Have you ever had a goal to get in the best shape of your life, to get into that special dress for the weekend, a holiday even?

If the answer is Yes, then there is a good chance that you put a plan into place, a recipe for success even; food intake, calorie counting, meal and exercise plan, sleep, water intake, supplements, personal trainer perhaps?

In order to get into the desired shape, size, weight and physique you would have had to put all the different ingredients together effectively. Combined with commitment, perseverance, the ability to say NO, huge amounts of effort and overcoming temptations to create the idealistic Physical Recipe.

Ok, does that may make sense?

I’ve been thinking! Do we give that same amount of time, dedication, focus, care and attention when we need to develop the right mindset to tackle the challenges in everyday life?

I must be honest, the past couple of weeks has been emotionally overwhelming. Fear, anxiety, anger, lack of clarity, feeling unsafe, I could go on and on here! Juggling home-schooling with working from home, the need to help everyone else- to get out! The pressure to use my time better and why do I think about wine so much? I stare at my garden and wonder if I’ve always had those bags under my eyes?

Yesterday, we decided as a family to get in the car and drive somewhere where there was less chance of anyone being there. Parks seem to be quite busy with dog walkers, families and runners. This makes social distancing slightly more challenging.  So, we drove to one of my favourite places, the River Ericht in Blairgowrie, a good choice as there was not a soul in sight.

And then it struck me!

I had an overwhelming sense of emotion- then calm.  I recalled the times I came up here as a wee boy, playing in the water. It was and always has been so peaceful, (apart from today with a 6-year-old and a 14-year-old (sisters) in the background). And that’s when it happened, I had an enormous surge of gratitude to my memories of the past. One part of my brain was saying, “will we ever get the opportunity to create these memories again?”. Whilst the other was saying, “WHEN we do get the opportunity to do this again, WE WILL be grateful for the opportunity, the opportunity to create so many more memories”.

I’ve had writing this blog on my ‘to do list for days’, but I kept putting it off to do other (obviously more mundane) things. I went for a walk along the River Tay in Dundee today after doing my daily visualisation routine. I have to be honest, I have failed to do this for over a week now, mainly because I’ve been more focused on procrastination. But as I visualised this blog was the first thing that came onto the screen of my mind. Now I’d made that decision I was excited to set time to write it, today! I use the term time block, where I protect time and space, and in this case to write. During the visualisation process I saw myself walking and allowing my imagination to run wild and at that point I knew the content would flow to me and from me.  And it did!!

Why am I writing this?!

Because, there is no getting away from the situation we are in, it is what it is!

I have realised for a good part of this week I have allowed the situation to overwhelm me. I have focussed on things that dampened my vibration, sucked the positive energy out of me and stopped me doing all the things I take for granted. Strangely, little things have started to jump out at me, for instance, the Primark tag on my daughter’s T-shirt that left me pining for a walk-through Primark with may family, the NORMAL things in life!

Ok, lets think about these questions for a minute, sit with it with your eyes closed and start to consciously become aware of your breathing…

What can I take control of today?

How can I use my time better?

Change is inevitable now and developing your mindset is a choice! It’s that simple, IT’S A CHOICE!

My Mental Recipe is quite simple, here’s a glimpse into it…

‘I am now committed to not only working out physically, but also mentally, EVERY DAY! I am committed to developing my mental muscle – MY MINDSET! And this is my goal during isolation’.

A strong mindset is a grateful one and from today I have decided that I will be grateful for something in my life EVERY DAY!

As I walked a bit further the thoughts kept pouring in and left me questioning, this, ‘do I want to come out the other side the same? Or, do I want to be STRONGER, more GRATEFUL, HAPPIER?’

Think about this for a while, ‘what type of person do you want to be at the end of this?’ The same, or more resilient? How do you want your children to remember this time? How you dealt with it? The memories for instance, like the ones I have from the River Ericht, happiness mostly.

Taking control of each day is helping me in so many ways now.  I get up at 7 and practice gratitude, being grateful for things in my life. Everyday I visualise my future. I then start to time block my day, my exercise and food plan, work out my water intake for the day too. To keep me focused, I read and or listen to inspiring material to grow my mind.

What will the new normal be?  Who knows? One thing I do know is that if I create the perfect day for myself, with all the vital ingredients needed to support, nurture, grow and develop my mindset, it will go a long way to create the (not perfect) most effective Mental Recipe.

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