In the previous chapter, we went over destructive habits, but the opposite exist too. Positive habits create a beneficial path for you to follow in life, bringing you strength, success, and prosperity.
In this chapter, we’ll be looking into beneficial habits for day-to-day life. Yes, that means every day. Remember the Five Point Approach from before, and you’ll do great.
Weekday or weekend, these habits must be a daily occurrence. By performing small but consistent actions, you’ll see your life changing quite literally before your eyes, which is a result often absent from more long-term planning and execution.
However, you don’t need to try and implement every last one of the following habits into your life. Only those with some serious experience with this approach manage to pull that off. Instead, you can choose one or a few to start with, then add others as you see fit.
The habits listed here I personally integrated into my life over the course of three years.
With that said, this isn’t a definitive list, since there are, of course, too many potential beneficial activities to list here. Instead, I’ll be giving you a starting point by illustrating my own personal experience for your benefit. As you progress with your habit-building, you can and should introduce activities that are more specific to you.
To ensure that a beneficial activity truly becomes a habit, you’ll need to perform it daily for approximately 40 days. This isn’t an insurmountable effort by any means, so don’t condition yourself into a state of apprehension just because the number of days is double digit. The following chapter will cover the Vow Technique, which will help you in this endeavor.
On the whole, performing every single habit listed below (and remember, your list will differ from mine) takes up about two and a half hours per day. If you think that’s a lot, remember that this is meant to go hand in hand with the removal of “time killer” activities, which have a tendency to take up quite a bit more time.
First, here’s a map of all the habits we’ll be looking into going forward.
Now, let’s get into it. The first major category of habits is aimed at making you healthier and more energetic.
This habit will serve to safeguard your health. As long as this doesn’t conflict with any health conditions you may have, it’s best to limit food intake after about 7 PM altogether.
Make sure to get at least seven hours of sleep. However, that doesn’t mean sleeping in after going to bed at midnight or the like. A popular topic for authors in recent years has been the daily routine of successful people. One thing they all espouse in unison is how the vast majority of truly successful individuals wake up between the hours of 4 AM and 6 AM. Needless to say, that means getting to bed earlier too. However, the benefits of such a sleep schedule cannot be understated. Wake up early, and you’ll be following the rhythm of nature itself.
That means pure drinking water, and preferably no less than half a gallon. Various soft drinks and juices aren’t a proper substitute. If you’re having trouble remembering, don’t shy away from setting an alarm throughout the day. As with many of these habits, it’s easy to convince yourself that this activity isn’t worth your time, but do that, and you’ll be helping to defeat your own life-changing efforts.
Whether you go to the gym or just take up running, the goal in the context we’re dealing with isn’t just to strengthen your body. Physical activity has monumental impact on the mind as well. As such, make sure to make time for it at least two to three times per week, at least half an hour each time.
Keep track of your thoughts and your words. Get into the habit of counting to ten in your head if you find yourself regularly about to “snap” out of anger. The Law of Attraction isn’t just a metaphysical concept but a very tangible social one. The more negativity you put out, the more of the same you’ll attract.
I suggest a simple but effective routine, the magic of which you’ll feel only after trying it. So as the saying goes, don’t knock it till you try it. Brush your teeth, clean your tongue, drink a glass of warm drinking water with some lemon juice in it, and take a contrast shower.
For those not in the know, a contrast shower is simple but brilliant. You start with warm water, then turn it up to hot, then switch it up to cold, and then dial it back up to hot. You keep up this rhythm until you’ve switched back and forth several times, and then you finish up with cold water. As you embrace this habit and become more tolerant of the hot and cold water, you should strive to widen the temperature gap.
Everyone is different, but my approach includes a minimum of ten yoga poses, with two targeting joints, one for relaxation, five for the spine, the candle pose, and the tree pose. If you’re curious about yoga in particular, don’t hesitate to search for information online, and use your curiosity to drive you in making this a regular habit.
This ought to be done after all morning exercises and after the contrast shower mentioned above. This habit is important, so don’t shrug it off. The unfortunate reality is that in our hectic modern lives, especially in the big city, we’ve practically forgotten how to relax. Constant stress is a literal killer though, destroying us from within if we don’t take the time to properly relax. Even ten minutes of relaxation per day will have an immense impact on your mental and physical health alike.
If you have a hard time relaxing of your own volition, turn on some calming music. Sit down in a comfortable pose, whether the lotus or otherwise, but make sure that your back is up against a firm surface, or you won’t be able to properly relax. Alternatively, you can simply lie down on a flat, sufficiently rigid surface (a carpeted floor will do just fine). Breathe freely, and you’ll soon notice yourself gradually relaxing. After completing this relaxation session, massage your temples gently and work your eyes a bit by performing eight clockwise rotations followed by another eight in the opposite direction. A simple, general technique, but there’s a reason it’s so popular. You don’t need to be a guru of eastern philosophy or training methods to take up this habit.
