The power of getting conscious about your daily habits, by Susie Pearl.
The way we structure each day in our calendar adds up to how we run and organise life. If you want to make real changes to your lifestyle, begin by thinking about your daily habits and what you may like to adjust, change completely, add in or drop. Our routines are powerful, and we adapt quickly to them, often not questioning which are healthy and which are wasting our valuable time.
Humans are creatures of habit and getting in a good rhythm with daily routines can really help to change your life for the better. When I begin coaching new clients, the wish list people give me is often the same and I hear repeating themes: I want to improve my diet, exercise more regularly, improve my nutrition, get happier, get into better relationships with those close to me, spend money more carefully, eat consciously and so on.
It’s actually quite simple to make some powerful lifestyle changes to your average day that will make a big difference in your life.
Easy life habits checklist:
1. Make a list of all the new things you want to bring into your life.
2. Do a list of your current habits that you want to drop from your life.
3. Make a weekly plan and mark on it the days you choose to do your chosen activities (e.g. do a healthy food shop, yoga practice daily, walk in nature, social time, meditation.)
4. Record your progress for one complete week and see how well you are doing and write yourself a feedback report noting what you did well and which areas were a struggle and why.
5. Come up with some motivators to make it easier for you to succeed with your list and good ways to overcome whatever obstacles you imagine are in front of you.
Research says that when we do anything repeatedly for 21 days or more, it starts to become a habit and we are more likely to continue doing it automatically without too much effort or thinking.
Make sure you take at least one day a week to allow your brain to re-charge and switch off. It’s too easy to get blurred lines around work and down time especially if you work from home. It’s essential for good mental health to get at least one day a week which we can claim for ourselves and do whatever we want. Save the chores and admin to another day. Treat yourself and make it part of your self-care routine to give yourself enough down time and permission from you to ‘do’ nothing.
Doing nothing is actually doing something quite big and is extremely beneficial to the brain. It’s at the times when we have switched off from a busy life that the ideas tend to come in, inspirations act like spark plugs for new thoughts; it’s in this down time that the magic of the unconscious can do its work. Many people report that their best ideas come in the shower or on a walk when they are not really thinking too much. It’s a very powerful time and we should all allow ourselves more time to dream, float off and have some time where we are not consciously planning anything.
“A good morning starts the night before,” as my friend Jasmine Hemsley, a food writer, always reminds me. When we plan our day ahead the night before, we can get clear and specific about our goals and things we want to get done. When we wake, after planning the night before, we are already primed to know what we are up to and where we are headed. This means we are far more likely to get where we want to go.
Think about what your best daily habits might be. What is non-negotiable in your daily schedule? What would you like to do more of or less of? You are in charge of your time and only you get to decide how you spend every hour of the day ahead. Make good choices around your daily habits and watch your life shift fast.
Being mindful of daily habits creates a more conscious approach to planning the life you want and will help you get the best out of your life.
Susie Pearl is a writer and coach. Find her at susiepearl.co.uk