As human beings, we are naturally inclined to constantly improve the situation we are in. However, life is not always sunshine and rainbows, sometimes it becomes treacherous and most of us struggle. Our problems tend to grow to a point where they begin to weigh on our mental health. As our mental health begins to take a toll, the impact is felt in all areas of life. Our physical health suffers, we find it hard to focus, and the overall quality of our lives diminishes. This is a common occurrence and if you don’t face it, there is a strong chance that you know someone who does. However, human beings are not designed to simply accept the situation they are in as their reality.
One of the main reasons why we have managed to get so much done is that we are wired to do better for ourselves. We went from being cavemen to space explorers. There is so much that we are capable of and it is said that we don’t even use our entire brain to do so – imagine if we did. The internet has played a major part in our evolution as species while constantly evolving itself in the process. Nowadays, having good internet is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. With their reliable service, diverse options, and exceptional customer service, you will always be in good hands.
However, it comes as no surprise that it isn’t always easy to come out of a situation you are stuck in. We can sometimes find ourselves in situations that might overwhelm us to the point where we see no way out. In such circumstances, we can do one of two things. We can leave things as they are and accept our reality for what it is. Or we could do something about it. Before we get into it, you should understand that improvement is a marathon, not a sprint. Do not go out expecting immediate results because good things come to those who wait. While there are many claimed methods to fix the way things are, one of the most reliable is called Monk mode. Some might know about it but many do not. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the concept of monk mode, highlight its benefits, and teach you how you can incorporate it into your life.
Monk Mode – All You Need To Know
The term monk mode is used to describe a series or set of actions and practices that a person includes in their life, which enhances their ability to remain disciplined, focused, and productive. This is derived from the ways of monks who have mastered the ability of self-discipline and isolation. While their ways have been followed for centuries, the world is only just learning how they can be used to improve the quality of the lives we live.
Monk mode will have you improving yourself mentally, physically, financially, and spiritually. You must create a set of goals for yourself, formulate a system to achieve it, and actively work to make them happen. In monk mode, you are adopting a series of changes that compound to create a set of better habits, practices, morals, and values.
One of the toughest challenges when it comes to improvement is getting started. In order for us to change and improve, we need to abandon everything that has been holding us back. Getting into the gym isn’t the hard part, it is eating right and remaining consistent. Learning a new skill isn’t difficult, not giving it time and importance is what has prevented you.
To get started with monk mode, there are three basic steps that everyone must do. These are reflection, isolation, and improvement.
In order for you to improve, you need to start by identifying the need to do so. If becoming financially independent is your goal, you must identify a lack of proper financial education and poor financial planning. You must look into yourself and identify which of your habits and mannerisms are right or wrong. Compile your thoughts and analyze your emotions to see where you are doing well, where you need improvement, and what needs to go. Reflection allows you to highlight your weaknesses to yourself so you know what needs to be changed. An author struggling to finish their novel needs to identify why they are low on creativity. Is it because they aren’t in a conducive environment or because they aren’t trying hard enough? Reflection will give you the answer.
Anything you find during this phase doesn’t need to be shared with anyone. This is solely for you to find out where you are going wrong and how you need to improve. Understandably, if you struggle to do so there is no harm in asking for help. In fact, it is often recommended to reach out for help because no one should struggle on their own. This could be anyone—your family, friends, peers, or trained professional—who can help people overcome the problem you are facing. Don’t know how to work out properly? Get a gym trainer. Suffering from a mental ailment? Talk to a trained therapist so you can find a way out of this.
Having weaknesses doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human. However, dwelling on your weaknesses and using them as a reason to not improve is on you entirely. Identify your weakness, accept them and make an effort to fix them.
This is the most important step in the process. In order for monk mode to work, you must do as monks do. After reflecting on yourself, it is important to give yourself time to acknowledge what you have learned. Accepting that you were the reason for your problems is a bitter pill that many of us refuse to believe. It takes time and an open mind to come to terms with the fact that you play a part in the problems you face. Are you gaining too much weight? Maybe you’ve been binging on too much fast food and soda. Not doing too well in class? Maybe you prioritize socializing over studying. This isn’t an attempt to belittle you, it is only to show you that sometimes the problem lies within ourselves. Once the problem has been identified, you must now work to change things.
Start off by disassociating from anything that is holding you back. Before you can get better, you must let go of what made things worse. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, do an audit on your finances and see where you can cut back. At times, we find ourselves spending too much money on things we do not need. When it comes to buying things, always remember how much value you can extract from them as opposed to how well they will be received. One of the biggest reasons people struggle financially is because they buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t know. You don’t need those designer sneakers, cheaper versions will do just as good of a job. Now, this doesn’t mean you drop everything and move to the jungle to save on rent and food but you need to cut out unnecessary spending wherever you can.
