THE POWER OF HABITS
First of all, we need to be clear, habits are great. But, there are also bad habits. You don’t have any, do you? Yes, I’m talking to you, already scrolling through other people’s dinner choices on Instagram. The good news is that you are in control! So all you need to do is to decide to get rid of the bad habits and put the good ones in place. That’s it. You might have to add a pinch of dedication and a handful of perseverance, too.
Fall in love with progress, not the result.
The first time, I properly organised my life and put better habits and a more productive routine in place, was when I started working for myself. Only a year ago. Before that, I had no idea that habits have such power. All my life, habits were unconsciously created based on when I needed to be at school or work. The school or office hours had always created my routine which changed in different stages of my life. I never thought I could change it. And, if I choose wisely, it can have a huge effect on my energy, mood, and performance. Total life changer.
Now, hands down, actually hands up, what’s the deal with you and habits? Are you the king of habits? Thought about installing them into your software? At least know which ones would go into the red flashing pile with the warning sign ‘DANGER’. If this is the first time, you are thinking of the topic of habits, that’s ok, we all start somewhere. You are quite likely further ahead of many people. *Wink, wink*.
“People lose control of their lives in the first 5 minutes of their day.” – Ed Mylett
What’s your morning routine? Alarm, phone, coffee, work? Your morning routine determines how your day will go.
You’re probably thinking: “What is she on about?” I hear ya. Two years ago, I would have dismissed this as a piece of cr**. Whoops, meaning my ego wouldn’t accept any feedback on my comfy hour of lying in bed in the morning and stalking the lives of my primary school classmates with a jealous and judgemental attitude.
Let’s put it this way. The first hour of your day, is your chance to make sure that you will have a good day. If the first thin, you do is reacting to other people’s demands and scrolling through friends’ and strangers’ carefully curated life moments, you’re likely to enter your day from a position of defense and not feeling good enough. I can see your eyes rolling, just like when your mum gave you life lessons in your teenage years. You knew she was right, but your full-time job was to hate the world. The difference between your mum back then and me now is to tell you that you are the person in charge! If you can control the first and last hour of your day, it’s easier to manage what comes in between.
This leads me to a challenge I did at the end of 2018. It’s called the Last 90 days Challenge by Rachel Hollis and it’s 5 simple steps to finish the year as strong as we usually start the new one. She calls it 5 to Thrive.
5 TO THRIVE
- Get up an hour earlier than you normally do and use the time for yourself. (whether it’s to listen to a podcast, read a book, workout…)
- Move for at least 30 mins. (walk, yoga, playing football with your kids… any movement)
- Drink half of your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water each day. (flush all the bad things out of your body) Btw, this is American measurements, use your Google skills to figure out how much water you should be drinking a day. 😉 I believe in you.
- Give up one food category you know you shouldn’t be eating. (Try it for 30 days. Have you heard that if you do something for 30 days, it becomes your habit?)
- Write down 5-10 things you are grateful for every single day. (Gratitude will help you to focus on the things you have rather than the things you don’t have).
I challenge you to give it a try. Yep, you! You can read many blog posts on how to make your life better. Unless you take action on those tips, nothing will change. They are all simple steps, easy to add to your everyday life. If it’s too much, start with one and then add a second, and so on. If there is nothing else but those 5 things for you to start paying attention to your life; your life and your energy will still radically change for the better.
MY REGULAR AGENDA
As the last thing, I wanted to share a few things that I do regularly because it makes me feel good. Yes, it’s voluntarily, believe me. Lol.
- Limiting my time on social media (setting boundaries helps to have control of your time – See my previous blog post about setting boundaries here.)
- Regular reflection – once a week I write a few sentences about what happened that week and once a month I do a bigger one. It helps me to see what I accomplished and what I need to work on next month.
- Go outside every day – whether it’s just a walk to the shop, run or cycle. Especially when working from home, it helps me to clear my head and give me space to get away from my never-ending to-do list.
About every 3 months I suddenly find it hard to keep up with my routine. When it happens I try to ease off. I know I need to make a change. Usually, it looks more like tweaking than big changes. It’s not because those habits stop working but the repetitiveness dawns on me. When it happens, it’s important to realise and make the change. I used to fall into a downward spiral thinking that something is wrong with me, but all it needs is a little tweak and it’s all good. *Wink wink*.
At the moment, I’m trying to figure out what the change, I need to make, is. So far I’ve just been taking it slower to give me the chance to reflect. I’ve taken out the thing that pump my energy up and spend more time reading or just watching birds on the bird feeder outside the window. I’m also looking into an evening meditations. It feels like I might be ready to give it a try. Any tips? Listen to yourself and you’ll find the answers.
So there you have it. Get ready for your life to get awesome. I’m sure, it’s awesome now. 😉 You know what they say though? “Everything is either growing or dying”. I can’t wait to hear about how you’re doing with 5 to Thrive.
And, if there are any tips in the form of easily actionable steps that have changed your life, don’t forget to share them with me on social media @makeityouradventure.