THE HABIT: Week-1 (Gratitude)

What is THE HABIT? THE HABIT focuses on how you start each day; your morning routine; because how you start each day determines how you live each day. Each day is your life in microcosm. As you take control of your mornings, you’ll begin to take control of your life. No longer will you be swept-up in the current; current events, current challenges, and current obligations. You’ll become proactive instead of reactive.

How you start each day determines how you live each day!

With 2017 drawing to an end, it is a time of reflection for many people. As a result, many people will start creating New Year’s Resolutions. Many of these resolutions will involve losing weight. Unfortunately, the success rate for New Year’s Resolutions is an abysmal 8% with 80% of people quitting by February. The people that succeed have two things in common. First they make a strong commitment to achieving their goal, because they know if their reasons aren’t strong enough their excuses will be. Second, they start small. There is a lot of power in small consistent efforts.
Habits and daily rituals are the foundations on which our lives are built. We are creatures of habit. Everyone has a set of daily rituals. If you are honest with yourself, you’ll probably agree that today, is much like yesterday, and tomorrow will be a lot like today. The places you go, the people you talk to, the things you eat, the thoughts you think, the actions you take, etc.
We form habits and routines because they feel good. We form habits because they eliminate the need to constantly make conscious decisions throughout the day. When we perform activities out of habit, the actions take place at the subconscious level, with our brains essentially on autopilot. Habits conserve our limited cognitive energy. Our habits make us who we are because we become what we repeatedly do. If you study your field every day, you’ll become an expert in your field. If you exercise every day, eventually you will become a fit person.

“Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.” – Confucius

I suggest that this year, instead of waiting for January 1st to arrive, you begin adopting a few small habits so that when the ball drops you’ll already have built some momentum. I will present a series of small habits you can adopt each week to change your life. I will begin with the smallest of daily rituals and slowly build-up to habits that will require a little more effort to adopt.
We are going to start small, but before long you are going to start noticing drastic improvements in your life. Within a week, you’ll notice an improvement in your mood. In a month, you’ll start noticing improvements in your energy and focus. After three months, you’ll begin to notice improvements in your appearance and self-confidence, and by the end of the year, you’ll have become a person that can achieve whatever it is you set your mind to do. I know this seems like a tall order, but if you understand the compounding effect of daily rituals, you’d realize what I am promising is completely realistic.

One droplet will do nothing to a stone, but as Ovid observed, “Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.”

The problem with most people is that they try something for a little while, then give-up, when they don’t see immediate results. Persistence is the key. Our results come from our repeated efforts.

“Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”- Calvin Coolidge.

The Week-1 challenge is to write down 15 things you are grateful for in your life and then read it each morning; bonus points if you read it again before going to bed each night. If you are like me, the first time I was asked to do this I thought that I would have a hard time writing down 15 items, but when I began to think about everything in my life like my spouse, my children, my friends, our pets, our home, our car, my health, my job, the education I received, and all the opportunities available to me, I quickly wrote 20 things. It is easy to focus on problems and forget everything that is good in our life. I suggest you find or purchase a note pad and a pen to record these items. Layout the pad and pen the night before, and write down everything you can think of, at least 15-items, the next morning. That’s it.

After you create your list, it will only take you a couple of minutes each morning to re-read your list. This one small habit can drastically improve your mood. When you begin each day with a spirit of gratitude it will influence the rest of your day. Anger, frustration, and resentment are not compatible with gratitude. Those emotions cannot exist when you are grateful. When you begin to feel these negative emotions, remind yourself of what you are grateful for. After doing this for a week, you’ll begin to see an improvement in your mood. It is so easy to do, but what is easy to do, is also easy not to do. Make the small commitment to do this every day. Not Monday through Friday, not every once in a while. Every day, so it will become automatic.

Till next week, good luck!

Change your habits, change your life!

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