One of the most important things we need to do in life every day is to choose what we feel we want to choose.
It is so easy not to choose some of those things that are good for us each day like exercising, eating well, spending quality time in our relationships, self-care, looking after our finances, and so much more, but who we are is a result of the choices we have made throughout our life.
So why is it that we sometimes struggle to keep our good habits going?
We get that wave of enthusiasm to go out and lose weight, exercise, work hard, drink less, meditate but then so often we spring back to where we were.
Improving this in itself is a choice! But how can we do it? Become Mindful and start slowly.
I started by including micro habits in my daily plan. By adopting a simple micro habit like drinking one more glass of water a day, flossing twice a week, just doing 5 mins of yoga a day, reading 10 pages of a book a day.
Suddenly you do not have to make yourself do them, they become automatic. The time is found, it happens and fits into your day, you start to enjoy them.
When you are mindful, you are just observing your thoughts and feelings, making no judgment. It is about being in the moment, here and now and really seeing, feeling and experiencing things.
It is about becoming aware of things around you more and more and being ‘in the room.’ Nigel Risner, an inspirational speaker and peak performance coach, with whom I have had the great pleasure to work many years ago, always said “when you are in the room be in the room”. It was so powerful I have never forgotten it!
Being mindful is a daily habit.
Mindfulness is like meditation; you can just start to appreciate so much more every day. You start to see things more clearly, you notice how things feel, look and sound.
It all starts to make sense and stress just fades away. Nothing is more important than being in the moment: looking at the person who is speaking to you, listening to what they are saying; engaging with everyone, watching things around you; being clearer on what you are saying, pausing before you say something you might regret; smelling those scents in the garden, tasting the food you are eating, sipping the glass of wine and just really relishing life.
It is strange, but by doing these simple things without really noticing, so often people lose weight, drink more water, take more care of themselves, get better sleep, finish some difficult work, set up the businesses, and diminish the stress in their lives and have happier relationships.
The secret to our happier future really lies in these daily habits, and by making mindfulness a habit, we can achieve anything we want.
This is one of my most favourite poems I have on my desk as a daily reminder…
The Habit Poem
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me and I will do them – quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed – you must be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of great people,
and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine though,
I work with the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin – it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am Habit.
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