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Habits

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The way you start your day determines how well you live your day- Robin Sharma

This quote by Robin Sharma inspired me to understand the importance of mornings and changed the way I start my days (with powerful routines) so as to make my life more aligned with my goals.

If you wish to see a positive change in life, you have to work for it not one day, two days or three days, but every day.

Yes, every single day!

And what better way to start your day well than with your mornings?

Have you had days on which you started the morning feeling rushed and you were stressed the whole day? What about on the days you got up earlier and did everything calmly and you felt peaceful the whole day?

I have experienced both so I choose to wake up early so as to start my day on a happy and peaceful note. It reflects on my mood the whole day. I used to sleep late and wake up late leaving only 30 minutes for getting ready for school/college. My days always started in a hurly-burly way and in a high-stress mode. I always wished to have more time and energy in my day to do everything I love. Waking up earlier seemed to be the best solution for my problem.

But I am not saying everyone should become a morning person. It’s a personal preference and your genes play a role in it too. And there are night owls who are successful and have their productivity at its best after the world has gone to sleep.

But if you want to become a morning person, there is no reason you shouldn’t. 

Some studies show that having a gene mutation can make you a night owl. But don’t lose your hope yet. Even if you are a night owl you can learn to be a morning person. Read this article from espressoscience.com for more information. So isn’t getting up early enough, why have a morning routine, you may ask?

Let’s see the benefits of having a morning routine.

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Why should you start a morning routine?

  • A morning routine gives your day a positive start. A morning routine with planned activities will wake you up energetically and gives a momentum to your day that will be carried on to the rest of the day. 
  • You can prepare for the day in advance which means no time wasted on decisions and you are at your productive best.
  • If you have ever exercised in the morning, haven’t you noticed how the energy filled up your whole day? The same is with a morning routine. It gives a good start to your day.
  • A morning routine often includes planning for the day and it helps to dictate exactly how your day is going to be rather than going with the flow.
  • When you make time for the morning routine, you are also giving quality time for yourself first thing in the morning. It helps to reflect on your day or life in general. You get undisturbed time to make important decisions and set goals in life. Filling your cup before pouring onto others’ is good for your relationships and overall happiness in life. And also, reflecting and reviewing your goals on a consistent basis are important to keep up with your goals.
  • Increases self-discipline. When you start your day with morning routine you are conquering the first part your day. Self-discipline is like a muscle which gets stronger as you use it.
  • Having a morning routine reduces the stress that usually comes with getting ready for school/work because you are prepared.
  • You have a dedicated time for personal development in your day. When you don’t have a routine as such, it is easier to postpone personal development because it is not a pressing matter when you think short term.

Do you want to create a morning routine? Click to learn how to start a morning routine that will transform your life.

How to create a morning routine?

You can create a morning routine even if you don’t wake up early in the morning. You can do your morning routine once you wake up if you have time. There is no rule which says our morning routine should be in a certain way.

A morning routine is a set of activities that you do to enhance your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. 

You can create a morning routine that suits your needs and wishes. And you can tweak it to serve your goals.

For example, if you want to improve fitness you can include exercise in your morning routine. If a full-fledged exercise routine doesn’t appeal to you or if you don’t have time you can include a 10-minute stretch routine to wake up your body. 

Here are some ideas to include when you create your morning routine.

Physical

Mental 

Spiritual

  • Do meditation
  • Review your goals
  • Say affirmations
  • Write in your gratitude journal

There are a lot of personal development activities that you can include in your morning routine. Make a list of what you want to include in your morning routine and calculate the estimated time required to do each activity and adjust your wake up time accordingly.

Related: How to start your personal development journey

Do you want to create a morning routine? Click to learn how to start a morning routine that will transform your life.

Wake up earlier

To create a morning routine, it is desirable to start getting up at least 30-45 minutes earlier. It is an estimated time, it depends upon your morning routine and time needed for each activity. 

