Life Upgrades: Turning Chores into Success Rituals
I've fallen in love with turning every day drags into opportunities to look, do, feel, and act better. One of my favorite ways to improve my everyday life — and to turn the things I don't particularly care for into something fun — is to name them.
I don't particularly care to drink apple cider vinegar in the morning, but it does wonders for my skin, body, and overall health. So I named it my "Glow Shot." Sounds way more exciting, right? Every morning I drink my glow shot (a cup of water with a tablespoon of Braggs apple cider vinegar) and while I'm drinking it I think about all the amazing things it's doing for my body. I take it with gratitude knowing I'm looking and feeling better everyday because of it. It's a glow shot because it makes me glow — inside and out. Get it?
Now not only does it have science-backed benefits, but it also serves as a bit of a placebo -- it tells my mind, "whenever she drinks this, she looks and feels better." And because your mind controls your whole body, your body has no choice but to align with that intention.
The human mind is powerful, and when you tell it what to think and how to act, you become powerful too.
So I do this for two reasons: 1) To make the things I'd rather not be doing a little more exciting, and 2) To affirm my mind that whatever I'm drinking (or doing) is indeed working. Sure, apple cider vinegar is proven to do x,y, and z, and you don't have to think anything for it to work. But I like to imagine that it's even more effective because I've convinced my mind of it.
You know those scientific studies where one group gets a real drug and the other group gets a fake, placebo pill? Both groups get results. The minds of the placebo recipients believed the fake pill they took was supposed to work, and so it did.
I try to do this with everything. I would prefer to start off my morning with cupcakes for breakfast (which I've done in the past — yikes). But my waistline doesn't agree, so I have to start off with a green fruit and veggie smoothie to infuse live foods and nutrients into my body before I eat anything else throughout the day. I call my smoothies my "bad b*tch juice," and every time I drink them I tell myself my waist is slimming, my skin is clearing, and my mind is expanding. And bam — it is.
I would prefer to be one of those naturally slim and trim women who've never stepped foot on a stair master. Unfortunately God didn't see fit to give me that blessing, so to the gym I must go. I now call my work out sessions, my "Beyonce training camps." I've convinced myself that every time I work out, I look more and more like Beyonce — or at least good enough to be one of her backup dancers. It sounds silly, but it helps. I get up, get to the gym, work out, and then every day I look in the mirror — I do look better. More importantly, I feel better. Working out alone achieves this of course, but the extra "placebo effect" makes me feel like I'm getting even better results, faster.
Just like many Christians call their Bibles their "swords" or "prayer manuals." It's just a physical book (or an iPhone app) and you could simply read it casually. It has no power in and of itself. But when you set your mind to believe it's something bigger and more powerful, you get more powerful results from it. The messages jump out boldly. You find the solutions to your problems. You can change your life simply by reading the word of God. But to someone who doesn't believe in God or any higher power, it's just a book. Your mind decides how powerful something is or isn't, and your mind decides if something works or doesn't.
Here's another example: I watched a documentary a while back about professional athletes and the power of the mind. The athletes were strapped up to a test machine and were instructed to mentally act out their respective sports routines. The test showed that even though they weren't physically moving, the simple act of thinking about their moves caused their muscles to react, as if they were actually performing.
Now you might be a super spiritual person who believes in mind power, laws of the universe, and all that jazz like I do, or you might be a no nonsense realist who thinks placebos are bullshit. No matter what category you fall into, I still encourage you to try it yourself. You have nothing to lose.
The next time you take that big horse pill vitamin you're using to improve your skin, call it your "glow medicine" and each time you take it, tell yourself how much clearer your skin is getting. Every time you drink a glass of lemon water, you could call it your "snatched lemonade" and tell yourself how much more beautiful you're looking because of it. You could even make something up, like calling a pen you write with your "magic wish pen," and tell yourself "every time I write down what I want with this pen, I always get it." Convince yourself it works, and it probably will.
Affirm yourself everyday, in everything you do.
So let me know how it works for you! What's something you can "upgrade" with a new name? How can you use the placebo effect in your own life to achieve some of your goals?