We are creatures of habit. I know as I am one of them ?
Brushing your teeth a certain way every morning, the way my husband loves me to make him coffee, the types of conversations we are having with certain people and other with others.
If you could just pick one or two (or nine) habits to create something special in the next few months – with the habits that will have the most impact on your life – what would they be?
I often get asked this question, because people are overwhelmed when it comes to starting positive life changes.
“We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
They ask me: what one or two habits should they start with?
It’s not an easy question. There are so many changes I’ve gone through, from quitting smoking to simplifying my life to increasing the level of my savings to many more. And they’ve all seemed life-changing, and they’ve all seemed important.
But if I were to start again, and had to pick one or two, it would be the one or two listed below. The list that follows is in order of what I think I’d do the first 6-7 months of changing my life, but I realize that every person is different. No one should follow my choices exactly – you’ve got to figure out what works for you.
With that being said, if you would follow the program below and put your mind into developing these habits, you would probably do pretty well.
“Men’s natures are alike;
it is their habits that separate them.”
How to Develop the Habits
Here are the basics:
Do a 30-day challenge, focusing on just ONE habit
Write it out on paper, along with your motivations, obstacles, and strategies for overcoming them
Commit fully, in a public way
Log/Track your progress
Remain publicly accountable – report on your progress each day
Have support for when you wobble – either in real life or online
Reward every little success
If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again
The Nine Little Habits That Can Change Your Life
OK, so now you know how to form a habit – and remember, only do them one at a time – but you want to know the nine little habits. Here they are, in my order of preference (but yours may be different):
1. Develop positive thinking
I put this first because I think it’s the keystone habit that will help you form the other important habits. Sure, positive thinking by itself won’t lead to success, but it certainly goes a long way to motivate you to do the other things required.
I learned this when I quit smoking – when I allowed myself to think negative thoughts, I would end up failing. But when I learned how to squash negative thoughts and think positive ones instead, I succeeded. This discovery lead to me practicing this over and over, until I was able to form just about any habit I needed. It’s been invaluable to me, and I think it could be to most people.
Focus on this habit first, and you’ll have a much easier time with any of the others. Start by becoming more aware of your negative self-talk – do a little tally sheet throughout the day, marking a tally each time you notice a negative thought. Soon you’ll recognize them, and you can squash them.
People who’ve been already reading a lot about exercise might roll their eyes. Sure, exercise is healthy and all that, but how exactly is it life changing? I’m glad you asked ?
It makes you feel better about yourself, and more confident. That leads to better success with other positive changes.
It reinforces the positive thinking habit – you need to think positive in order to sustain exercise
It relieves stress and gives you time to think – this leads to better mental well-being in your life overall
It helps with creativity. Don’t ask me to prove it, except to say that my best ideas and brainstorming sessions come from when I exercise.
The opposite of multi-tasking – you’ve heard me speaking about this one as well. Why is it life-changing? A couple powerful reasons:
You’ll be more effective with your tasks and get more done. It’s hard to achieve important things if you’re constantly switching tasks and distracted by other “urgent” things.
You’ll be less stressed overall and (in my experience) happier throughout your day.
4. Focus on one goal
Just as focusing on one task at a time is more effective, and focusing on one habit at a time is more effective, so is focusing on one goal at a time. While it might seem very difficult, focusing on one goal at a time is the most powerful way of achieving your goals. When you try to take on many goals at once, you’re spreading your focus and energy thin – the two critical components for achieving a goal.
What if you have 5 goals you want to achieve? Pick one to focus on first. Break it into a mini-goal you can accomplish this month, if it’s a longer-term goal. Pick an action you can do today. Keep doing this until the goal is accomplished – do an action every day, finish the mini-goal, pick the next mini-goal to work on. Then, when your One Goal is completed, focus on the next goal.
Some goals are ongoing ones – like blogging or exercising every day. In those cases, turn them into habits – focus exclusively on turning the goal into a habit, until the habit is ingrained. Then focus on the next goal.
5. Eliminate the Non-Essential
First, identify what is essential for you – the things in your life that are most important to you, that you love the most. Then eliminate everything else. This simplifies things and leaves you with the space to focus on the essential. This process works with anything – with your life in general, with work projects and tasks, with emails and other communication.
This will change your life because it will help you to simplify, to focus on what’s important, and to build the life you want.
6. Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
Once you set your life priorities straight, you will see more clearly what is truly important, what is not important, what makes a real difference to you if you do now, what you can delegate. What is urgent and what is OK to park for one day some day.
Often feeling overwhelmed with the amount of things you need to do? Please, trust me, I have been where you are several times on many different levels and had to find the way out. Please, don’t suffer in silence and alone and feel free to reach out to me for your complimentary session on ‘how to organise my life so I don’t go crazy and feel exhausted’ by clicking on the button above.
Yes, kindness is a habit and it can be cultivated. Focus on it every day for a month and you’ll see profound changes in your life. You’ll feel better about yourself as a person. You’ll see people react to you differently and treat you better, over the long run. It’s karma.
How do you develop the kindness habit? First, make it a goal to do something kind for someone each day. At the beginning of the day, figure out what that kind act will be and then do it during the day. Second, each time you interact with someone, try to be kind, be friendly, be compassionate. Third, try to go beyond small kindnesses to larger acts of compassion, volunteering to help those in need and taking the initiative to relieve suffering.
8. Daily Routine
It’s so simple, but creating a daily routine for yourself can make a big difference in your life. The best routines, I’ve found, come at the start and end of the day – both your workday and your day in general. That means, develop a routine for when you wake, for when you first start working, for when you finish your workday, and for the end of your evening.
How will that change your life? It will help you get a great start to your day, and finish your day by preparing for the next day. It’ll help you firmly root the productive habits you want to firm in your everyday life. It’ll help you focus on what’s important, not just what comes up. It’ll help you make sure you get done all the things you really want to make sure gets done everyday. And that can mean a lot.
9. Act from Space of Love, Not from the Space of Fear
Without realising, in life, we are often staying on the safe side while still worrying and feeling like we are being stuck in life on the same spot. We then come to the point when we want to move, but we’re not sure how to do so. I often see my clients being in this situation starting my programme in the space where they don’t have the clarity.
The more we re-connect with who we truly are, the more clarity we have in our life, the more powerful choices we take that will move us forward towards what we want in life. Not what other people say we should do or parents expect us to be – our own choices that feel good in our heart and once we make them, we feel relief and it feels amazingly good.
Let me know if this article resonates with you. Share with me what step do you feel would cause the most difference in your life. Let me know how can I be here for you and support you further in what is the most important in your life!
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