3 Ways to Build the Habit of Consciousness in 2022
In an ever-distracted world, most of us are terrible perfectionists. Sometimes, it manifests in nitpicking at finishing up a single task or endlessly planning for another. When we finish, we are exhausted, and the end result never feels enough. Other times, we can’t get out of the procrastination loop altogether – why bother at all?
Rather than perfection, progress is a better benchmark for a more fulfilled life. To make progress, it’s better to cultivate a habit of ruthless consistency. Science backs this up. When we’re consistent, eventually, to the outer world the end result looks nothing short of perfection.
It’s a matter of finding the right form of consistency.
Habits can be negative or positive. Negative habits include your hands reaching for your phone to refresh your inbox 10 times before 12pm. A more positive habit would be setting boundaries around screen time or sipping your cup of coffee in the morning without letting your phone distract you. Switching out one habit for another incrementally is how you can begin reprogramming your conscience. As you do, you will find the ultimate habit – the habit of consciousness.
Here are 3 ways to invite more consciousness into your day until it feels effortless
Form a Morning Ritual
You’d be surprised to know that most if not all people already have rituals in their mornings. We wake up, brush our teeth, shower, and have some type of morning drink – you probably do all this without actively thinking about it. Congrats, you’re already on your way!
But what if you took this 1 step further by adding in something else, like a goal you always keep pushing off. Maybe it’s waking up 1 hour earlier, fitting in stretches, going on a run, or simply enjoying your morning cup of Joe; whatever it is, pick one and start getting closer and closer to the goal. Once you’ve stretched this muscle, you’ll be doing it without much effort. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to start adding bigger changes to your routine.
Try not to use your phone too much until you’re ready to begin the day’s work. Even a brief glance at your screen is known to cause information overload. This hits significantly since your brain is just waking up causing your mind to be lethargic, begin sorting random information in your subconscious, and inhibiting you from prioritizing the most important things to you.
These changes to your routine won’t come naturally. Set alarms, stick some sticky notes on your fridge as reminders. Keep at it and soon you’ll be able to start your day right – in a way that empowers you.
Plan Your Distractions
It’s 2022, we can’t really abstain from using our phones. I’m sure you’ve tried. Realistically this isn’t a sound solution either given our lives are intertwined in the real and digital.
While we need our phones for work, communicating to friends and family, or pure entertainment, it’s when we’re bored that we’re drawn to our phones the most. Maybe it’s in the search for a quick distraction, or most likely it’s the need to keep up with what’s happening with everyone every minute of every day.
Your phone is going to distract you throughout the day unless you set some boundaries around when you really need to use it. Instead of picking it up every 5 minutes, have a few set times for checking your inbox, catching up on social media, or messaging your friends. A trick that’s worked well for me is setting my phone on airplane mode in the mornings, or do not disturb during the evenings so I can be present with my loved ones or task at hand. Another hack is turning off notifications from outdated apps or news sites that you don’t even follow up with anyways. Notifications give off the impression that we have more things to catch up on than we really do.
This way, you can work on actually following up on that email or text when you read it for the first time, rather than what most people do which is create double work – once when you see it and another when you respond.
The need to reach for your phone will eventually subside once you make the effort to not touch it beyond your allotted time slots throughout the day. Denying something completely never works but getting smarter by cutting out subconscious distractions will reduce the digital anxiety we all feel. Experimentation is key.
Shopping with a Conscience
Among all the activities in the list, this might be the most impactful on your wallet and life. Shopping isn’t typically associated with a healthy lifestyle. Yet, where you spend and how much has everything to do with simplifying your life.
The fact of the matter is, we all shop everyday. But, rewiring your brain to seek out specific kinds of products or brands is directly tied with co-existing more harmoniously with the people and environment around us. The opposite of consciousness is ignorance – when we buy without understanding the value chain we’re supporting with our dollar, we’re only perpetuating the problem. Of course this isn’t a zero sum game and change will have to be made at all levels of society.
As a person with spending power ($17.5 billion in 2020 to be exact), you can also contribute to the solution by shifting your shopping habits ever slightly. Maybe you start by adding 3-6 mins of research about a company’s values before buying. At Blooh we write about our values around fair trade and showcase our impact regularly. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself with the details to just begin. Maybe you can find out about a company’s plastic use, social programs, or commitments to value creation. Whatever cause you care about, there are plenty of brands out there working hard to create a better world. You also don’t need to recreate your entire home or closet, set aside a comfortable amount and spend that consciously every month. If you can or need to change the amount from month to month, that’s fine too.
The point is to break the quick Checkout urge – who knows, by pausing you might even surprise yourself by deciding against buying something in the first place. Similarly, you can choose to re-purpose or if you’re crafty, up-cycle things around your house to increase a product’s lifespan.
When you’ve done this type of work, shopping will feel more like a reward because you’ll feel good about your decisions while increasing your awareness. You would have made a conscious effort to do something with intention and purpose.
Involve your friends or community to make it a fun transition.
Stepping into a more conscious life has everything to do with how we spend our time – from our morning habits to choosing to double our impact through our micro spending decisions. The common thread across all this is to pause and be present. All these little steps will add up to create a noticeable difference in how you show up in the world. Choosing to be alert is the difference between letting life happen to you versus creating one to your liking.
To find out more about Blooh’s value and mission drop by at firstname.lastname@example.org