Develop Good Habits
It was a Saturday morning and my alarm woke me up at 4:30 am. Im usually a little bit groggy when I first wake but on this particular morning, I was really tired. The previous evening, I stayed out late to celebrate a close friend’s birthday. I did not want to get out of bed but I did. I started my day with my lemon and ACV in water as outlined in my morning routine and followed it up with 30 mins of exercise. By the time I’m into my workout for only a couple of minutes, I’ve completely woken up and I’m ready to start my day and the rest of my morning routine.
The next day, it was more of the same. My alarm woke me up. My muscles were sore from gardening the day before. The last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed and exercise. But I did. By the time my work out was done, my muscles weren’t as sore, I wasn’t as stiff and I felt great.
I get up everyday and start my morning routine. It’s like clock work.
How did I develop such discipline?
I wasn’t always that disciplined, I would talk to successful people and I found out that most of them had a morning and evening routine. So I wanted to do the same. The problem was this: even if I made a morning routine for myself, I just was disciplined enough to follow through with it everyday. I would do it for a day or 2 or even a week but before I knew it, I would be back to my old ways again.
What did I do to change my behavior?
Developing a routine and building good habits was a step by step process. Here is what I did.
Take a small (almost insignificant) action and make it non-negotiable.
When I say non-negotiable, I mean you never ever skip it. It’s like brushing your teeth. When was the last time you skipped brushing your teeth? Most of us can’t even remember the last time they went a day without brushing their teeth
I tried doing a full blown workout every morning but I couldn’t stick to it so instead I did 10 pushups, which is a small almost insignificant action.
10 pushups. That’s it.
It was something that I could do and it was simple enough and easy enough that I couldn’t make any excuses to myself why I would ever skip doing it. (I mean, who is too busy or too tired that they can’t do 10 measly pushups?)
After a couple of weeks the push ups got easier to do. I was also developing muscle in my arms and chest. (even something as small as 10 push ups done daily can yield some surprising results) since the pushups were easier, I started to do more every day. As the weeks and months continued, I also added other exercises.
Now I’ve built up to 90 pushups, 120 squats, 120 crunches, 5 sun salutations and stretching. I do this everyday.
I would not have stuck to my daily exercise routine if I started out with everything but I started with a little bit and slow added it to it as time went by.
What are some small but beneficial actions someone could start with if they wanted to develop a habit?
-write for 5 minutes (if you want to write a book)
-meditate for 5 minutes
-take a 10 minute walk
-read for 5 minutes
-deep breathing exercise for 5 mins
-stretch or do yoga for 5 mins
There are so many things that you can start with. Once your daily non-negotiable activities turn into habits, (they say it takes about 21 days for that to happen), you can increase the activity or the intensity or you can add another habit. As a result, I now have a 5 part morning routine and a 6 part evening routine .
There are 2 main benefits that you get from doing something small and almost insignificant everyday.
The first benefit is obvious, you get the benefit of doing the activity.
If you do pushups like I did, you get stronger.
If you choose to write, you have a book written by the end of the year.
If you choose to meditate, you get a clear mind.
If you do yoga, you get more flexible.
The second benefit is more important and I talk about it in the video.
Now you know the easy way of developing a habit.
What good habit will you develop?
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