I made a damn strategy for putting food inside my body and taking a shower the next day. That’s it.
I told myself I would eat enough food tomorrow to keep myself healthy and take a shower to get cleaned up, then I’d cross it off either mentally or physically in a notebook as something I got done. F*ck lavish wealth and a life-defining purpose. I just accomplished the biggest thing in my world and that is worth more than a million empty millionaire lives.
I would write next day’s date and “eat breakfast” as a bullet point on the first page of the notebook I had never written in then check it off after I ate breakfast.
I would do the same for lunch and dinner.
I would do that for a few days until I could add “smile at least twice” as the second bullet point. Then, “say hello to a stranger.” Then, “have a conversation with stranger.”
After a few days, I’d add “read two articles online to learn something.” I’d cross things off in that notebook. Anything I mean to put on that list, I can do.
I can build something. I can build momentum. I can build a life I don’t hate waking up to. I can do it one bullet point at a time.
This is not about self-help guru e-books and e-courses that will change my life for only $199.99.
This is about changing my life by making small agreements with myself. One article read on Thursday, one stranger greeted on Friday, a walk outside on Saturday and an early rise on Monday. This is where my life changed. Not on Medium, not on Instagram, or Twitter, or in inspiring YouTube videos.
My life changed with each small agreement I made with myself and carried out to completion. A little notebook is simply a place to capture and track those agreements.
The key was to just start making agreements with myself and crossing them off when I’d completed them. No item was too small or insignificant to place on the list.
When life seems empty and directionless and I find myself wondering what the point of yesterday was and supposing that today will drift away in a similarly meaningless manner, I start making agreements with myself in the pages of a little unimpressive notebook.
Get stuff done.
When I couldn’t decide what I wanted out of life, but I knew it was not what I currently had, I got stuff done. Do things!
I’d read articles even if they were on topics I don’t know anything about. I’d talk to strangers for no other purpose than to practice getting to know new people. I’d take a walk outside not because I wanted to see something in particular but because I knew it was healthy and good health will always be a part of being alive.
As the pages turned in the notebook and more and more pen ink was spread throughout, I started to learn things about myself that I did not know before. Like that I enjoy articles on space exploration more than on fashion and apparel; that I find walking to be too slow but I don’t hate running as much as I thought I would; that I suck at talking to strangers but I kinda like the way it feels to have pulled off a good interaction with one so I’ll keep trying to learn how to make it less awkward.
When you have no direction and all feels lost, make small agreements with yourself and get stuff done.