Our habits are what shape our days, our weeks, and ultimately our futures.
One set of habits can take us one way and another set of habits can take us in a completely different direction.
So I liken my habit collection to a SatNav that guides me to my destination so long as I follow the directions given to me. And the more times one does a particular route, the more automatic and unconscious it becomes to do it. And the same goes for habits.
So no mistakes this week, I’m just sharing some of the habits that work best for me.
1. Early rising for grounding
Now before you roll your eyes and say “urgh, not another one promoting stupid o’clock wake-up times!” and shut this post down, here me out. I am quite often a ball of nervous, anxious, and excited energy. And you know what? I like me that way.
Having said that, something has gotta give!
You see, when I wake up in the morning I am usually raring to go, whether it’s through joy and excitement or through some sort of fear and anxiety. Those are generally my 2 settings, and with either one, if I don’t ground myself first then I am a bull in china shop for the entire day; in reactive mode instead of proactive mode. If I wake up when the majority of people are waking up then I just feel as though I’m on the back foot and I don’t have time to pause and check where I am going – the result? I crash into something or multiple things. This brings me on to my next habit which follows the 5am alarm call…
2. Scribing, Writing, journaling – whatever you want to call it!
While I don’t want to bring my energy levels down and mellow myself out, I want to make sure that my mind is spinning off in the correct direction. And for this, I have 3 things in place when I wake up.
The first is writing down a list of 5 things I’m grateful for – it’s the easiest one to tackle first and immediately puts me in a positive frame of mind (if I’m not in one already – we all wake up on the wrong side of the bed sometimes!) then I write down 5 goals. The goals can be a business goal in many years time, a personal achievement in fitness that week or the following year, or literally just seeing friends or family at the weekend.
This not only gives me perspective so I don’t just run away with whatever idea I woke up with to the detriment of everything else, but it also reminds me why I am here, what I truly want, and where I am going. It’s repeating this daily that keeps me grounded to my goals and keeps me feeling secure and confident in my actions for the day ahead.
And finally, the third thing is writing a page or so. Now the content of this writing varies. It can be a bit of a brain dump to validate my feelings or process some thoughts that are a bit complex to do in my head. If I got a big day on or something new to do then I often use this time to write out exactly how I plan it to go which helps me compartmentalise everything and visualise as I write which again boosts my confidence – If I can visualise it going well, then it generally does!
3. Brain Food
Every morning I fill my brain with other’s words of positivity, encouragement, or examples of problem-solving. I love physical books, the intentional turning of pages, and the ability to underline things to really hit that bit home and store in my brain. If I didn’t intentionally spend time picking the books I read and making time to read them then I dread to think what kind of fuel my mind would be running on with the digital space (which I admittedly spend a hell of a lot of time on) throwing up all kinds of crap! I liken it to preparing a nice healthy and hearty breakfast or ending up picking up something on the go at a drive-thru Mc Donalds.
What you fuel your mind with is just as important as what you fuel your body with.
Now, I’m fortunate to have a dog. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend them – they’re great!
So, my little cocker spaniel, Arthur, forces me out on walks in all weathers, whether I want to go or not. His penchant for doing a disappearing act also means I have to stay present and not get distracted looking at my phone when I’m walking with him – I learned this the hard way, on more than one occasion!
For years I made sure I walked once a day and I’ve learned to love it, it clears my head, gets me meeting new people and striking up conversations I wouldn’t normally and connects with me with nature, and reminds me that there is much joy to be found in the free stuff in life. And I have fallen in love with walking so much that I now have a 2 walk a day habit. There is no time attached to it, i just have to go for a walk twice. It can be for 10 minutes or 2 hours. The habit is getting out the front door and taking the first step.
And finally, I’d like to wave my Tupperware at you and tell you about meal prepping!
5. Meal Prepping
Bit of a game-changer this one! I stumbled across it when I was prepping for my bikini show.
There are so many benefits to it and I promote it through my coaching work, talks… and basically any chance I get. This isn’t about chaining yourself to eating the same bland food every single day, it’s about removing the energy suck that is thinking about what to eat, when to eat it, how to make it, and asking yourself whether you should or shouldn’t have it! Preparing meals is a great practice in general organisation and when you’re organised in one area, it encourages you to be organised in others. So if you struggle with organisation in your life, start with a vital aspect to your survival – food. Preparing meals in advance allows you to really think about what you’re eating and get more nutrition into your diet than if you were grabbing whatever is around you at the time. Balanced meals will keep you satisfied for longer and there have been times where I want to make a piece of toast or reach for some crisps but because I’ve got my turkey and beans ready to go in the fridge and I reach for that instead. I tell myself I can still have the crisps and toast after if I want but 9 times out of 10, I’m satisfied and don’t want them anymore.
So there you have it! My top 5 healthy and helpful habits!
What habits support you? I’d love to know so share in the comments box below! (Oo, I rhymed!)