February 9, 2017 by Jeff Lowen
In our age of technology, unless you’re hiding under a rock, you’re getting bombarded by messages and ads and notifications and articles to become a better this or that or increase your business revenue, make a better mousetrap, or just be a better you.
Seems year after year the push to make changes to better one’s life experience hangs most desperately in the turning of the calendar. The New Year offers rebirth, renewal, and rejuvenation. Yet, at some level, I think we all realize it’s the most challenging time to set resolutions; given that 90% of us will only buy into whatever we set forth for ourselves a short time. Come February, all the gyms will be back to normal, the business or work goals we’ve set becoming stale and the drudgery of the daily grind or work a day world returns with a vengeance!
Am I being pessimistic? Perhaps, yet I see time and time again, people from all walks of life follow this trend. I’m not here to bring light to a topic and then just tell you about it. I want to share my magic elixir that by which, one sip and you’ll be on your way to the promised land!
So here we are, 6 weeks into the New Year.
First of all, congratulations! It’s been a wild year to date and the New Year is a great time that marks the end of a season full of great love, family and friends, and gratitude.
The point I’m making is that when you make resolutions for the New Year, or just set any goal for that matter, it needs a little juice to make it happen. And the juice to which I am referring is the juice of good habits.
We all set goals to be better or to accomplish something. In the real estate biz, we’re creating an economic model by which we want to follow to earn a certain amount of money. However, how much time to we spend thinking, planning and working on our habits that will make this happen for us?
What habits do you want? Which ones do you need? How can they be perfected to benefit you, your family and your finances?
We’ve all read Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits. If you haven’t, that’s a great lace to start. Here, I’ll outline a few you can practice today, to make an immediate impact in your life and the lives of those closest to you…
As tempting as it is to try and work on more than one habit at a time to reach your goals more quickly, the exact opposite is true. Doing poorly with one habit will have a domino effect on the habits you’re doing well with. It’s a house of cards that will topple over and discouragement you to the point of making it harder to get back on your feet.
Try this as a habit-building process:
- Focus on one habit per month.
- Understand some habits will be easier to build than others, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes to build the habit, as long as you build it.
- Commit to the habit fully and don’t give up.
- Don’t beat yourself up. Instead of getting angry, use it as a learning experience.
- Reward yourself for staying on track.
- When you find yourself doing the habit without really thinking about it, it’s time to move on to your next habit.
Here are my favorite habits. A.K.A. My Dynamic Dozen:
Setting the stage.
This is where I get my mind right. I know that frustration, anger, sadness, confusion, among others are useful at certain times, but I want to be strong, stable and clear of any negative or destructive emotions. I don’t stress over it, I just know that I can only be amazing if I’m thinking from a good spot. So, I notice when I’m up and take advantage of it!
Beautifying my internal dialogue.
This is where I pay attention to what I’m thinking and telling myself about other people, events, and especially… Me. The ‘self-talk’ we carry with us can be lethal. Make sure it’s positive, uplifting and serving you towards whatever you wish to create in your life. Love is inspiring and motivating. Hate is debilitating.
Yeah, visualize it. Imagine your habits and your goals as if you’re there already. Who are you now that you’ve accomplished your goals and created an amazing life experience? Notice how it affects you. Live it… In your mind, first.
Not as easy as it sounds, but once you take all your habits and goals and everything you want to be, do and have in your life, and put them in the order you’d like to see them happen; it gets much easier to live them. The clutter and confusion melt away and your focus becomes strong instead of scattered.
Get outta bed!
Does the person whom you will be as a result of your goals and intentions get up at 10:00 in the morning? Getting up earlier is an amazing habit. Waking up earlier not only gives you time to do the important things, but you’ll be amazed how it makes you feel to get a jump on the day. So, start with 15 minutes earlier and then increase it from there, if you’re not already doing it.
Probably the single most habit that I’ve ever known to have the most profound impact. Meditation isn’t for Yogis and Monks only. It’s for quieting your mind to relieve stress and putting you in that awesome spot to think clearly, solve problems and be the best you that you can be. I don’t get in a complicated yoga position, I just sit comfortably with no distractions and go for it. Focus on your breathing, a mantra, allow thoughts to come… And go and after a few minutes when my mind shuts off – and believe me, it takes a few minutes – I’m thinking from a clear, wonderful spot to make great decisions and be of great service to the world.
A wise man told me once that if I wanted more time in my life, just be on time. Be punctual. It also respects others by being on time. So do everyone a favor – especially you – and be on time.
Have a morning routine.
Wake up early, meditate, exercise, read, write, have your coffee, plan your day, go change the world for the better. Whatever you choose to create as your own morning routine, just get one.
Drink mas agua.
Water is your life blood. If you’re a coffee all day or soda person, replace your favorite beverage with water. Toss a little lemon or ginger in it if you want to get fancy. Your body will say, “Ahhh” and will reward you with increased energy, vitality and wellness. And c’mon… Who doesn’t want that! My rule of thumb? It should be clear… Not yellow. You know what I’m talking about! 😉
Focus on one thing.
Yes, you self-proclaimed multitaskers out there won’t like this one. But, research shows that we all have 100% of our attention. When we’re working on more than one thing, we have to split that up. Ever talk with someone that goes to their phone to look at something and then looks back at you and says, “I’m sorry, what was that?” Yeah, it’s like that.
I’m not suggesting you go all the way and jump into the minimal lifestyle, but getting rid of the clutter, the stuff you’re not using, the noise. This consumerism lifestyle we have grown accustomed to takes up valuable brain space and I know you’d rather have it for dealing with your highest intentions. So, get rid of the stuff you’re not using because you may not realize it, but it’s holding you back.
Become a student.
Read, learn, grow, live. Really live. Stretch, get a little out of your comfort zone and embrace change. Studies show that this mentality not only keeps one sharp but more attentive, in tune and healthier. Who doesn’t want to live longer these days?