According to Hal Elrod, the author of The Miracle Morning, you can create a morning routine which is as short as 6 minutes. Now you can never say you are too busy to work on yourself. If you follow ‘The 6-minute Miracle Morning routine’, each minute is devoted to these activities: Silence/Meditation, Saying affirmations, Visualisation, Scribing/Journaling, Reading and Exercising.

I would devote more than a minute to these activities, but this is a great place to start if you want to start a morning routine. The beauty of this routine is you don’t have to wake up too early to try it out.

Related: How to become a morning person even if you are a night owl

Trial and error

Once you have an idea what you want to do in your morning routine, try it out for a few days and feel free to add or delete routines that don’t make you feel better or do its purpose.

The purpose of a morning routine is to increase your productivity and get a head start for your day. Tweak it according to your satisfaction and ease.

Have an evening routine

One thing that you can’t overlook if you want to create a morning routine is getting proper sleep. An evening routine will help you wind up your day in a way proper rest is assured. Getting quality sleep is essential for your body and mind to work at their best.

In short, a successful morning starts the night before. And it is more difficult than ever to go to sleep on time since smartphones came into our lives. If you stay up late till 1.30 am and if you are like most people, you can’t expect to wake up at 6 am feeling refreshed. Therefore, having an evening routine will ensure you get enough sleep and a plan for the next day so that you wake up knowing how you are going to spend the day.

An evening routine is essential if you have trouble going to sleep on time and if you spend time scrolling on social media or binge-watch Netflix. Here are some general guidelines you can follow to create an evening routine.

#1 – create a power down hour

A power-down hour will help you to shut off the buzzing brains and sleep peacefully. I know, shutting your brain off from thinking about a pressing matter is easier said than done.

I have found journaling helpful in such situations. The minute you want to shut off your eyes, so many things come to your mind that you are not able to sleep even if you feel sleepy. On such nights, I take my bullet journal out and do brain dumping which helps me take certain things off my mind. Trust me, putting it on paper has a magic effect.

Sometimes it’s about the things you should do tomorrow. So make your to-do list and get it off your mind. You can devote the time before sleep for relaxing activities like reading, talking to people around you about your day or some kind of self-care activity.

#2 – keep the electronic devices away during the power down hour

Many studies show that the blue light from electronic devices inhibits melatonin production and it alters the circadian rhythm which is your internal biological clock. It affects the quality of your sleep and causes you to feel sleepy and less alert the next day. And poor quality sleep is associated with many health problems like the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Therefore, keep those devices in the next room or out of your reach.

#3 – have a consistent sleep-wake up schedule

The benefit of having a consistent sleep-wake up schedule even on the weekends is, your body gets used to it and it is easier to stick to the habit. After a few weeks, you find it effortless to wake up on time.

#4 – do not check work-related emails after 8 pm

If possible, leave work in the office and spend time in the evening for relaxing. Checking work emails later in the night keeps your brain active and it interferes with your sleep.

#5 – prepare for the morning

Like I said, to create a successful morning routine, start preparing the night before by keeping the things you need in the morning out. Keep your workout clothes and a bottle of water near your bed. Pack kids’ school backpacks and have their uniform ready, all in one place. Decide what you are gonna prepare for breakfast to avoid wasting time in the morning.

#6 – say a gratitude prayer

This is my favorite part. Instead of indulging in worrisome thoughts, the last thing before sleeping, think/write about all the things you are grateful for in life and all the things that are “going right” in your life right now. Count your blessings and express thanks for them. You will instantly feel better and sleep in a happy mood.

I make my kids do this too before putting them to sleep by asking questions, so as to make them learn to be grateful in life and complain less.

Now there are some don’ts when it comes to starting your mornings effectively. Let’s take a look at them.

Do you want to create a morning routine? Click to learn how to start a morning routine that will transform your life.

How should you not start your day?

#1 -By Snoozing

Do not start your day by pressing the snooze button. By hitting the snooze button you might get a few extra minutes of sleep but you wake up feeling tired and groggy. You can keep your phone across the room so that you have to walk a distance to switch off the alarm which should wake you up.

