As I prepare for my next big step of moving out of home(with both excitement and terror), it got me thinking about habits that I want to make sure that I implement into my life on a day to day basis. I believe that behind any great leader is a solid set of values, and a concrete set of habits that are created from these values that they uphold. As a child we are taught consistently about good habits, but as we grow up, we forget to think of habits as something that we can or should have. “Real life” happens, are we’re busy keeping up, that we forget to create a strong and sturdy foundation of peace and discipline to fall back on. Welcome to the world of good habits. As you read through these lists many things will make us go “I know, I know, I’ve heard that a million times already!” but do we actually and consistently make it a point to incorporate that into our day? Probably not. So let’s change. These are my top 10 list of easy habits we should be implementing into our lives NOW. Now, I say “easy” because none of them require extra money or resources. Just you and your beautiful smiling face.
Remember it takes 21 days of consistent action to make or break a habit. You cannot efficiently create a new good habit without trying it consistently for 21 days.
1. The rising early habit.
Not only is there something very magical about the world at 5:00am, it is also the most fertile time to plant your seeds for your day. The world is quiet and waiting for you to fill it with wonderful things. Rising early at 5:00am gives you ample time to greet the day. It gives you time to practice your gratitude, eat a lovely breakfast, meditate…etc. In fact, most of the habits listed in today’s post could be achieved within this habit. Rising early means you are in charge of setting the tone for day. If your current morning ritual is non-existent, or involves chasing your kids around the house, frantically making lunches, or slurping down your coffee as you run from room to room looking for your shoes, then you are setting the same kind of intention for the rest of the day. You are saying to the universe “this is what I do. Give me more of this. Pleaseeee!” So allow this new found treasure chest of sacred time be used to create a peaceful and connected morning ritual. Watch the sunrise, drink orange juice (with pulp. Yum), read a book, review your intentions for the day, meditate, start on your work for the day, paint, practice your sodoku skills, travel to work leisurely, eat a fulfilling breakfast, kiss your children on the cheek and be present.
The wonderful thing about waking up at 5:00am is that no matter what happens in your day, you still got that small window of time for yourself. And that is enough.
2. The meditation habit.
Though all of these habits are powerful, this one in particular has manifested miraculous changes in my life. The art of meditation is one that must be mastered for your happiness, spiritual growth, and peace. Get in the habit of meditating twice a day every day. When I first started my journey, I would meditate for an hour each session, but this is not always possible in “the real world”. Do what you can when you can, but as long as you are consistent, you will notice the benefits. 10-20 minutes is enough. You may want to follow along with a guided meditation if you are new to meditation (I recommend chakra clearing by Doreen Virtue), or simply use the time to sit in silence and allow your thoughts to pass without expectations or judgement. Easier said than done, I know.
Once you start working consistently with this habit you will notice profound changes in your life. You will start waking up in the morning, your head and heart clear and light and free, and with the deep knowing that everything is as it should be. And so it is.
3. The learning/reading habit.
Our minds are active things. It wants to soak up all the experiences of the world, pick it apart, understand it, conceptualize it, and eventually feel okay with it. Cultivate the habit of learning something new every day. Reading is a big part of this, as this is where most learning takes place. Read from many different genres – really stretch yourself. Many people feel bored and frazzled in their lives when they feel as though they are not given the freedom to simply learn, to expand their horizons, to see what else is out there. So make this habit in your top 10, and never be left with that feeling. Take at least 10-15 minutes every day to learn about something new, or to spend some time just sinking your teeth into a good book.
4. The gratitude habit.
Remember what I said in the last post about how the universe shows that that it has received your gratitude? By giving you more things in your life to be thankful for! In order to truly live this truth, it only makes sense to make it into a habit. Practice the gratitude habit. I make a list every day of three things I am most grateful for that day. It keeps me in line. It makes me realize that no matter how yuck my day is, I am still very blessed and very loved.
5. The intention habit.
Every single morning take a moment to breathe deeply and set your intention for the day. We often acknowledge that behind every great deed is an equally great intention, but also tend to forget to apply that on a day-to-day basis. Do you want your day to be great? Well, what is your intention for it? Without setting intentions for your day, you may have good days, great days, bad days, and down right sucky days. Your days may be aimless, surprisingly good or bad, or just autonomous. Your intention might be BIG ( I intend to connect with my father and begin healing the relationship with him) or smaller (My client told me that her intention for the day was to simply take more time to pet her dog more.) What ever it is, it means your day has a focus, it has a goal, it has an aim, a direction, and you will the be the soul proprietor of the joy that follows its accomplishment.
