There is a reason one of the greatest self help books ever written is called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Grit, will power, and hard work are all good things, but they all take effort, lots of effort, and our body and mind can only give so much effort each day until we crash. But if you think about habit, how much effort does that take? Minimal. How much effort does it take to brush your teeth, tie your shoes, ride a bike, or get dressed? Now, if you have children, think about the levels of effort they go through to try, learn, fail, and perfect these same tasks. These are all habits you have formed, and habits allow your mind and body to work for you without having to use much of your will power, creative, and cognisant brain power to accomplish.
What are the habits that you should form and how can you use a trigger, a non-intrusive mental switch, as a powerful tool to propel your life towards its ultimate potential?
- First thing habits.
- Exercise habits.
- Eating habits.
- Drinking habits.
- Working habits.
- Family time habits.
- Last thing habits.
It Starts With What You Do First Thing in the AM
Imagine this day, alarm clock goes off, snooze, alarm two goes off, snooze, alarm three, grab your phone, look at it, what’s happening on twitter, what emails do you have to respond to, get up, put on your clothes, get a coffee, and head to work.
You get up, first alarm, you jump up, put on your running shoes, take a run, come back, chug some water, take a quick shower, make your bed, jam to work!
Which way do you want to start your day?
Turning Things into Habits
Most of what we do can be turned into a habit. If we do it consistently, 62 days, and then do it for another 62 days, you will probably find that it will turn into a forever habit, as long as you don’t break it for more than 7 days.
Make good habits, break the bad ones, and your life will be forever better for it.
What do you do when you open your computer? Check email or social media, or edit your to do goals and tasks and start knocking off the big ones first?
What do you do when you go for a snack, eat chips or celery sticks? What do you do when you go shopping, buy chips or celery sticks? You see how your shopping habits can turn into your eating habits and these can turn into your health and life success.
Write It Down
Try this, write down what habits you wish to form, then write down how you wish to form them, then write that down as a SMART goal. See where I am going with this?
Like creating good habits, there is a mechanism to break the bad habits or bad days up that is just as powerful. We all know what it is like to have a bad day, can’t get anything done, can’t get a head, always behind, grumpy, not a great asset to your job, your family or the world around you. Flip side, we all have had those amazing days, also known as the day before vacation. You are on it, in the zone almost all day, and get everything done. What if, with a snap of the finger, your bad day, could turn good? How much more could you get done, how much better could the world be around you?
It’s possible, its possible with something I like to call a positive trigger. There are things that are unique to all of us that help us shift mindset, and if we use them, and train ourselves to recognize them, they can be as powerful as such. So when I’m feeling down in the dumps, frustrated, irritable, unmotivated or negative this is what I do:
Clean and tidy up. Our house, my office, my desk, my teeth, my face, the bathroom, the kitchen, my shoes, my truck, the garage, the office clutter, the classroom. I identified a few years ago that when I straighten and clean up my surroundings, I am metaphorically straightening and cleaning up my life. Without the clutter, I no longer stutter and my day is instantly better.
Run or workout. There is a ton of science around the benefits of working out. It physically and mentally creates energy, which is driven by endorphins more powerful than morphine. It relieves stress and tension in our body, allows our mind to clear, and places us physically and mentally on the right path. It is AMAZING what a 10 minute jog or a couple sets of push-ups does for your body and mind in just a few minutes. “Running makes everyday better.” I think I quoted that a few years back on some internet site. Sooo ya, and if you ever see me doing push ups or running at random times throughout the day, don’t think I’m weird
Music. I have my favs, among which are Angels and Airwaves, Owl City, Andrew Peterson, and Cold Play. Simply plug in the Beats or turn on the tubes and watch my nerves chill and the voices internally and externally stop for minute or two.
These are simple and easy things I do to trigger a positive reaction. They are all at my fingertips almost anytime anywhere and yes they work every time! So if you see me cleaning, brushing, listening, pushing, lifting, or running randomly throughout the day, now you know why.
Other Effective Triggers
Reading (good things of course, the news and Facebook are NOT recommended) – this brings your mind to places outside the current and allows you to come back to earth a better person.
Yoga / Stretching – releases tension, calms the mind.
Laughing – it’s the best medicine after all, be sure to laugh about good though
There you have it, it’s not hard but it’s something you have to start intentionally doing, writing, and making time for.
- Create habits
- Set goals
- Dream Big
- Dream big
- Set goals
- Create habits
It’s as simple as, 1, 2, 3.