I know this may not ‘always’ work because sometimes I do go back to sleep even after switching off the alarm. 

But if I have had enough sleep at night, I wake up feeling fresh with the alarm. That’s one key to waking up on time, getting enough sleep. Always aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep. And always have consistent sleep-wake up schedule. This helps your body to have a rhythm that naturally wakes you up in the morning, sometimes even without an alarm clock.

#2 -By checking smartphones

Most of us tend to start our days by checking notifications on smartphones before even getting out of bed. Since our alarm clocks have been replaced by smartphones, we are more tempted to check our social media apps once we switch off the alarm. 

The problem is, it’s easy to get sucked down the social media rabbit hole and minutes can turn into hours. It’s the same with emails.

When you check emails first thing in the morning, it can take your focus away from the important activities of the day. Because some emails can catch your attention and you spend time reading and researching on them even if they are not urgent. Or there is some flash sale going on and now you have FOMO.  All of these can take your focus and time away. I usually reserve time in the afternoon to check emails after my day’s important work is done. So I have enough time to learn new things and act upon the information.

#3 – Not drinking water

You need to manage your energy to stay productive and get things done. Many people do not drink enough fluids and the real reason for feeling tired and sleepy during the day may be as simple as not drinking enough water. Therefore, start your day by hydrating.

Drinking water on an empty stomach helps to kickstart your body’s functions.  It helps to rehydrate the body after a long period of going without the intake of fluids. It also helps to increase your metabolism and flushes out toxins. And it promotes good digestion and your overall health too. You can read this article for more info.

My morning routine

I started having a morning routine a few months ago after reading the book “The Miracle morning” and my morning routine is of course inspired by the morning routine that Hal Elrod teaches in the book. As of now, my morning routine is simple and I keep it simple and short (can be finished in 30-40 minutes) because I want to stick with it and make it a habit first. 

My morning routine consists of 

  1. Meditation(5-10 minutes)
  2. Saying affirmations
  3. Visualization ( I have a vision board in my bullet journal and a virtual vision board on Pinterest)
  4. Journaling, reviewing my to-do list and filling my habit tracker.
  5. Simple stretching exercise or strengthening exercise which takes approximately 10-15 minutes. I don’t like doing exercise, but I certainly love how I feel afterward and also I am aware of the benefits of exercise on my health. I am still trying to build the exercise habit. What I have found is that by tricking my brain saying ‘it’s only for 15-20 minutes’ and incorporating it in my morning routine which is a form of habit stacking, I have more chances of doing it than doing a full-fledged exercise at any other time of the day.

Also, I am planning to include more healthy habits like having a morning smoothie or green juice. I will update about it in future hopefully through a blog post.

When you create a morning routine, of course, the challenge is to stick with it. When starting, you can keep it simple and short by allotting only a few minutes for each activity. Later on, you can increase the time duration and reap even more benefits.

Related: A powerful technique to get motivated when starting a new habit

I hope you got enough information to create a morning routine from this article.    Have you tried to start a morning routine? If yes, what are the challenges you have faced? Please let me know about it in the comments below!

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Do you want to create a morning routine? Click to learn how to start a morning routine that will transform your life.

 

Why do people search for happiness? Is it something you can get in the world like materialistic things? No. But happy people have certain habits that help them being so.

We think we will be happy when we have more money, a bigger house or a dream job.

Our life is a constant chase to achieve certain things so that we can “be happy”.

But does it work like that? If so, the people who have all the materialistic possessions should be the happiest in the world.

And they are not. Happy people are happy because of their habits. It’s how they have trained themselves.

How can we be more happy with what we have? How can we stay content with daily life even though we want to achieve more in life?

It’s not bad to desire things in life. If you think you have more potential to be tapped, by all means, strive for it. You should get to create the life you want to live. But not by disliking what you have now. It will take away your happiness. 

So let’s see what the habits of happy people are.

1. Happy people are grateful for what they have

 Have you ever felt happy when you are complaining? It’s impossible to be happy when you are thinking about what’s not working in life or you are ‘pissed off’ by other people’s behavior.     

