productive doesn’t mean breaking your neck to get everything done but rather just enough. Smile to yourself and then put your feet up and relax for the rest of day/night if you want and then do it all over again tomorrow. No stress, just stay blessed in everyone moment. Breathe in "good enough is enough" and breathe out that "all or nothing" mindset shenanigan.

Honor Your...

Honor your "Yeses" and your "Nos." If you live in this world of people pleasures and may happen to be one yourself, then this may be a little tough for you but I know you've got this. Still, I'm going to ease you into this and make it simple for now. Think about friends, family, and love relationships. How do you feel about them? How do you feel when it comes to making THEM happy? What does making them happy look like? They ask you to do something; anything. What is your typical response? Yes or No? When you say "no," how does it feel. Good or crappy? Now, let's take a step back. Are you saying "yes" or "no" out loud to them using these exact words or are you starting with saying them in your head to yourself for you, first?

To know when to honor your "Yeses" and your "Nos," first you must know how. The "how" is what makes the "what" effective or ineffective. To honor your "Yeses" and your "Nos," you must set personal boundaries. There are six types of boundaries: material boundaries, physical boundaries, mental boundaries, emotional boundaries, sexual boundaries, and spiritual boundaries

Why is it hard?

It's hard for codependents to set boundaries because:

a. They put others' needs and feelings first;

b. They don't know themselves;

c. They don't feel they have the right to;

d. They believe setting boundaries jeopardizes the relationship; and

e. They never learned to have healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are learned. If yours weren't learned as a child, you didn't learn you had them. News flash…YOU DO! You have rights. You may not believe you have rights if yours weren't respected growing up. For example, you have the right to privacy, to say "no," to be addressed with courtesy and respect, to change your mind or cancel commitments, to ask people for what you want and for help, to be left able, to conserve your energy, and not to explain yourself or answer a question, the phone, an email or a text. I like the "change your mind or cancel commitments" because it gets to the busy vs. productive part. You can say "yes" at this and then decide to change your mind because you've just got too much on your plate and need to reset your boundaries. THIS IS 100% ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY OKAY!

Now, I said I would ease you into this and I will, I promise but in the meantime, work with me here. Think about all these situations above and any others that come to mind where these rights and others apply. Write how you feel and how you currently handle them. What's good about how you handle them? What can be changed? How often do you say "yes" when you'd like to say "no?"

Take Action

Now, write what you want to happen. List your personal Bill of Rights. Yes, you can create your own bill just like you're elevating your personal power! In doing this, what gets in your way of asserting them? Write statements that get to your bottom line. Be mindful and kind. Think about how you'd like to be treated and how you would feel if it were said to you.


"Please don't criticize (or call) me (or borrow/take my…), or not be mindful of my time by consistently being late."

"Thank you for thinking of me, but I regret I won't be joining/be able to help you."

You may feel the urge to add more to your statements as a way to explain yourself but I caution you to reframe. This will feel very uncomfortable in your chest and stomach. If so, congratulations because that is a good thing. It means that you are growing. That feeling will eventually go away with practice! So the next time someone steps on your personal boundary line, you pull from your list of statements and use it unapologetically and let me know how it feels. Personal power mindset is your goal!

I hope you've found this helpful. Your future self will thank you when you start noticing the positive difference in your life when you start taking action for more habits that get you off the hamster wheel. As I always say, "change your habits, change your life!"

If anything I've shared resonated with you or you have blog topic recommendations, I welcome you to leave a comment below.

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