A total life disruption like a forced quarantine can do wonders for bearing out our true selves. It acts like a mirror that we can’t look away from. A mirror that sees right through the walls we put up to try and deceive ourselves. There is no hiding when all of our outside activities and hobbies are stripped away. You can easily see who you really are.
I don’t think many people like what they see. I think people are realizing that the image of who they thought they were was actually built on something else.
The basketball player is no longer on the court. Who are they with out a ball in their hand?
The dancer is no longer in the studio. Who are they if they are not at the barre?
The crossfitter no longer goes to the gym. Who are they now without the constant injuries and poor form?
No one wanted this. It was forced upon us very unceremoniously, and it has ripped away some of the aspects of us that we carried with us and proudly displayed to the outside world. But without that display, are some of us who we actually think we are?
It is a rhetorical question. It is a different thing being the person we think we are compared to the person we actually are, in real life, in reality. We need to develop our actions and habits to help us move towards becoming the people we want.
This quarantine is hard, but, it is also an opportunity to let who you really are bubble up to the surface, but how? How do you let yourself be who you are instead of the showing the mask you regularly show to the world.
The answer is doing less, and having a routine.
As the quarantine drags on we are realizing that we are just doing less stuff than we use to do. This is a good thing. We are all discovering how much nonsense we actually do. We were all doing things that didn’t really matter or move us towards our goals. Not any more. We aren’t going out to eat, or seeing movies, or spending time with our friends.
We now all have time we can re-devote to ourselves and work towards becoming who we want to be. It is a time to set a routine that helps us accomplish those things.
You could pick 2-3 areas that you want to improve in and work on them every day.
Write a paragraph a day now to develop the habit. Continue the practice for 5 years and you are now a writer.
Work out for 20 minutes a day now to develop the habit. Continue for 5 years and you are now an athlete.
Setting a routine is not only good for developing new habits and moving towards success. It also helps us move through our day and separate the different aspects of our lives. It is hard being home all day and trying to work on a career, or work on some other project, or managing the house and kids. Designating different times to get ready in the morning, to work, to take care of yourself are all critical to upholding your sanity.
Humans crave routine, and we easily fall into them with out even trying. We can take advantage of this natural tendency to intentionally create our routines that will help move us along the path to becoming the best version of ourselves.
If you did have a commute to work and now you just get out of bed and start working at your dining room table then you probably noticed that you no longer have time to prepare for the transition from home to work. That can be hard. So, create a routine for yourself, stick to it, and do not miss a day. For example. you could get up make your bed, put the tea kettle on the stove, and make a cup of tea. This is can be your new transition. Once it is complete you now start your work day.
This is one example. You can create routines to help you with many other tasks. Once they are ingrained into your brain they propel you along towards your desired outcomes with ease.
If you miss or disrupt your routine you will immediately know because it just won’t feel right. You will be signaled right away that something is off and can get back on track. But never get down on yourself for screwing it up. It will happen, and it does happen to everyone.
Be intentional, keep it simple, and make sure the routine moves you toward your desired goals.