See www.intent.com for some great ideas for intentions.
6. The clean-as-you-go habit.
Wow. This one is tricky (for me). What’s the one way to avoid a horrible mess and the end of a week? …To clean as you go! Don’t let a mess build up, don’t let the dishes pile up in the sink, don’t let the laundry overflow the basket. Clean. As. You. Go! Every night before you sleep, and every morning before you start you day, take a moment to go on a cleaning spree. The better you get at this habit, the faster and more efficient these sprees become. As with every area of our lives, we tend to become overwhelmed when things build up, so this habit is a wonderful way to nip that tendency in the bud. Make it a point to do a fast routine clean:
Every time you leave the house.
As Oprah once said (I think she may have quoted someone else, but who cares, it’s Oprah!) “your home should rise up to greet you.”
7. The exercise and healthy eating habit.
There isn’t much to be said about this habit other than- the better you are feeling about your body, the healthier your feel, the better your life. There is no mistake about it. Don’t make it a “diet”. Make it a lifestyle choice. A diet, to me, symbolizes temporariness and short term satisfaction. But a lifestyle choice means long term results! Make healthy eating part of your life. It’s not a diet. Because a diet means it’s a choice. It’s not a choice. It is who you are. And you are one healthy superfox!
The exercise habit is equally important. Find an exercise routine that works for you. It might be bedroom-yoga, it might be a poledancing class (saucy!), or it could be an hour at the gym. What ever it is, make it consistent, and you will not only notice results, but find that you are happier and more balanced.
8. The prioritization habit.
What are the most important things that you NEED to do today but really DON’T WANT to do today? The items on your list that are urgent, and necessary, but that you are so willing to forget about? What are those things on your to-do list that show up every single day, every single week? Write them down. Make it a habit to do your most important tasks FIRST thing every day. Every morning (or the evening prior) make a list of the three most important tasks for the day, then make it your soul intention, your absolute reason for living, to complete these tasks – preferably by 12:00pm that day. Not only does it set an amazing standard for your day (it really can’t go down hill from there) but it also makes sure you are having the impact you need to have in your life because you are getting things done.
9. The goal-review habit.
Here’s the secret to achieving your goals, people. Keeping track of your goals! If you set a goal on new years and don’t really think about it till December, quietly saying to yourself “Oh yeah, remember I said I wanted to do that. Oh well. Maybe next year!”
That isn’t a goal. That’s a wish. That’s a wish made for the sake of new years. That’s worse! A goal is an active and open project you consistently work on, and review until you achieve it. This means that technically ALL goals can be achieved, unless of course you no longer want it. So make it a habit to make a list of your top ten goals for the year, month, 6 months, 5 years, and review it once a week. If I ask you “What are you goals for this year” and you can’t list them off the top of your head, they are still in “dream” form and it is unlikely you will achieve them. A goal is a measurable thing. So, do you know what your goals are?
10. The lookin’ and feelin’ hot habit.
As I said in the previous post, get in the habit of feeling HOT. Get in the habit of making a real effort every day to look hot/sexy/fiiiineee/pretty/beautiful. Dress the part. If this was a movie about your life, would you be wearing an unflattering brown shirt and “mom jeans”? Would you be wearing what you are wearing right now? (If yes – then good job!!) Be comfortable, by all means, but make a consistent effort to look, feel, smell, dress real good. Wear your best underwear, use that expensive perfume, try a different (And perhaps shocking) shade of lipstick, get on a three step facial routine (cleanser, toner, moisturizer). Practice positive affirmations, love your body, feel GREAT about who you are and everything about who you are.
Though I work hard at living a well-rounded and fulfilling life, there are still a few of those habits that I probably don’t maintain as well I should. My main one being “the clean as you go habit” and “the prioritization habit”. Man, those ones are hard! But, that won’t stop me from trying! I wish you all the best of luck in implementing these habits into your day to day life!
You can click on these pictures to see them bigger!
May your days be gold