Four weeks in and how is it going?

We’ve had four very different exercises to start us into the New Year and each one of them has taught me something new.

Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
Jan 21, 2016
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So here we are, four weeks in to The Great Wake-Up! And I am delighted by how it’s begun! Seeing the project come to life has given me a huge boost and all the posts, feedback and interaction has been fascinating. So thank you.

We’ve had four very different exercises to start us into the New Year and each one of them has taught me something new.

The first one out of the gate was to ‘Tell one person per day what we love about them’. I am a huge fan of appreciation because quite frankly we just don’t do it enough. When I appreciate people I get an instant payback but more importantly the connectivity between us becomes deeper.

I was struck by how challenging some people found this exercise. What goes on when we appreciate people is complex. Many fears can enter a mind about how we are perceived and that maybe we will get things wrong.

From the experience of the bloggers, myself and a whole bunch of other Wake Up! crusaders what we learnt from this was that mostly people are extremely grateful that we took the time to notice them and recognise what makes them special. I personally got a lot from this and although I do it a fair bit, I certainly don’t do it enough.

Spending 10 minutes outside first thing in the morning is one of my favourite things to do. I first started to do it after reading how it positively impacts our overall happiness and has become a regular activity of mine ever since. At this time of year when it’s dark, cold and moody, I find it’s even more grounding than Midsummer. Some days I find it difficult to get out in the first 10 minutes with getting the kids up and off, but I’ve noticed as long as I do it within the first hour of the day and before I turn on any technology I still get a great benefit.

This activity seemed to strike a chord with many of those who are playing with us and many have said they will keep it going into the future. Superb!

Cooking from scratch has proved to be a headache for some and perfectly normal for others. Many of us cook from scratch all the time and therefore it’s not particularly new, however the challenge seems to come when we are out and about. Many people found that they had to plan ahead as meals on the run are difficult to get in a wholesome, raw and natural way.

From the feedback that we’ve got, Tupperware must have had a boost in profits! As to make this challenge work you need to carry your food with you when away from the home. It would appear that the exercise has been successful, however, in that people are reporting that they are more conscious of what they eat and and how it makes them feel.

I especially enjoyed Vanessa’s creativity. She usually cooks from scratch so decided to flip this challenge and eat some crap and found that she had some pretty irritating physical reactions. Good to remember what happens when we don’t give ourselves the nutrition we need! Nice one Vanessa!

Lastly we come to the bane of many of our lives; mobile phones. I must confess that it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realised that I could turn off my notifications. Until that point my phone was constantly buzzing, beeping and vibrating in my pocket and therefore distracting me from what I was supposed to be doing now.

These devices are great for keeping us in touch and bring the world into our hands but they must do this on our terms. Deliberately inviting them into our lives, not the other way around, is important, otherwise they will be constantly distracting us from what is here and now.

Some people found this a revelation. Some were annoyed that they hadn’t received any emails and then realised that they had. After a few days of getting used to the new routine they found that the discipline of deliberately looking at emails for an hour a day rather than every time they arrived meant they were more productive.

I love the fact that Bob Geldof has banned emails from his business until the afternoon so that people can get on with work and use their creative genius to the max, when their minds are fresh and distraction free. Geldof has taken it a step further and has an antiquated phone whose ringer doesn’t even work. The latter pleases him even more!

Not sure downgrading my phone is for me at the moment, but certainly controlling my digital notifications helped me a great deal and it sounds like it’s helped a lot of the people taking part in The Great Wake-Up!

Final observation from this month is that the benefits from these experiments are often small and surprising. I’ve noticed that when people take part in them positively there is more of a chance that after a while they will spot the value. Often it is a value they weren’t expecting at all.

My encouragement would therefore be to still see this as a game, a bit of fun and nothing to take too seriously. Go in open minded to seek the benefit and I am sure you will get something back of use.

Before taking part in any activity take a deep breath in, sit or stand with a straight back and smile and you’ll find that the payback gets bigger.

Week 5 will be a week of reflection with no specific exercise. Our Week 6 experiment will be posted here next Thursday the 28th.

Keep waking up…

Can’t wait to hear more!

Huge love

Chris xx

Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown

Chris Baréz-Brown

Author, speaker and founder Upping Your Elvis, Upping Your Elvis

Best selling author, speaker and business beatnik Chris Baréz Brown has a rather unusual view of the world in that he knows that everybody is perfect. As we grow, develop and socialise we can lose touch with that brilliance and often become somebody we’re not. Chris founded his Dorset based company Upping Your Elvis in 2009 to help people reconnect with their inner genius and once again become confident in being who they truly are. The Guardian recently described Chris as a long haired, twinkly eyed cross between Richard Branson and a wizard.

4 Comments

Go to the profile of Dee Ruddock
Dee Ruddock over 2 years ago

I too am delighted by how this has begun! January can sometimes be that month that we try to race to the end of; cold weather, dark evenings & not much to look forward to. 2016 has started so differently for me. These small exercises have taken me out of my comfort zone (but in a really manageable way). They also give me a "focus" each week that can sometimes be missing when I'm simply ploughing forwards. I've been so pleased to find out that one of my friends has joined me in spending the first 10minutes of the day outside, after me raving about how good it made me feel & my biggest benefit was definitely felt in the "digital detox".

Fab start to 2016! Thank you

Go to the profile of Vanessa
Vanessa over 2 years ago

It has been a fantastic way to start the new year - something to look forward to each week. But what a tease to post today without posting the new challenges - I'm champing at the bit to see what's next :-)

Go to the profile of Jacqui
Jacqui over 2 years ago

Been really good fun. I've loved having something to focus on just for me! A little reminder of how I can tweak my life. Looking forward to next experiments!

Go to the profile of Sarah-Kate Goodwin
Sarah-Kate Goodwin over 2 years ago

I'm loving taking part in these experiments! They have reminded me that life should be played with and not to take myself so seriously! Also learning from everyone else's perspectives. Thank you!!!