If you constantly think about what you don’t have, you can never be happy. 

No matter how much you have right now, there will be something to be unhappy about. Because there is always something better out there. But it can happen only if you choose to think about it.

Look at what’s right in your life. Everyday, express gratitude for all the blessings you have. The fact that you have the eyes to read this is a blessing. The fact that you have the devices or the internet connection to read this is a blessing. Not many people are blessed with whatever you have. When you realize every small thing you take for granted is a luxury for many, you have no reason to be sad, my friend.

15 powerful habits of happy people

2. They don’t chase ‘more’

Many people associate materialistic riches with happiness. Sure, when you lack the money to buy everything you want, you might feel jealous of the rich.

You will start chasing money thinking more money will solve your problems. Sure, money can solve many problems and give you freedom. But it can never buy happiness.

I am not saying you should stop working hard or stop trying to make more money. There is nothing wrong in working for a better standard of living. But stop gathering the material riches to keep up with the Jonases and make it the ultimate aim of your life.

Work for your goals, but at the same time, try to be content in everyday things. Celebrate your relationships and your ability to do little things. Try to be content with what you already have. When you have your eyes set on the next big thing, your heart hates what you have right now. And you are unhappy. 

3. They love themselves

Fall in love with yourself. You are wonderful, you are unique. There is no one else in this world with the exact same beauty and flaws as you. Stop calling yourself names like ‘failure’ or ‘dumb’.

When you love yourself, you are excited to live. And that makes you genuinely happy.

4. they don’t let criticism affect them

 For a long time in my life, I hated myself. I am an introvert and my quietness gets misinterpreted as a negative quality by many. It led me to grow up with the notion that ‘there is something wrong with me’. Until recently, I learned more about introversion and how it simply is a personality trait and not something to be ashamed of. So I have been undoing years of ‘feeling miserable and unworthy’ beliefs and am on a journey of self-discovery and self-love.

It happened to me because I listened to other people’s words and let them affect me. See, many people judge others harshly and have a problem with anyone who doesn’t do things like they do. Some people choose to speak only ill of you no matter how good you are.

Never let other people define you by your weaknesses. It’s like giving the key to your happiness to them and you are locked in. Sure, everyone has their flaws because we are human. And you can always work on them and make yourself better. And for some personality traits like introversion, you accept it and move on. ( I don’t know if we can change introversion, but I don’t want to since I am happy with many qualities that come with introversion).

Therefore, to be happy, don’t let the critics affect you.

Related: 10 best habits to have in life to take your life to the next level

5. They hang out with happy people

You are the average of five people you spend the most time with.Click To Tweet

Examine if you are spending more time with negative people who have a problem for every solution.

The words and attitude of people whom you spend time with can really influence you. Happy people generally have a positive outlook towards life and no matter what life throws at you they have a way to tackle it. 

On the other hand, toxic people are complainers and gossipmongers. What they are interested to talk about is why life is unfair or they are fixated upon other people’s shortcomings. Stay away from the complainers!

Choose to hang out with positive and happy people.

6. happy people don’t hang onto resentments

Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head”.- Ann LandersClick To Tweet

I was a person who would forgive slowly until one day I read the quote above.

It makes so sense. If you despise the people who wronged you why make them a part of your life by holding onto grudges? When you don’t forgive, you are in fact allowing them to steal your happiness. 

Life continues even if you forgive or not. So try to make it happy and worthwhile by letting go of bitterness. When you are angry towards someone, it affects you more than them. Because stuffing all the negative emotions like anger, pain and hatred make you miserable and obstruct happiness.

15 powerful habits of happy people

7. they start their day right

When I was a night owl, I always started my days with stress because I was not prepared for the morning. I would get up late, get ready, grab what was on the table and rush out the door knowing I am again late for college.

I always started my days in a panic mode. And searching for my belongings all over the house in that busy hour added to my stress.

How you start your day determines how well you live that day.

