Developing and sticking with good habits requires discipline. Discipline is like a muscle; the more we exercise it, the stronger it gets. And akin to physical exercise, developing strong habit muscles empowers you to live a better life.
Whatever we achieve in life, from tying our shoes to honing a listing presentation, is learned through trying, failing, adjusting; trying, failing, adjusting and eventually, trying and succeeding. We learn what works and then, hopefully, stick with it. Here are some habits that work for me:
- I make my bed first thing every day, even if I wake up in a hotel room. Accomplishing this simple task puts me in the right frame of mind to face my day head-on.
- I work out.
- I write affirmations.
- After I shower and dress, I pause, close my eyes, and spend 120 seconds visualizing how I want to my day to turn out. I visualize desired outcomes and how I want people to feel.
Govern your day from the get-go and don’t allow it to be controlled by others. For example, don’t start your day by answering emails or checking notifications; if you do, you could be thrown off course by events in other people’s worlds. Map out your day and stay focused on your own world; be proactive not reactive.
If you are disciplined from the start, your positive momentum will likely continue throughout your day. I book an hour for “what ifs” so my schedule isn’t derailed by challenges and unexpected opportunities. At the end of the day, some people read or meditate. I pause, close my eyes and reflect for 120 seconds on my day and ask myself, “What worked today?” I then write down the answers so I can learn and be prepared for tomorrow. Troubled sleep comes from unfinished business, so lastly, I ask myself effective questions like, “Was I a good mother, wife, and friend? Did I help take EXIT further?” Simply asking prepares my subconscious mind to work on the answers while I sleep.
Establishing and persisting with healthy habits - exercising your habit muscles - will help to keep you on the path to success.
The best way to control your life and your future is to control your day, and the best way to control your day is to form strong, healthy habits.