Working On My Daily Habits

One of the most important but also hardest parts in personal development is establishing good habits. Why habits? Many things you want to implement need some degree of self discipline. By most people, self discipline is seen as the wholly grail of self development.

There is only one problem with applying discipline: It drains energy!

See How to Strengthen Willpower, Part 1 and Part 2. Conclusion:

  • Because willpower is limited, it’s important to set reasonable goals and priorities. Conserve your willpower for what really matters.
  • Recognize that willpower is not “all in the mind,” and supply your mind-body with the fuel it needs to face life’s challenges. This fuel includes rest and a healthy diet.
  • Understand how the demands of your job, family and other relationships may interfere with your (and your clients’) ability to stick with a health or fitness program. Look for ways to reduce stress in all areas of your life to support any major life change.
  • Conserve or bypass willpower by focusing on other strengths: planning, commitment and positive motivation.
  • Aim for progress, not perfection.

By developing habits, you reduce the amount of willpower and thus energy needed to perform your planned actions.

How (and When) to Motivate Yourself describes, why it is so important to consciously plan what you want to develop into a habit. Never make decisions when you are weak. Create or change your plans only when you are well rested, clear thinking and inspired. In between those planning times just stick to your plans whatever happens.

The following plan I am working on developing into daily habits is nothing special, just the attempt to systematize my quest to reach my goals while loving my life.

The point loving my life takes special attention: What’s the point of reaching your goals if you don’t love your life on the way there? The journey is the reward! It’s about every day of your life and the small steps you take.

Watch Keith J. Cunningham‘s videos “Is vs. Ought” Part 1 and Part 2.

Ordinary things consistently done over a long time produce extraordinary results. -Keith J. Cunningham

Coming back to how to love your life. The key is gratitude. How can you love your life when you are not grateful for it? (I’ll write a separate posting about the power of gratitude in the future, because it has much more depth to it than it seems on first sight).

This are the 2 points regarding gratitude in my daily habits plan:

  1. I won’t get up in the morning until I am already grateful for the day to come. That may take extra 15 minutes in the morning depending on the mood after waking up (which, in my case, is usually rather grumpy). But what sense does a day in your life makes, if you are not grateful for it? As soon as I get grateful for the new day, I can’t wait to get up and take action. That is an extra boost worth spending any extra time that may be necessary.
  2. Instead of just listing my obvious blessings at night (a technique I was using before), I am taking a new approach: I think of every thing that has happened over the day and find out in what way it has served me in getting towards my goals. That way I am not only grateful for the obvious positive things, but for the whole day – every day!

Making sense of your life and being grateful for every day of it is much more powerful than just listing the obvious, easy to see positive things that happened.
Your positive ‘blessings’ are only a small, one sided part of the whole. Everything should be a blessing, positive and negative events, because everything can serve you when you invest the time find out how.

So here is my plan finally, which will always be a work in progress (I’ll update it here):

In The Morning

  1. Don’t get up until I am grateful for my life and the new day and I can’t wait to start
  2. Drink 2 glasses of water
  3. Say affirmations loud
  4. List the 7 most important things I can do today to get closer to my goals
    • Look up to do list
    • Include 2 or 3 items that “sharpen a tooth” = continuous learning and training
    • What makes a positive difference to the lives of as many people as possible?
    • If I had only one day/week/month to live what would I do today that I haven’t done yet?
  5. Start with the most important item and finish it what ever it takes

After Lunch

  1. Empty email inbox
  2. Drink 2 glasses of water

Late Afternoon

  1. Drink 2 glasses of water
  2. Walking/Fitness training
  3. Drink 2 glasses of water
  4. Reading and learning:
    • Read daily news
    • Read daily forums
    • Watch selected video podcasts instead of TV
    • Read books

Before Going To Bed

  • Dr. John Demartini‘s “Did I” Checklist:
    1. Did I count my blessings and focus on being thankful today?
    2. Did I list and prioritize my daily actions today?
    3. Did I act on my priority actions today?
    4. Did I communicate in terms of people’s values today?
    5. Did I share from my heart while speaking today?
    6. Did I write at least on thank-you letter today?
    7. Did I grow and accelerate my wealth today?
  • Think how everything that happened today has served me in getting closer to my goals and write it down in my List of Blessings
  • Say affirmations loud
  • Deep breath relaxation before going to bed
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