I was amazed at how many people responded positively to an earlier Shallow Reflections blog post outlining 13 tips to keep your relationship shallow.
It made me think about those unfortunates who are not born shallow like Patrick and me so I felt compelled to develop a tool for those who hunger to shrink their gratifying and exhausting lives into something less fulfilling.
Research shows that it takes 21 days to establish a new habit. That’s why I came up with a 19-day plan to a shallower you. If you follow these suggestions for the next 19 days I can guarantee you will avoid permanent change, but it is long enough to get you wading around in the shallow end of the pool.
Day 1 – Review all the New Year’s Resolutions you did not complete or even start. There is nothing magical about January 1, and you can start over anytime. Change is an inside job, and I had no idea so much of our lack of motivation can be due to an imbalance of our microflora. So make this the year to add Activia to your grocery list, and restore the natural bacteria in your intestines.
Day 2 – Take time for you. Overcome guilt, over-responsibility, and a super-sized view of your importance. Call in sick, heave your alarm clock out the window, and expand the size of the drool spot on your pillow.
Day 3 – Live fully in the future. Take this entire day and no matter what crappy thing happens, think about how much better life will be in the future. Imagine yourself rich, thin, self-actualized, and ecstatic. This little exercise of ignoring the present moment will really lift your spirits.
Day 4 – Empower yourself with thoughts about how you have been victimized. Focus on the injustices you have endured and all the wrongs committed against you. This will remind you of your strength and resilience. And knowing you overcame these obstacles without serving jail time is a real confidence builder. If reading this from jail, please ignore the last sentence. Oops! Sorry about the reference to ‘sentence.’
Day 5 – Commit yourself to positive intentions. Here are some examples: I will refrain from cursing or rude gestures on my drive to work today when a pokey driver gets in front of me going 30 miles below speed limit. I will focus on the small things today so I can overlook the giant issues in my life.
Day 6 – Buy something you can’t afford. You deserve to indulge in something that gives you short-term happiness. That credit card bill is weeks away from jolting you into reality.
Day 7 – Commit to a ‘no exercise’ day/week/month/year. Think of all the guilt you won’t feel if you commit to a sedentary lifestyle. Meanwhile when your friends and relatives gloat about the goals they are reaching toward this year’s triathlon, you can feel awe-inspired about your success as a couch potato.
Day 8 – Slow down. Remember that hurrying can only bring on trouble and heartache.This will be especially sweet if you combine it with the suggestion from Day 2 to take time for you.
I’m sure you are going to be itching to read Part Two which will provide eleven more exciting strategies to help you achieve more diminishing returns.
I look forward to your comments, letting me know where this adventure takes you!