If a rosehip infusion in particular isn’t to your liking, just about any herbal tea with honey will suffice. Such teas are delicious both hot and cold, and that’s not even mentioning their health benefits. Try to replace regular tea, coffee, and various soft drinks with herbal teas. Whether you’re a fan of tea or have never even considered trying it, I urge you to experiment and take up this habit. As with many of the habits on this list, it’ll positively impact both your body and your mind.
Avoid taking your car or chosen form of transit whenever the distance allows getting to your destination on foot. Likewise, challenge yourself by avoiding elevators when possible. And in general, just take up walking as a pastime, if you haven’t already. Choose the setting for your walks carefully to ensure sufficient fresh air, such as in parks or along bodies of water. The serenity this kind of experience brings shouldn’t be underestimated.
Now it’s time to move on to the second group of habits, which will help you reshape yourself into a stronger, better individual. These habit develop cognitive abilities (including memory), expand your stores of sheer knowledge, broaden your horizons, and help you attain new skills.
For these habits, I myself often use my smartphone, which I see as the ideal tool for such efforts, as long as it’s used for targeted self-improvement and not just entertainment.
Set aside 15 minutes every day to study a foreign language. Aside from providing the obvious, direct benefit of knowing another language, this activity also acts as a workout for your brain, especially in regards to your memory. I tend to do this immediately upon arriving at work, before the start of a new work day sweeps me away.
A good way to start is to study two or three words every day and supplement that with some grammar or speech exercises. I use my mobile device for this purpose to great effect, and there are many apps available today that use highly efficient techniques to teach you a new language on your schedule.
Take the time to jot down new ideas, various significant thoughts, and anything else of note throughout your day. My choice is the Evernote app, which allows me to store my notes in the cloud, thus making them available to me both on the go and at my workstations. A good companion for Evernote is the Clearly web browser extension, which allows you to add content you find online to your notes by removing all but the most important information from any given text and then recording it.
Audio books are now available more widely than ever, and you can take them with you on your mobile device. I’ve taken to this habit something fierce, listening to books every chance I get, such as while driving (or not driving due to traffic being at a standstill), walking, waiting on something, etc.
As for what kind of books to listen to, I’d recommend topics like entrepreneurship, self-development, or classical fiction from ages past, as well as any guides to skills you want to pick up. This method alone allows me to consume up to two books every week in a way that doesn’t take away time from other activities. On top of this, I’d suggest also writing down the core messages from any given book after completing it, which is a mental exercise in itself.
Set aside half an hour every day to watch beneficial video. The topics I’d suggest are the same as for the audio books above. Over the course of each week, you’ll be able to watch the educational equivalent of two to three movies. When searching for such videos, you need not go far, as even YouTube has plenty of it, though nowhere to be found among trending content, alas.
It’s best to plan out the most important aspects of the upcoming day during the evening, then follow up with finalizing the plan in the morning. Track what you’ve accomplished throughout the day. As with several of these habits, planning has become much more efficient with the increased availability of mobile apps for the purpose. In fact, app stores even have entire categories dedicated to such apps, so seek, and you will most definitely find.
Get used to getting done anything that takes between two and ten minutes of time. These kinds of short tasks can pop up many times every day, and if you allow them to accumulate, they will then consume more of your time and energy at a later time (remember, rhythm and cycles are everywhere).
To progress efficiently in any direction, you’ll need a list of both short and long term desires and goals. Once you have your list, go over it mentally every day by reading it aloud or listening to it, if you keep a voice recording, all the while visualizing the various end states you wish to achieve. This doesn’t take long at all, but the beneficial effect of such mental focus on the future is considerable.
This may sound odd, given the previous chapter’s outlining of what makes news a bad habit, but every rule has its exceptions. As long as you approach the consumption of news carefully, it can and will benefit you in the long run. First and foremost, you should focus on news regarding topics and fields you are personally invested or interested in. There are many ways to make this process more efficient, be it reading an RSS feed, using an aggregator like Anews, or altogether reshaping your social media feeds by following only news outlets and other informative sources that post relevant publications rather than the all-too-common social drama found there in spades.
This has to be the most challenging habit for me personally. I’m currently getting back into it a third time after two lapses. However, as a business partner recently noted to me, “money and negligence can’t coexist – you can have one or the other, but not both.” If you aim to get a proper grip on your funds and to create the necessary conditions for growing your wealth on an ongoing basis, you’ll need to keep a budget.
This means recording your income and your expenses on a daily basis, analyzing and optimizing what you spend money on, and other budgeting activities. Fortunately, we’re living in the future, and there’s plenty of software out there to help you manage your money. However, as a whole, budgeting isn’t just empty busywork. You should actively seek to gain better understanding of monetary resources. Think of it as a useful skill to add to your arsenal.
Do your best to leave room in your daily schedule for those close to you. Call them, meet up with them, talk, make plans, participate in recreational activities together, etc.
As I mentioned above, this isn’t an exhaustive list of habits. In the section where I outline practical tasks, you’ll put together and begin integrating your own list of habits.
However, there are two more habits I’d like to share that will help you gain sincere confidence in yourself. Let’s go over them now.
The 3-Month Guide to Change is currently available for Amazon Kindle.
© 2015-2017 The Phoenix Codex by Sergei Borodin
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