The internet is filled with articles (including this website) with “tips.” “8 tips on…” “10 tips on…” It can be so easy to read through them in their entirety and either get overwhelmed or distracted because one tip leads to the next, then on to the next. Without integration in life there can be no true growth. The tragedy with all the information overload that is available nowadays is that we tend to miss the important stuff. We can buy self-help book after self-help book, but unless there is a genuine application of the material on a daily or weekly basis we are wasting our time, money and worse-our energy. The key with a tip is to make a commitment to do it no matter how you feel until it becomes a habit. After all you are adopting this tip to feel better or to get out of a rut so chances are you are not feeling so great when you begin. For example, cardiovascular exercise, we all know the many benefits of it, yet how many of us have bought cardio equipment for home use then let it become a coat rack over time? Gyms count on people buying memberships and not using them for this reason.
Here is a great mantra to try when feeling overwhelmed, “make it smaller.” With so many tips on a list, pick one! You clicked on the article for a reason right? Often by the time we get to the bottom of a wonderful list we are so over inundated with great ideas that they tend to cancel each other out. They can seem like tasks instead of tips, so just pick one or two that really ring true for you and your current lifestyle. Something you feel is do-able, even if it seems too easy or obvious. For example, with my article “ten stretches to do while at the office” Choose an area on your body that feels tense and focus on that stretch for a while until it becomes a habit. If you really need to you can always go back and try some of the others later.
If you saturate your brain by the end of reading a list of tips so that you feel uninspired, you have simply wasted your time. Try scanning the list and simplify. See if the author’s advice really works over the long haul or if it is simply more information and not practical wisdom.
Try them all if you have time at some point then choose a few that really resonate for you and make them part of a daily/weekly practice, that way they will integrate into your life and you won’t even have to think about it. Making something a routine can be like having a touchstone that brings you back to your center. This way a “tip” can be something you “own”‘ inside yourself that you can build upon and find strength in rather than jumping from epiphany to epiphany with no deep learning and understanding.
Remember small increments over time tend to yield the best results and simplifying is not as simple as it seems.