Behind Episode 309

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In the third century BCE, Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

But before we move to excellence, we must understand Habits and what they are. Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviors on any given day. 

Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.

What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.

In the third century BCE, Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

But before we move to excellence, we must understand Habits and what they are. Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviors on any given day. 

Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.

What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.

Make Success Inevitable With Consistent Daily Action

A visual tool to establish good habits and make success inevitable. Contains a two-pack of 3-month roadmaps.
  • Train yourself to take consistent daily actions that lead you to success
  • Never forget your commitment to building good habits by checking off each day and creating a winning streak
  • 6-months worth of tracking to build positive habits that last

Now let’s look at solutions to prepare you for changing you habits.

  1. Make your habits easy to win.

Change is hard and uncomfortable – it’s why we resist change (even small changes!) Make it as easy as possible to create a winning streak with small targets that set you up to win. You can always up the ante as new habits become an instinctive part of who you are.

  1. Know your why.

You can’t build new habits on willpower alone – especially habits that take a lot of effort to do. Your why provides the deeper level motivation you need to stick to your commitments. If your why is strong enough, you’ll unlock the resilience you need to keep going – even when it’s tough.

  1. Make yourself accountable.

Support yourself to keep going when you’re having a bad day by leveraging the support of others who have your back. Share your habits with your partner, your coach, and like-minded peers who’ve got your back, and you’re more likely to win. Even better, give your second roadmap to a friend and buddy up.

  1. Don’t beat yourself up.

Change is tough because it requires you to drop old behaviors, habits, and choices. There’s a good chance you’ll have an off day (or week), when things don’t go to plan and you fall off the wagon. If that happens, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just regroup and start again.

  1. Plan your time.

Make your habits a non-negotiable by scheduling time to do them in your SELF Journal. Don’t make lack of time the reason you fall short of where you want to be. Instead, plan in the habits you want to stick and empower yourself to make success inevitable.

  1. Reflect on your performance.

Knowledge is power. Take the time to review your progress and you’ll unlock the insights to help you progress faster. What are your triggers? What’s helping you win? What’s holding you back or spurring you on?

Nighttime Routines: Bedtime Rituals For Restful, Relaxing Sleep

Just as a morning routine sets you up for success today, an evening routine can set you up for success tomorrow through self-reflection and review.

Here are some simple evening exercises you could implement now:

1. Laugh!

You can’t let a day go by and not laugh. Find what makes you laugh out loud. Whether it’s your friends, your partner, a writer, or a comedian, find time to laugh before going to bed. This will help you de-stress, sleep better, and start the next day on the right foot!

2. Unwind.

Rebalance your mind and body by doing light (or heavy) exercise, some form or relaxation, and getting natural light on your skin. You can do all three at the same time by taking a walk, meditating, or doing yoga outside. After a long day – especially in an office – we need to get our blood flowing, replenish our Vitamin D, and slow our minds down to rejuvenate ourselves and get a good night of rest

3. Look up.

Whether you’re on top of the world or feeling like an utter mess, it’s good to remember that there are far bigger things in the world. Looking at the clouds or stars is a way to remember what’s important at the end of the day, and to regain perspective. Additionally, try to end the day on a positive note by jotting down the things you’re grateful for. The humility will help you maintain a healthy mindset that stays with you through the next day.

4. Prepare for the next day.

Our brains are great for critical thinking, problem-solving, and being creative. They’re not good at remembering oodles of tasks. By reducing the number of items in your memory, you’ll reduce stress and feel confident that you’re doing everything you need to do. Do this by creating a to-do list the night before, so when you wake up and sit down to work, you already know what you need to do. Additionally, you can set out your clothes and prepare anything else the night before, so you don’t have to think about it in the morning.

5. Power down.

As you get into bed, it’s tempting to scroll through Pinterest and check the latest headlines on The Huffington Post. You’ll get much better sleep if you don’t do this, though. The blue light from your phone stimulates your mind and the (mostly negative) news increases stress and anxiety when your mind and body should be winding down for deep, relaxed sleep.  Instead, turn off the TV, put away the phone, and stay away from social media for an hour before you sleep.

6. Read something inspiring or fictional.

Inspirational biographies and fictional adventures are great ways to calm the mind. They’re enjoyable and they don’t let you worry about the past or future. Although nonfiction books can be educational, they increase your brain activity. So try to avoid them before bed. Your goal at this part of the day is to stop worrying about the things that need to get done, enjoy yourself, and fall asleep.

7. Get a good night of sleep.

Everything up to this point is to help put you in a good state of mind so you can sleep well through the night because a good night’s sleep is critical to your next day. You want to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. To sleep well, turn off all the lights in your room and make it as dark as possible, silence your phone and remove any distractions, and don’t drink caffeine for at least eight hours before you want to sleep. And of course, follow tips one through eight above. If you do this, you’ll wake up with the energy needed to have an amazing day.

Commit To & Believe In Yourself

Self Journal + You = More Goals Achieved
Studies have shown that the simple act of writing down a goal increases your chances of reaching it. However, writing it down is only the first step. The most important part is defining the milestones and creating the path that will get you there.
Morning Routines: Things To Do in The Morning To Set Up The Day for Success

The actions you take in the morning can set up the rest of the day for success or can lead to a full day of procrastination. It’s well known that the most successful people in the world have had a morning routine, such as Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, and Arianna Huffington.

A morning routine allows you to ensure you start your day off on a positive and productive note, which carries on throughout the rest of your day.

8. Don’t hit the snooze button.

Your alarm clock isn’t inherently bad and getting a little extra sleep doesn’t hurt, but think about it this way – if you snooze your alarm twice to sleep twenty extra minutes, wouldn’t you have gotten better sleep if you just set your alarm twenty minutes later? When you build the good habit of getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night, set your alarm clock to the time you want to get up, and actually wake up at that time. This ensures you get the best rest possible with your limited time.

9. Avoid the internet.

Don’t worry: you’ll get your social media and email fix later in the day. For now, it’s important to trust that those can wait for an hour or so. The early morning is when you need to do your daily ritual, which doesn’t include perusing the internet. Avoid the internet focus on your daily morning rituals to get the maximum benefit.

10. Exercise.

Some people like to get a full workout in, but that’s not necessary. You do, however, want to move your body around and get your blood flowing. Even five minutes of push-ups or jumping jacks will do the trick. This causes your brain to release chemicals called endorphins that put you in a good mood with effects that permeate through the rest of your day.

11. Take a shower. (And make it cold if you can!)

Showers are very beneficial to your body and mind. The running water increases your blood circulation and gets more oxygen to your brain, awakening your body and sharpening your mind. Hot water will do the trick, but the benefits increase if you shower in cold water. Make sure to shower if you want to start your day alert and ready to go.

12. Fuel up.

Drink water and enjoy your favorite fuel source – e.g., breakfast, coffee, protein shake, etc. Some people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and others swear that intermittent fasting (usually by skipping breakfast) is the answer to life. There’s no right or wrong answer. Figure out what you like to eat or drink and enjoy the ritual of having it every morning.

13. Sit with your thoughts and mentally prepare for the day.

Before you get to your to-do list, give yourself an opportunity to think about your life and the big challenges you want to overcome. You can also use this time to read and learn if you’d like. Most successful people say that they spend a lot of their time thinking or reading for a reason. Your actions are a direct result of the thoughts that go through your brain. That’s why it’s so important to nurture the environment of your thinking. Find a calming place where you can relax and think about the things that are important to you. It’ll be even better if you write your thoughts in a journal.

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