You are the manifestation of your daily habits
If this is so, why do we struggle so much to find the discipline for our habits? and why do we keep convincing ourselves that we can get our goals without putting in the work?
I’ve been struggling with the habit of exercise of late. I have been battling with a sore hip for the past two years. I’ve been to Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Strength and Conditioning coaches, Cranio Sacral therapists and an Acupuncturist. You name it and I’ve probably been there. It all helped a little but nothing took the pain away. I kept putting off getting an MRI because two hip xrays and a flurry of therapists didn’t think there was much wrong with me and because I have a panic attack even thinking about it!
Finally I went for the MRI, and the results show some bone deterioration. Nothing too serious and nothing a Physio., Osteo. or other professional will fix. I was wisely advised that I was outsourcing my health to others and that it was time for me to take action. So I now need to create the habit of going to the gym to strengthen my muscles and minimise the pain.
I’ve committed to go three times a week and follow a plan. I’ve started. All good in the hood. Now in the past I have an M.O. I get super motivated do exactly what I need to do for a couple of weeks maybe even months, then I get sick or I hurt myself or I get busy or another hundred possible excuses and I loose my good habit. I start again but its never quite with the same intensity or passion. Sound familiar?
But I know I can do it because I have mastered a number of habits.
Habit 1: Meditation
I meditate every morning for twenty minutes. I do this first thing after waking before the day distracts me. What helped me to master this habit is the following;
- I do it regardless of what time I wake
- On the days I’m travelling or really don’t have time because of other commitments I don’t beat myself up over it, I speak to myself kindly reminding myself of point 3.
- I never allow two days to pass without meditating, if I miss today I won’t miss tomorrow
- My life has completed transformed with this habit so I regularly remind myself of this fact.
Habit 2: Using my Calendar
I plan my life with my calendar, personal and professional events all get a place in my calendar. How I have stuck with this habit;
- When I open my computer in the morning I open my calendar first. This allows me to see my priorities before I get distracted with the day
- When I don’t do it I don’t look at it as a failure just an inevitable part of life and I find the next available time to plan my week
- I make sure to have at least one planning session a week to plan our my priorities and responsibilities
- Using the calendar thought me how to focus, with that my life changed from total chaos to achieving my goals.
Habit 3: Gratitude
The habit of gratitude is the powerful habit to help you change your attitude and your mindset.
- This practise has helped me to feel positive each morning and start my day well.
- With MyGratitude Attitude journal reminds me to write 3 things I am grateful for each day
- Leaving this journal beside my bed triggers the gratitude habits
So next I need to create the habit of going to the gym.
First what could get in the way? What are my excuses?
I don’t have time, I spend too much time away from the house, I didn’t get enough sleep.
With my excuses uncovered I can see that they are all loopholes I am trying to give myself and none of them has validity. I understand that I need to make time.
- Exercise is as important as planning my week, as it gives me more energy, helps me to focus and increases my productivity.
- Exercise makes me feel better about myself, the increased serotonin makes me feel happier and more in control of my day and my life.
- Mastering the habit empowers me to feel I can do whatever I set my mind to.
- Exercise is a positive habit which I want my children to master. When they see me exercise even when I don’t’ feel like it they will understand the importance of resilience and discipline.
More and more I see the value of discipline, we often see discipline as a negative word something imposed upon us. But discipline is in fact our friend, a friend to be welcomed in and nurtured. Discipline is the key to success in all areas of our life.
If we really want to get our goals we must be wiling to put in the work and that doesn’t mean putting in the work when we feel like it, it also means doing what’s required when we don’t feel like it. Having the discipline to get up and meditate, exercise or work when we don’t feel like it is what builds character, both mental and physical strength. It’s time to welcome discipline into your life because discipline will take care of you and help you to reach your goals and have a life that you love in every way.
Recognise the power of discipline and the benefits of staying in control of your life. This will help you to reinforce the good that you are doing for yourself.
What you want to be tomorrow you have to do today
You need to have the belief that you can and will adopt this new habit. You are familiar with the saying “I’ll believe it when I see it” Wayne Dyer turned that on its head and said:
“I’ll see it when I believe it”
The power of our belief is infinite. Probably the most difficult part of creating a new life. If you have failed before you will be reluctant to try again but remember few people became successful first attempt. Failure is part of life and you must pick yourself back up and try again. Keep going and keep challenging your limiting beliefs. Don’t leave them lingering below the surface, dig them up and challenge them.
Control what you do
You may not be able to change your how you feel right now but you can choose how you are going to behave. Your behaviours are 100% within your control. When we tell ourselves that our behaviours are not within our control that is when we play the victim. From today on commit to no longer playing victim to your circumstances, commit to taking responsibility for your future life.
Here’s some basic steps you can take to get started with some positive new habits:
- Don’t check your phone in the first hour of the day
- Start a morning routine, however small
- Start small do a new habit for 10 minutes a day
- Start with one habit and focus on that for at least a month
- Create the environment for success, if you want to eat healthy foods stop buying junk in the supermarket. If you want to exercise, get your gym clothes ready in advance
- Only create habits that you really want to be part of your life not because you think you should!
- Don’t fill your mind with negative news or negative thoughts, think positive reality is a creation of the mind.
I will leave you with the words of Aristotle:
“You are what you repeatedly do, excellence therefore is not an act but a habit”
Ciara Conlon is a Leadership and Productivity Coach, Motivational Speaker and author of Productivity for Dummies and Chaos to Control. Sign up here for a free 3 part master class on beating procrastination or join her on her Facebook Group LifeDesigners