It has always been said that practice makes perfect.
Why is this? Anyone that attempts to do something daily will undoubtedly discover that if there are efficiencies to be found- your brain will find them.
The subconscious begins to take over the role of the conscious mind as tasks are done repeatedly.
This is why riding a bike is so much easier after the 10th time than it is the first ride through.
Now to bring this to living a successful life, I believe that your Habits and Routines literally outline the success you can hope to achieve down the line.
I read a great book a while back called The Slight Edge which talks about just this topic. The idea that small things, done consistently, can lead to great and massive results over time.
What you choose to do with your life, each and every day, is what you begin to add together in the “sum” of who you are.
If you eat donuts each and every day, soon enough you’re going to have to admit, “I’m literally made of donuts.”
What else is your body constructing your cells out of?
Now what if you take all of your thoughts, all of the wasted minutes on trivial things, all of the unhappy ideas and decisions you’ve made.. and you add them up over the course of weeks-years-months.
What you get is where you’ll be. Looking back now, can you see how your past ideas, decisions, and habits have gotten you to this point in your life?
If you can, GREAT! There is no need to beat yourself up about anything that has happened in your life so far. It is great to be able to take control now, realizing that your thoughts and actions can literally determine how bright your future is going forward. It is better to start now than to never start, or to sit around all day and worry about the past or future.
I think the most important habits to begin including in your life are:
Getting Enough Sleep
Journaling (or other forms of self-expression)
Reading (start with anything, but I think non-fiction has amazing results)
Bonus: Meditation or a Mindfulness practice
I’ve taken time to incorporate all of the above mentioned attributes into my life, and I am much happier and healthier than I was many years ago.
Over time, all of these habits compounded together can literally change who you are.
You can spend your day complaining about what has happened to you, or you can spend your day working on your daily practices, routines, and habits to start moving forward with your life.
Life isn’t lived in the past, and it isn’t lived in the future. The only place you have any chance of making a change is right here and now.
Seriously. Buy This Book, read through it and do the exercises, and your life will be change for the better.
I can imagine people looking at this list and wondering.. “Why is getting enough sleep on there?” - I figured you might ask this.
You could be the most successful person alive, and if you haven’t had enough sleep- you will be dead in the water. You just cannot be firing on all cylinders if you aren’t getting enough sleep.
This is seriously one of the easiest routes to being more successful, changing your sleep schedule from less than 6 hours to 7 or 8 hours.
I was so used to sleeping 6 hours that I felt like I was using my time wisely when I slept less. But I was wrong. I realized I was doing more harm to my body than it was worth.
The health rituals mentioned above are necessary to keep your body running smoothly, so that you can mentally function at your best. When I was sleeping less than 6 hours, I was doing much more harm to my body than I was realizing.
This effects every area of your life.
I’ve talked about Self-love and Journaling in previous posts, but I can’t overstate how valuable they can be for living a happier and healthier life. Your success may literally hinge on adding more self-love into your life. Journaling is a great way to practice both gratitude and self-love, and as a form of expression it is great for getting ideas out of your head and onto paper. DO IT.
You can check out a list of my daily rituals for a full view of my day. I highly suggest you look at it and consider adapting some new habits into your schedule.
Now pull out a spreadsheet, notebook, or piece of paper and figure out ONE routine you’d like to add to your day tomorrow.
Adding one or two new routines a month, for the rest of 2015, will quite literally transform who you are.