Having and following good habits are very important aspects of our everyday lives. They enable us to carry out our daily activities and have helped transform many people’s lives from that of discouragement, helplessness and apprehension, to one of happiness, motivation and ambition. Habits are those small changes that you make now but make a big difference over time.
Here are 5 habits that will change your life:
Habit #1 : Eating good brain food
You are what you eat. What you eat matters especially to your brain. Food like blueberries are known as brain berries because they improve and protect the brain. Avocados and good fats are really excellent as well. They are very neuro-protective, similar to dark chocolate. What is good for your mood is generally good for your mind.
Habit #2 : Develop a calloused mind
Don’t just listen, TAKE ACTION. This leads to the second proven way that some of you must have heard from the great speaker, role model and inspiration David Goggins. He talks about developing a calloused mind. The reason he wakes up at 4 a.m. is that he is training his mind similar to when he is training his body at the gym. He has developed calluses on his hands from all the pull ups that he’s done and broke the World Record. In the same way, you want your mind to know that it may have a tactical advantage over you, it may know you inside out, it may try and conquer your weaknesses but guess what, you will ‘callus’ yourself to them. By callusing your mind, you are deliberately exposing yourself to pain and agony.
Goggins’ mantra is to ‘Seek Discomfort and Embrace Pain’!
By doing so, you will develop such a powerful routine that you are going to stick to because there are so many flaws that you need to change about yourself that you are going to be immune to the tactics and immune to your weaknesses. To develop a calloused mind, imagine that you are hardening yourself. At 4 a.m., you wake up, it’s dark outside, there is nobody else on your street, it’s cold, it’s damp, it’s boring, it’s not fun but you know what? You’re the first one up. While everyone else was sleeping, you were working. You won’t probably feel it but by the time 8 a.m. rolls in, you’ll realize that you have already done so much. You don’t have to wake up at 4 a.m., whatever time works best for you is the perfect time.
If you start strong, you have a much better chance of finishing strong. Don’t leave these things to the last minute. Try to be up when the sun is up.
Habit #3 : Put first things first
To live a more balanced life, you have to recognize that not doing everything that comes along is okay. There is no need to overextend yourself. All it takes is realizing that it is alright to say no when necessary and focus on your highest priorities. You are in charge. You are the creator. Being proactive is about choice. This habit happens day in and day out, moment by moment. It deals with many of the questions addressing the field of time management but that is not what it’s all about. It is also about life management, your purpose, values, roles and priorities. Focus on the important things. Act on your priorities
What are ‘first things’ to you?
Habit #4 : Unreal Expectations
Understand what we are getting when we look at people’s lives. We are getting a perfectly filtered version of somebody else’s life but not the messy behind-the-scenes because not everybody is sharing vulnerably and authentically. Nonetheless, we have to understand that there are many social media accounts that are active for business purposes or those that get paid off of the number of views and likes. So, when you judge your own life against your friend in your class or the colleague at work, how is that making you feel? You should become more aware of how you talk to yourself, how you react when you are feeding your mind and your heart with all of these things.
Habit #5 : Create a non-negotiable agreement
The final tip is to set up a non-negotiable agreement. Call your friend and tell them, ‘If I don’t do my assignment by next week, I’ll give you a hundred dollars.’ This is known as a commitment device because if you commit to nothing, you are going to be distracted by everything. It’s called hyperbolic discounting. It is a fancy way of saying that we over value the short-run relative to the long-run. So, if I give you two similar rewards, you will show a preference for the one that you can have now rather than later.
Here is a practical example: do you sit and watch TV or do you go out and run in the cold? Do you grab the fruit salad or the cheesecake like everyone else for dessert? All of you know that what is good right now isn’t necessarily good in the long-run and commitment devices like the non-negotiable agreement change this up, so that choosing what feels good in the short-run gets more costly. In addition, you have to set a concrete goal. Instead of saying ‘I’m going to lose some weight this year’ or ‘I’m going to do some more studying this year’, you have to say something like ‘I will spend two hours everyday after school, in the library, focusing on my math module that I’m weak on’.
You get what you focus on in life and if you don’t know what you need to focus on, if you don’t commit to something, you are doomed to fail and be distracted. Take it seriously. Remind yourself why you are doing this, why does this even matter. Put yourself in environments that factor in your failure where you know you are not going to feel like it but you are at the library or the study session anyway. Change your state. Go for a warm shower or bath. Go for a walk. Do whatever you need to do. Think negatively about the consequences of your behavior. Set up a non-negotiable agreement.
Make note of these habits. They will help you prioritize yourself and improve your life in every way.
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