I don’t know about you, but I have enjoyed the hell out of the lazy days of Summer. My wife and I are both teachers, so not having work responsibilities is pure bliss. You would think that this might energize me and push me into a higher realm of productivity. Well, if lazing by the pool, hanging out with friends and family, consuming great food and delicious beverages constitutes being productive, then I have been a productivity-machine these last six weeks!
In order to fit in all of these productive activities, I’ve temporarily shortened my morning routine. Specifically, I’ve shortened my affirmations. And when I say shortened, I mean really shortened, like George Costanza after being in the pool. My affirmations went from paragraphs to one or two words.
Typically, every morning I read through my affirmations that I’ve created and tweaked over the last year and a half. I have affirmations for each of my eight life “accounts”. For example, these are my affirmations for my wife:
I will love her unconditionally, without judgement, and without expectations of anything in return. Love is a verb, and I will love her as much as I possibly can, and then some more! She gave me the two greatest gifts I have ever received, and I am forever grateful. I will be welcoming, empathetic, and understanding when she gets home from work every day. I will listen and be present during our conversations. I will be supportive and helpful when she is planning, and I will allow her to process by being present, giving my full attention, and withholding judgement. Melissa will feel loved, respected, and cherished every day. We will grow individually and we will grow together. We will take at least one step forward every day as a couple and as individuals.
For the purpose of fitting in as much Summertime fun as possible, I have condensed those heartfelt thoughts to one simple word: Play. I chose play because it’s a reminder to me that my wife and I are on the same team. Our family and our relationship with each other is successful when we work together as though we are teammates. Additionally, I chose play because play is fun! It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities and forget to have fun and be playful with my wife. Associating the word play with my wife every morning sets my intentions for the day to work together and be silly with each other.
I came up with one or two words to set my intentions for all of my other accounts as well, calling them my “lazy affirmations.” What I’ve found is that one word is enough some times. One word can be a powerful reminder of how to react in situations throughout the day. I won’t stick with my lazy affirmations every day, but they’ll be great to have when I’m crunched for time, or when I need a change of pace.
Universe = Give
Over the last year or so, I’ve become a big believer in all of us being connected. If I do something good, everyone benefits. If I do something bad, everyone suffers consequences. Because I believe this, I try to remember to give or deposit as much good/positive as possible into The Universe.
Kids = Be/Teach
When thinking about my kids, I started with just the word “be”. This is a reminder for me to be present and engaged when I am with them. There are many times where I catch myself thinking about 25 other things instead of simply throwing the ball to my son or finding the picture matches with my daughter. The word “be” is all about presence.
I then decided to add the word “teach” because I’ve been feeling lately like, as my kids get older and more independent (granted, they’re only 6 and 3), I’ve started to get away from explaining things as much as I used to. Maybe it’s just my perception, or maybe I’m truly getting a bit lazy and/or impatient, but I would like to create more teachable moments. The kids always want to help with things, but it’s often 100-times more efficient to do it myself. By associating the word “teach” with my kids, I’m trying to remind myself of maybe my most important responsibility as a parent.
Health = Do
When it comes to my health, I think first and foremost about physical activity. The word “do” is just a reminder for me to try to do something physical as often as possible throughout the day. I work in front of a computer, like most people, so the word “do” reminds me to crank out 10 push-ups or 25 jumping jacks every once-in-a-while. It also reminds me to keep moving and do things outside with the family when we’re all together.
Finances = Don’t
When it comes to spending money, 99% of the time I don’t need to do it. The word “don’t” is a constant reminder to put the credit card down. My life does not suck without the thing I’m suddenly interested in buying, so don’t buy it.
Work = Help/Save
As a teacher, it’s easy to lose sight of my primary role, which is to help my students. In many cases, I’m trying to save my students from making very bad choices. The words “help” and “save” remind me to try not to get dragged down by the bullshit outside of the classroom, and stay focused on being there for my students.
Friends/Family = Connect
The easiest way to connect with friends these days is through text. The word “connect” is a reminder to me about the importance of simply saying hello to my friends and family to let them know I’m thinking of them. While it can be challenging to carve out an evening or a chunk of time to get together with friends or family, it’s not hard to send a quick text to one of my best friends that says, “You stink. I hope you have a shitty day! xoxo” I usually get a funny reply and we’re both better off because of the quick injection of laughter.
Dadding Value = Create
My goal is to create something or work on something creative every day. Whether it be a blog post like this one, a podcast, a video, or a book, consistent creation leads to thinking creatively more consistently.
So there you have it. One man’s lazy affirmations. I hope that their brevity might inspire you to create something similar, and I hope it adds value to your life like it has to mine.
You stink. I hope you have a shitty day! xoxo