Three Things You Can Do Today To Move The Needle

 In Being Remarkable, Being Remarkable Vlog, Book Club, Business Topics, Empowered Leadership

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We are continuing our conversation on the topic of Designing the Life of Your Best Self. Today, we continue the  Five Steps to Being Your Best Self:

  1. Discover What You Secretly Wish To Feel
  2. Imagine Your Feelings As Goals
  3. Be Your Vision Now
  4. Activate the Rituals of Your Best Self
  5. Experience Daily Harvest

In the last article, Be Your Vision Now, where we explored Step Three, where we implemented a daily ritual to listen within for the guidance of your Best Self.

Today we move along to the fourth step…

Invoke Habits & Practices That Activate Who You Want To Be

Once you know how you want to feel, and examples of what it would look like to experience those feelings in the present and future, it’s time to decide on 3-5 daily rituals or habits that both cultivate your desired feelings AND set you in the direction of what you’re longing to experience.

Why Habits Matter

It has been said that 90% or even more, of your daily life, if the product of habits.  A habit is simply a routine or practice performed regularly or an automatic response to a situation.  Our days and nights are filled with regular routines and habits.  From the way we wake up (out of bed, get coffee, go to the bathroom, get in the shower, brush teeth, apply deodorant, apply makeup, listen to NPR, put on underwear, socks, etc.) to the way we respond to our spouses when we come home at the end of the day.  90% is Groundhog Day.

Our daily habits, be what they are, are producing our current results.

  • Our relationships
  • Our health
  • Our weight
  • Our wealth
  • Our environments
  • Our feelings

The subtle act of changing even just ONE habit, or replacing it with a new habit, has the power to utterly change your life.  Perhaps not all at once, but certainly over time.

In the New York Times Best Seller, and Allumé’s January 2020 Book of the Month, James Clear dedicates an entire book, Atomic Habits, to the power that simple habits can bring to creating remarkable new results.  In his book, he discusses how a 1% change can produce sustainable, lasting results.

Clear asserts that the most effective way to change your habits is to focus NOT on what you want to achieve, but WHO you wish to become.  He explains that your identity emerges out of your habits.  Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you want to become.

Contemplate this for a moment.  Who you believe yourself to be, emerges out of the thoughts you have about what you do.

  • If you get up and exercise every day, you start to see yourself as healthy.
  • If you make time to write every day, you start to see yourself as a writer.
  • If you speak lovingly to your spouse, you start to see yourself as a good partner.
  • If you express gratitude daily, you start to see yourself as fortunate.

On the other hand…

  • If you spend more than you make, you might judge yourself as irresponsible.
  • If you arrive late for meetings, you might judge yourself as frenzied.
  • If you eat ice cream every day, you might judge yourself as undisciplined.
  • If you yell at the dog, you might judge yourself as unkind.

In essence… What you do every day (habits), births a judgment about who you are, which activates feelings within you that become attached to how you see yourself, your circumstances, the people around you, and your life as a whole.

You enter into what is either a positive and virtuous cycle… 

  • Habits – You wake up early, have time to meditate, go for a run, and eat a healthy breakfast
  • Judgments – You start to see yourself as being healthy, disciplined, self-loving, empowered, high-energy.
  • Feelings – You feel empowered, satisfied, relieved, proud, enthusiastic, sexy, alive, successful… and these feelings inspire your next habit…

Or it can lead to a negative and vicious cycle…

  • Habits – You oversleep, don’t make your bed, skip breakfast, rush to get showered and dressed, yell at the kids, hurriedly drive to work, honk at the stupid drivers, arrive 20 minutes late to work.
  • Judgments – You might start to see yourself as being overwhelmed, out of control, a victim, chronically frustrated, disorganized, late, irresponsible, failure, unlucky.
  • Feelings – You might start to feel angry, resigned, frustrated, perturbed, overwhelmed, unworthy, depressed, sad.

Exercise

To begin a virtuous cycle today, consider these questions:

  1. Who do you wish to be?  Name what kind of person you long to be.  A healthy person?  A responsible person? A person who is smart with money?  A successful person?
  2. What 3 daily actions could you take to embody being that kind of person? Perhaps you’d like to be a healthy person, and for you, a healthy person would take 10,000 steps per day, or adopt a keto diet, or drink 10 glasses of filtered water, or cook oneself healthy meals at least 4 nights per week.  Maybe you’d like to be aa responsible person and that might mean choosing to balance one’s checkbook weekly, or to waking up early to complete important otherwise forgotten tasks, or choosing to always arrive 5 minutes early.  Or maybe you’d like to be a positive person, so you might decide to make a daily gratitude list, or write a letter of appreciation to someone every day, or take a walk outdoors and simply choose to see beauty everywhere you look.
  3. How will that help you experience your desired feelings?  Allow yourself to see the connection between the feelings you want to feel and the daily actions you’ve prescribed to take.

Example

In step one, I identified these five words I long to cultivate:  engaged, elevated, connected, whole-hearted, and worthy.

For the exercise in step #2, I narrowed it down to these three words: engaged, whole-hearted, and worthy.

For this step…

  1. I decided I want to embody being a wise leader.
  2. To embody being a wise leader, I choose to take these daily actions:
    1. Meditate daily to listen for guidance and take a specific daily action given to me by my higher power.
    2. Blog at least one time weekly.
    3. In meetings with my team, practice the Socratic method of listening and asking, giving others the opportunity to discover their wisdom and infuse our team with higher wisdom.
  3. I see how meditation allows me to come out of my head and engage with my heart. This gives me the ability to step into my day with mental clarity so that I can engage and connect wholeheartedly with whichever person I’m interacting.  Writing, and specifically blogging, is something I deeply enjoy and always tune my heart and energy from doing so.  Leading from a space of listening is a practice that will allow others to grow and shine; it also allows for more wisdom to make its way into our team creations.

I invite you to participate in the exercise above yourself. I look forward to hearing from you.

By Coco Sellman

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