If we know what’s working (and what’s not), we can set meaningful goals and intentions from a place of clarity and purpose rather than halfhearted whim. Before the goals, though: habits. Habits are how we get to where we want to be, but which ones are worth keeping and which are worth throwing out? To inspire your best intentions (the fruitful ones) here are the happy habits that are helping me reach new heights, and I threw a few in that I’m throwing out.
“If you won’t bring more mindfulness and joy into your life, for the sheer personal improvement, then do it for those around you who might otherwise be harmed by unchecked emotional contagion.” — Brendon Burchard, High Performance Habits
This is only the second time I’ve performed a New Year review, and that could be considered the first habit I’m sticking with.
This is what I love about getting clear: I get motivated to do the things that I really want to do. That’s huge! Evaluating those “happy habits” that have made a truly deep difference in my life has empowered them. I have to actually stop and think about what matters to me and what I’m already doing that’s helping me succeed.
Not only that but with a New Year review, I’m forcing myself (in a nice way) to step back and look at the bigger picture. What’s working? What could have been done better? What’s helping me feel the way I want to feel and what’s not helping? The “bigger picture” mentality also enables me to acknowledge the not-so-wonderful things without getting sucked into self-pity.When it comes to sustainable success, clarity makes all the difference. Click To Tweet
This isn’t a post about setting new goals and creating new habits. This is about looking at what’s already working and recommitting. If you want to create new habits, however (I do too, by the way, I’m just not writing about it here), consider setting up habit triggers that remind you to be what you’re trying to be.
I learned about habit triggers from Brendon Burchard, high performance trainer; watch this video of his to learn more about them. Basically, we set up “If that, then this” prompts to remind us of our intentions throughout the day. For instance, every time you walk through a doorway, you repeat three words that describe who you want to be and how you want to be remembered. Or, set an alarm to go off at certain times of the day with prompts like “Close your eyes. Take ten deep breaths.” Or, “Drink water.”
Strengthen your best intentions by first identifying which habits help you stay on track, and which just don’t. Here are mine.
Happy Habits I’m Keeping for Fruitful Intentions
Meditation. I’ve kept up with meditating all year and it has been my go-to practice both first thing in the morning and whenever I sense a downward spiral coming on. Stop. Deepen. Breathe. Connect. It has worked wonders in every area of my life. It’s a keeper.
Listening to audiobooks/podcasts while driving. On my way to and from work is when I need the most motivation, and this is a great way to get it. I learn new things, feel inspired to bring joy into the day, starve worry, feed curiosity, and sometimes I laugh out loud or go “aha” to myself. All good things.
Keeping a planner. Hallelujah! My life feels together (for the most part). Since I love getting things out of my head, making lists, and being organized, having a daily planner to guide me has been awesome. I see everything in one place—gratitude, habits, expenses, to-dos, important dates. The brain is a little less crazed.
Jogging. A recent discovery: Jogging might be my way out of a health rut. Go figure—I’ve never enjoyed it. However, it’s the one exercise that’s been helping my energy without hurting me. The one physical exercise I’ve always said I “hated” (such a strong word) might be my golden ticket to feeling better. Oh, the humor…
Turning off notifications on my phone. It’s oh, so sweet when something simple makes a profound impact on your mental health. If you haven’t done this and your phone is one of the main sources of distraction and stress in your life, I urge you to try it. I’m not going back.“Stay close to what makes you feel alive” is good advice, as long as you know the “what.” Click To Tweet
What I’m Releasing Because It Doesn’t Help
Three words: Can’t. Should. Hate. I wrote about this yesterday. If you didn’t see the post, it’s right here. These words do not make me feel good, and feeling bad certainly isn’t on my list of things I want to grow this year.
Letting days go by without reaching out to a friend. Relationships are a top priority this coming year because it’s one area of my life where I could be doing better. It doesn’t take much time to send a sweet text or mail a handwritten letter, even if it’s just to say “I’m thinking of you and here’s why.” Without kinship and connection, all other priorities lose their color.
Hiding from the camera. So what’s the big deal about letting my face make its way into a social media post? I have this long-standing habit of seeking shelter from the camera, and I know it’s not born of love. I might have to set up triggers to remind me to allow myself to be more open, in the name of love. People don’t seem to mind, and quite frankly I think it’s a waste of energy to worry about it anymore.
I shared a bunch of other “small” things on my STOP doing list a couple months back. I liked that one.“People on a path to purpose don't have time for drama.” @BrendonBurchard Click To Tweet
- How do you want to feel this year? How do you want your experiences and relationships to feel?
- What’s at least one habit you’re keeping from this year and carrying into the next, to help you feel the way you want to feel?
- What’s one habit you think you could do without next year?
Please share your thoughts, happy habits that really do make a difference, new year intentions, stories of success, and/or hopeful energy with me in the comments.
Share this with a friend to inspire a better 2018.
Make the things that matter conscious. Hell, make the darkness conscious, too. Then you might just know what to do.