01/25/10

Creating Habits That Inspire Action

 

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Choose your words, for they become actions.
Understand your actions, for they become habits.
Study your habits, for they will become your character.

Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

~ Unknown ~

Staying inspired and taking action isn’t just about having a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). It also requires good – and sometimes seemingly small and inconsequential-in-the-moment – daily habits.

While I’ve been blessed with success in my life, I have to admit that breaking bad habits and creating new healthy ones for me is challenging more often than not. And as I’ve discovered from all the self-help and organizing books and systems on the market, it is for millions of other people too. How about you?

I still have to remind myself to stop doing certain actions and start doing other actions that you’d think I’d have learned as a child. One of them is putting my belongings back where they belong immediately after I use them. Like my car keys. And my cell phone.

This works…when I follow it.

MAJOR TIP: And that’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? Making the decision to follow the steps we know we need to take to create and reinforce good habits and break unhealthy ones so that we do these things without even thinking about it and break through to reach the BHAG. Did you know new research shows that it takes less than a half second to make that new choice? A HALF SECOND!

Pause for a half second before you’re about to repeat that bad habit you already know you don’t want to do, think about the BHAG result you want, and make a different choice! After a half second the urge dissipates and making a better choice is easier. Repeated daily, this single action pays dividends for the rest of your life!

TIP: If I’m really paying attention to that IV (Inner Voice) Drip filled with smart thinking, I make that half second choice in the moment to follow that good habit. Difficult at times, and I’m not always successful, but the payoff is ALWAYS worthwhile, especially long term. As the great Jim Rohn said, “Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.”

TIP: I was a smoker from the time I was 15 years old until age 32. I quit when I realized my animals ran away from the smoke and I finally noticed that non-smoking clients did that “whiff” test where their heads jerked and their faces frowned as I came within smell distance. Quitting wasn’t easy, but I did it and I use that success as a reminder when I am working on creating major habit changes like the way I use credit and where I spend my money and resisting fast food.

TIP: There’s this saying that I hear in my head occasionally (as in not often enough) when I’m about to deter from following a good habit – “How you do anything is how you do everything.” It’s a good reminder for me that small good habits lead to big good habits, higher self-esteem, and better results in all aspects of my life.

RESOURCE: To help you form better habits and change ones that aren’t working, I’d like to share a great resource with you. Definitely bookmark this site and be prepared to be inspired and take action after connecting with the brilliant Leo Babauta, the founder and creator of Zen Habits.

Leo has a lot of different posts on how to form better habits. The one that really called to me for this message is something we don’t often think of – what to avoid, which is as important as what to move toward.

13 Things to Avoid When Changing Habits

What about you? What your best tip for making or breaking a habit? What habit do you want to create or change and need help with? Post a comment and let’s make some new habits together. *Remember, if you post a comment, you’ll not only help other readers, you’ll also be entered to win in the monthly drawing for a free hour of coaching on any topic of your choice with me.

Thanks for sharing!
01/19/10

The Power of Keeping an Energy Journal

“We are what we repeatedly do.”
~ Aristotle ~

“It’s simple. Stop doing what isn’t working. Do more of what is working.”
~ John Reese ~


We’re 20 days into January and I’m wondering how you’re doing with your New Year’s Resolutions and quarterly and annual goal actions? Are you still moving forward at a pace that is inspiring or are your wheels starting to spin a little more often than you’d like?

I’m finding I’m doing both. When I did my weekly check-in yesterday, I realized it was time to reactivate a 5-step process that I use in my stress management programs to help people reconnect to emotional intelligence and shift their energy. Amazing what happens when you take your own advice! Time slows down and life become richer and more vibrant. What is important shines and what is trivial falls away. You are in the zone.

Here’s the process. Let me know how it works for you.

1. Take a deep breath and focus on your body. You can do this standing, sitting, or laying down.

2. Scan your body, noticing what you’re feeling, starting at your toes and work up to the top your head. Ask yourself, “On a scale of 1-10, how am I feeling?
(1=Bad, 5 = Neutral, 10 = Fantastic! (Keep this simple for now.)

3. Notice the number in your mind and feel the feeling.

4. Ask yourself, “What could I think, say, or do right now to shift this energy up one point?”

5. Do what your Inner Voice suggests and keep doing it until you move up a point. With repetition, you’ll notice that you’ll stay at higher levels longer and be able to increase your energy and good feelings more quickly.

Repeat this process a minimum of 3x a day for the next 21 days and create a new
habit that serves your health and emotional/mental wellbeing.

If you want to turn this into a habit you do without thinking twice, record your answers like I do in an Energy Journal (Click here for a sample journal sheet in pdf). You’ll heighten your awareness and create a helpful self-discovery tool to find out specifically where you lose your energy and how to get it back quickly.

I really want you to have an exceptional life, so please enjoy this journal as my gift to you. Click here to download the Energy Journal.

Enjoy your time with your Self and let me know how the Energy Journal works for you. You can leave a comment below.

Mary

Thanks for sharing!