OK, time for a check-in. It’s mid-year, how are you doing for the resolution you have set in January? And if you are in need of some handles to begin to get yourself back on track, I do hope this article will help. I’ve pieced together some small changes you can start doing now to just get you a little bit closer to the best you.
Before we dive in, it is imperative that we begin where we are. Start by asking yourself honestly “How do I want to live?” and “How do I start to get there?”
“Many people think in terms of ‘I have to do what my colleague/neighbour/family member is doing’ instead of ‘I have to do what’s best for me.’” -Grant Cardone
There is really no point in copying, for example, your friend’s morning routine because we are all wired differently. How many of us can down a glass of spinach and kale juice every morning? I know some do but not me! A staple breakfast diet for me consists of gluten-free oats.
Yet others may tuck into their fried char kway teow with gusto and then proceed to burn off the calories during an evening run.
You get the drift. Let’s get started.
1. Establish a morning routine
A morning routine helps you set your mind on what you want to focus on for the day and it keeps your heart and mind in the right attitude for the day.
Keep it simple – meditation, journaling, reading, prayers or a quiet walk are some things to consider to fill your morning routine with. The key is to focus on the outcome of starting the day with the right footing, not on the practice.
2. Write Down Key Tasks
As simple as this may sound, often times we may take the easier route of filing away tasks in our minds.
An interesting article I read mentioned that anxiety increases when we store a list of tasks and “unfinished business” in our head. So give your brain a break and reduce your anxiety by writing your tasks down.
Thereafter do the following:
1. Do the key tasks as soon as possible;
2. Schedule time in your calendar to complete the remaining tasks
3. Practice the Two-Minute Rule
According to James Clear, when you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do. You start by doing the quickest and easiest action possible while working towards your goal or habit. He illustrated that folding one pair of socks is the two-minute starting point of the eventual goal of folding the laundry.
Why does the two-minute rule work? Clear explained that these tiny behaviours will help you establish a ritual and reinforces progress towards your desired outcome.
4. Focus on what’s important
Warren Buffet has a neat 5/25 rule: Make a list of 25 items you want to do in life. Rank them, work on the top 5 and never think about the remaining 20 again, Warren suggests.
5. Establish Consistency
As mentioned in our previous article, consistency is often the missing link between goal setting and realisation. Taking small repeated steps over a period of time will help you realise your goal.
With that being said, after you have done what you can, be patient. Farmers understand there is the seeds, time, and the harvest. Don’t forget that time is an important connector between the seeds and the harvest.
6. Set Up Habit Ramps
Habit ramps are small cues in your environment that trigger a habit or make them easier to execute.
Let’s face it. There will be days that we simply do not feel motivated at all to work towards our goals. To overcome this problem, James Clear proposed the idea of creating an environment that will make our habits easier to execute – habit ramps that will help us maintain discipline in achieving our goals.
For example, If you would like to lose weight, steer clear from the junk food aisle in the supermart. This way no junk food can enter your house. If you would like to improve your dental hygiene, keep a pack of dental floss on the shelf nearest your sink. This will make it easier for you to reach out and start flossing your teeth every night. If you plan to exercise in the gym once a week, start by leaving your gym bag near the entrance of your house.
Create habit ramps that will cancel out any excuse you may make to stop you from reaching the best you.
7. Keep a Gratitude Diary
Gratitude is a proven way to rewire your brain for positivity. Once you start thinking of all the things you are grateful for on a regular basis, your mind starts becoming more appreciative and your thoughts will become more positive. Subsequently, your subconscious mind will also lead you to more things for which you can be grateful. Ultimately this will lead to improved mental and physical health.
Aim to write down 3 things that happened during the day for which you are grateful either at the start or the end of the day. Try this experiment for 30 days, and I believe you will see a difference.
8. Reward yourself
To celebrate your success, you also need to reward yourself. Professor B.J. Fogg, director of the Stanford Behavior Design Lab who studies behavioural changes, recommends rewarding yourself after each repetition of your new habit to enforce a behaviour you want to develop. It can be something as simple as patting yourself on the back and saying “Well done!” He highlighted the importance of rewarding yourself for small wins as much as big victories.
After all, since your brain does not distinguish between actual success and perceived success, praising yourself for every small step you take forward is a good way to instil confidence in yourself and build momentum for success. So remember to say “I am awesome!” even if you floss just one tooth each day.
For me, nothing beats a glass of cold-pressed juice on a hot sunny day.
As we head towards the second half of the year, pause and reflect for a moment the difference between a marathon and a 100-metre sprint. People often overestimate what they can do in a day, but underestimate what they can do in a year. Remember that becoming the best version of yourself is a marathon, not a 100-metre sprint. So if one of your resolutions is to beat burnout, we hope the handles in this article will help you to begin taking small steps to achieve that.
Take care and all the best!
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Linnette is one who loves intellectual discussions and believes that journaling is one of the best ways to declutter your mind. Old school butter cake with a cup of English tea is one of her favorite indulgences.