Did you know it usually takes about 21 days for our mind to enforce a good habit. So all the things you do out of habit are just that and while bad habits cannot be changed within hours they can be replaced with developing new habits to replace them, these new habits must be done for at least 21 days so that they become enforced. Ideally at a similar time everyday, and ideally either first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. ~Jim Ryun
So what good habits can you implemet in the next 21 days? well anything you like, its the 1st of March today so if you stick with it by the 22nd you could have a variety of new and positive habits enriching your life. Lets start with a few suggestions.
1 - Meditation and Visualizations
This is a really cool one and something that pays off big time. If you can set aside just 10 minutes twice a day to Meditate and Visualize I guarantee you your life and world will become a richer place.
Here is a PDF I created on Meditation it gives a good outline of why and how to get started with meditation. I would also recommend you listen to this podcast “An Into to Buddhism” provided by the ZenCast.org. I would recommend starting your meditation for 5 minutes in the evening, you will find as you continue to meditate it will be easier and easier for you to do and reap the benefits. You will also probably find that you will want to mediate and relax for more than 5 minutes. This is fine take as much time as you like, meditating in the evening is a perfect way to unwind after a days hard work and clear the mind before sleeping….
As for Visualizations these are something I would recommend doing in the morning as they can allow you to focus on what you want to achieve for the day. Remember we attract our thoughts, therefore it is very important that you take a bit of time each day to think your day through and visualize things going well. See yourself doing all the things you want to achieve with comfort and ease. Its a great way to start the day and setup for a good mood.
2 - Read Everyday
Reading everyday for 20-30 minutes should be compulsory, by reading I don’t mean the papers or gossip column rather books that could enrich your life. Remember there has always been someone before us who has experienced the same problems we encounter and has written about them.
Every problem or question you can ever have has been dealt with by people before us. What kind of stuff should you read? well let’s have a look. Biographies are a great place to start I recently read Haruki Murakami’s and loved it. I got so much out of seeing how someone has dealt with problems in their life and experienced so many things. Other reccomended books would be things like “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and “Pshyco-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz both are self development classics and can have a rpofound effect on your life. Another great and inspiring read is “The Greatest Salesman in The World” by Og Mandino which is a timesless story which led many to success since ebing written in 1968. All of these books allow you to learn from great men and women who have preceded us and you can draw on their wisdom simply by getting in the habit of reading everyday!
3 - Exercise
Our bodies were made to move. The third habit I suggest is to do some form of exersise everyday. Whether that be some stretching and pushups or a 40 minutes weight session it doesn’t matter. What is important is that you get your blood flowing and heart pumping most days of the week. Too many people are stuck in sedentary jobs which means no movement apart from getting up to grab a coffee or unhealthy snack, this is not the way we were meant to be.
Try the One Hundred Pushup Challenge, go for a 30 minute walk before breakfast, start Yoga or try a form of Martial Arts. Movement and exercise should be fun and easily intergrated to your daily life, it should never be a chore.
I myself only do intense Exercise a few times a week but I will always try to sneak in a long walk or something outside. I feel terrible on the days that I am stuck behind a desk all day and the only movement I get is to grab some food. One thing you will find though is that once you develop a habit time finds you instead of you needing to find the time, its pretty amazing.
Keep It Up
You can develop new habits with anything you like whether it be something as small as stopping your nail biting habit or something huge like quitting smoking. Just remember the first 21 days will be the hardest, after that our brain re-programs and things become easier. Allow a slot each day for your habits to be implemented and practice them religiously. Watch your life grow…….