We have crossed mid-2017 and you are nowhere close to keeping your resolutions. In fact, you are adrift in the chaos that life has become again. Making yearly resolutions and sticking to them is a Herculean task even the best of us fail it. Setting goals achievable 365 days into the future and then going about doing things to reach them is a lengthy process; exhausting and often distressing.
Instead, set monthly goals for yourself and then inculcate daily habits that will bring you closer to those goals. Soon enough, you will be fitter, stronger, happier and more successful than you’d imagined. Here are some daily habits that will get you there:
1. Become a 5amer
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari author Robin Sharma – whose current bestseller is The Leader Who Had No Title — has been advocating the 5am club for two decades. This simple habit has changed the life of millions of his readers. The world’s most successful people are also early risers. They use the morning as me-time to prep for the day, meditate, pray, exercise and make positive affirmations. Choose the morning rituals that work best for your productivity and set the alarm for 5am, starting tonight.
I’ve been practising this ritual too, and it has made all the difference between being proactive and letting life happen to me. Check out my previous post on the topic of waking up early:
2. Sip on water all day
Water is hands down, the best ingredient for weight loss. Moreover, those hunger pangs in the middle of the day is often simple thirst that can be quenched with a glass of room temperature water. Dehydration is best avoided since the body will try to compensate by retaining more water to prevent the fluid levels from dropping. In effect, drinking less water can lead to water retention. Sipping on water all day will keep your liver and kidney healthy.
Ask yourself how much water you drink every day, and even your most generous estimate is not nearly enough. I used to think I average pretty well at 8 cups of water a day. It wasn’t even half of what I should be having. Ironically, you are more likely to have water bloat if you drink less water (more on that in another post).
3. Get your brekka!
Of the three main meals of the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner, science says breakfast is the most important. The daily habit of eating a good breakfast will jumpstart your metabolism each and every time. This translates to more energy, efficient weight management and a fresher you. Since your body has practically fasted after last night’s dinner (hence the name ‘break fast’), breakfast restores blood glucose level to normal.
One thing I can’t live without is breakfast. These days, I eat breakfast by 7am (within three hours after waking up). Opinion is divided as to how soon one must eat. One thing is for certain. Ensure it has some fresh vegetables/ fruits, protein and high quality fats in moderate amounts.
A balanced breakfast (fresh fruits with slow-cooking oatmeal or dry fruit muesli with yogurt and a pinch of cinnamon powder) will provide the carbs and essential nutrients to start the day on a good note.
4. Get outdoors
Famed western classical composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky took daily walks to shift his mindset from the mundane. Nelson Mandela is known to have walked entire days purely for the exercise and to clear the mind. Her majesty Queen Elizabeth goes for morning walks around the castle, as early as 3am. Walking in nature gives these high achievers insights they wouldn’t dream of.
And it makes you HAPPY. Have you ever been worried while taking a walk in nature? Look at this guy…
5. Be grateful
An attitude of gratitude is one of the main components in the law of attraction (self-help term for getting what you desire as has been clearly outlined in Rhonda Byrne’s film and book The Secret).
Keeping a 5-minute daily gratitude journal – where you outline all the things you are grateful for – has been proven in an American study to boost productivity, improve emotional well-being and enhance creativity. It reduces materialism, makes you more optimistic and less self-centred.
Making gratitude a habit will make you smile more, sleep better and live longer. Productivity blogger Leo Babauta of the minimalist blog Zen Habits wrote this beautiful post explaining exactly how living a life of gratitude can make you happy.
Armed with these achiever-approved, science-backed daily habits in your arsenal, transformation is only a matter of time. Here’s to a happier tomorrow. What are your daily habits? I’d like to know in the comments section below.
(A version of this post was first published on Alldatmatterz.com)