If I don’t deliberately plan my habits and time well, toxic patterns emerge. Eventually, I will implode. Terrible mistakes become inevitable.
The habits we adopt govern our leadership. It is easy to gain weight. All it takes is to sit, eat whatever comes your way and sleep less. Losing that weight, on the other hand, is a painful process. You have to contend with an exercise regimen, carefully monitored diet, and serious discipline.
Slip up and you shape out pretty fast! Laziness is the path of least resistance. It takes you to destinations you don’t want to explore.
In reality, my goals are my life-line. I had developed a decent rhythm on my weekly goals. However, there is always something competing for that goal-setting time.
Detailing those goals became “tedious”. I was approaching it as an unpleasant but necessary task. They became unpleasant when I began to slide back into procrastination.
Within two weeks, I was behind every aspect of my annual goals. It was painful to evaluate them. I worried on whether I could catch up. Even more challenging was to pick up my weekly planner to get things going again.
A man’s habits become his character.” ~Edmund Burke
There was one critical pivotal habit that I had abandoned. That was waking up early and on a consistent basis. To get back on track, I did three things:
1. Set time
Five AM it is for me. This is a little out of my comfort zone. I can assure you the first day was excruciating. The alarm went off… My eyes felt tired and gritty. My mind screamed “Five more minutes…” I dragged myself out of bed and downstairs.
This morning time-block activates my day. It runs for two hours. You don’t necessarily have to set aside two hours. Design yours to fit your lifestyle. Just make sure that you are very deliberate about this process. Time… don’t just keep it. Make it matter.
2. Identify my morning habits
As soon as my eyes find their focus, I drink a glass of water. To fire up my system, I do a series of timed physical exercises. It only takes seven minutes. I use Seven, a free iOS app. It helps me to work out my whole body.
I warm-down in meditation and prayer. After a 10-minute shower, it is time to feed my mind. It takes reading a chapter or two from my current book, with a good cup of coffee in hand. I then sit down and write 500 words. This writing challenge helps me grow as a writer. I took it up from Jeff Goins’ my500words.
“Change may not be as fast and isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped,” notes Charles Duhigg
3. Track those habits
I evaluate my day every evening. What did I do? How did I feel? What did I learn? Is there anything I need to change? Initially, my mistake was to try to keep a tab of everything in my mind. I should have relied more on a journal.
Going forward, I will review the previous week and design my weekly goals every Sunday evening. I will review my day every evening and set my goals for the next day. This has become a little easier, thanks to my good friend Todd Neilsen’s Ultimate Success Planner.
“Not managing your time and making excuses are two bad habits. Don’t put them both together by claiming you don’t have the time.” ~Bo Bennet
Q: What are you doing with your time? Make it matter! Have your say by clicking here.