After steps one and two, you are now aware of what is going wrong, the reasons, and the need for a change. Step three is the business end of things. Here, you will now devise a plan to do better, the monk way. Remember this, the quest for improvement requires consistency, time, and patience. You didn’t descend into the abyss in a day, it was a long time of negligence and bad habits that got you there. Now that you are making an effort to change, know that it too will take time. In the fitness world, it is common to consider patience and consistency as the two most important factors. Don’t beat yourself up because you do not immediately see results. Remember, Rome wasn’t built overnight.
In monk mode, you must remember that there are a few rules that must be followed in order for you to make the most of it. These rules are a basic structure that can be modified based on what your goals are and how long you want to spend on them. Furthermore, instead of solely focusing on goals, try to create systems that make you better. Instead of setting a rigid goal, work to create a system that improves you overall. When you want to learn a new skill, try to become a better learner instead of fixating on mastering that specific skill. This will not only get you to where you need to be, but it also create a set of habits that can be used in other areas of life.
The rules of monk mode include committing to doing a definitive amount of certain types of work, removing any distractions or unnecessary intrusions, having a clear set of rules, and a time frame to work with. As you can see, this is simply a template that can be modified based on what you want to achieve.
Getting Things Done
Take as much time as is needed to reach this stage. Your self-improvement journey needs to be right for you which means it needs to be done just right. Finding that out takes time and does not need to be rushed. It is worth noting that these plans are not rigid and can be modified or amended if the need arises.
Three Goals Per Month
When going through monk mode, it is important to ensure you are focused. The best way to focus is by keeping things simple. The best way to do this is by picking three goals each month to prioritize and complete. An example would be to lose 10 pounds, wake up earlier, and create new business relationships.
Now, you must create a system or set of systems that allow you to achieve these goals. To lose weight: you need to cut fast food, soda, and unnecessary snacking along with eating a high-protein diet. To wake up earlier, plan your day ahead to ensure you get at least 7 hours of sleep, ensure no screens at least an hour before sleeping, and put your phone on charge at a distance from your bed preferably in another room. To create new business leads, you can reach out to friends, family, or peers, take different steps to improve business competition and study what is driving the market nowadays.
These three goals could be any three areas of your life that you want to improve. Someone wanting to fix their mental health will have different goals compared to someone wanting to grow their business. Make it a point to only pick three goals that you can zone in on and devote your energy towards them. However, remember that they must contribute towards improving your life, not making it worse.
Measure & Track
One of the greatest ways to stay committed to your improvement journey is by recording your progress. When you track your progress, you can paint a vivid picture of where you started, how far you’ve come, and how much more you need to do. Tracking your progress in the gym will give you an idea of how far you’ve come from the day you nervously entered the front door. You will see a rise in the weight you lift, the distance you run, and the activities you do. Not only does this serve as motivation to keep going, but it also allows you to maintain a record of things that can be used to help someone else in the future. The best way to ensure this happens is by following the SMART framework for your goals.
Your goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Having specific goals allows you to have a direction that offers a sense of structure e.g. Finish your book by the end of the year. Measurable goals make it easier for you to track their progress over time e.g. write one chapter a month. Achievable goals are important because having unrealistic goals leads to unrealistic expectations which can lead to disappointment and demotivation e.g. devoting an hour each day to writing your novel. Relevant goals allow you to stay on track which is imperative because if you aren’t committed to your purpose, you won’t see the results you desire.
Progress tracking can be done so using something as simple as the notes app on your phone, in a journal, or using a spreadsheet. Moreover, you can use a tool such as Notion that allows you to set up a workflow to track your progress. Regardless of which method you use, ensure that you record your progress every single time. Consider the act of not doing so as illegal or a hurdle in your progress. Prioritize it as much as the actual act itself. It would help you to use a digital tool such as google sheets because not only does it have different functionality, it can be synced and viewed across different devices.
All you need is a phone and an internet connection to get things going. Their reliable, stable, and smooth internet services have ensured that they are a favorite across the country.
Everything up until this point is only going to work for you if you remain disciplined. Without discipline, you will hardly see any results if any to begin with. Understand that it is important for you to give 100% of your effort every day, but that isn’t possible. However, you need to show up each and every day in order to really see the results you like. Some days it will be 95%, other days it might fall to 15%, and then come back up to 60%. We must not underestimate the power of showing up every day. Realistically, if you do, don’t think everything is ruined. Sometimes we get sick, and other times certain things are simply beyond our control – it’s life, and things happen.
However, on days when you didn’t do as much as you’d like, make sure you make a conscious effort to double down the next time. This will allow you to make up for lost time and also ensure that your progress remains. Do not rely on motivation to keep you going because motivation is unreliable. Some days you will feel a surge of it but on other days you might not have any at all. Instead, simply show up and put in as much effort as you can.
Lastly, remember that good things take time. Do not stop if you feel like things aren’t working out. If you don’t see something tangible happening, you are learning how not to approach a situation. Consistently trying to improve will compound over time and produce profound results that will make all the patience and hard work worth your while.
Monk mode has been modeled after the lives of monks who are known to have immense self-control and discipline. These two are among the most important tools for change in any aspect of one’s life and incorporating them into your life will do great wonders for you. At the end of the day, you need to take the first step and continue stepping in the right direction.