I am not saying you should become a morning person. But including some calming activities like meditation or exercise in the morning before you start your routine chores, can have a wonderful impact on your mood for the whole day. Even if you don’t do anything, just by being yourself with a hot cup of coffee in silence is calming enough.

And whatever you do, don’t start your day by reading the newspaper. Newspapers or live TV news always portray negative news mostly to get more eyeballs on them. You don’t want to start your day by being shocked or stressed by thinking how unfair the world is. Reduce or completely eliminate the habit of news consumption, especially in the morning.

Related: How to become a morning person even if you are a night owl

8. they don’t try to please others

I said above that happy people don’t let criticism affect them. Similarly, you can’t be happy if you constantly try to please others. You are wasting your life if you do so because of two reasons,

  • You can’t fully please anyone no matter what you do
  • You don’t get to live the life you want if you live by others’ opinions

And these are habits that will hinder your happiness. If you want to please anyone in life, please yourself. Because then your actions will be in alignment with what you love and it’s a natural way to be happy. 

I am not saying you should never listen to anyone. You can seek guidance from people who matter to you. But in the end, choose what will make YOU happy. And always try to choose what is morally right, because you never want to hurt yourself or others in the long run. That road will never lead to happiness. So always stick to honesty and integrity.

Related: 7 common things you do that waste your life

9. they don’t sweat the small stuff

  For those who sweat the small stuff, life becomes stressful because there are always little things in life that you may or may not be able to control. Like getting stuck in a traffic jam when you are in a hurry or your kid spilling milk on your new shirt. Such things happen all the time. 

 But happy people take those moments as….small. Richard Carlson, the author of the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” and psychotherapist, says when you have to deal with small stuff that worries you, ask yourself,

“Will this matter a year from now?”  

Being happy has a lot to do with keeping stress at bay. You can’t be a happier person if you are always worried and angry about small things. When starting to get worried about small things, see the bigger perspective. “Do you have a roof over your head?”, “A job?”, “Are your kids healthy?”. If you can answer ‘yes’ to most questions, then you are good to go.

15 powerful habits of happy people

10. they live within their means

Happy people have smart spending habits. They spend within their budget, that is, they always spend less than what they earn. Unnecessary debt can take away your peace of mind and block happiness.

Sometimes people end up spending money on unnecessary purchases you do not try to keep up with the Joneses which is a major habit that prevents happiness. And that takes me to the next point.

11. they don’t compare their lives to others

If you want to be happy, stop looking at what others have and what you don’t have. We can get caught up in the comparison game and whatever you have in life becomes never enough. More money, more things, a bigger house, expensive devices etc. are not gonna make you happy. 

To be truly happy with what you have, you must practice it. Yes, practice being happy and being content. Enjoy the moment you have right now, rather than always looking for future achievements. It’s called being mindful and something you should practice to live in the moment.

Life, as you see, is never getting longer. It only gets shorter. And all you have is this moment. You are never going to get this day of your life again. Make it worthwhile by being content and grateful. Practicing gratitude and mindfulness help you enjoy your ‘present moment’ as it is without any achievement.

Related: What is mindfulness and how to practice it

12. they exercise regularly

 Ah, the exercise word again! Yes, it is something that has a positive impact on so many areas of your life. Most of us lead a pretty much sedentary lifestyle and so getting exercise is important for a happy and healthy life.

Studies show that exercise releases “feel-good” chemicals called Dopamine into our brain. Ever felt energetic and ready to take on the day after a good workout session?  Thanks to Dopamine! It also reduces stress and anxiety, which means, more happiness!

Related: How to start an exercise habit that sticks

13. they spend time for socializing

Danes, people of Denmark, are voted consistently as the happiest people in the world year after year. Though there are many factors that make them the happiest people, one of them is their social life. Danes give importance to their social life more than money.

They have a good work-life balance and spending time socializing with close friends and family is very important for them.

Studies have shown that people who have an active social life enjoy better physical and mental health. Being with the people we love causes our body to release hormones like oxytocin and serotonin. We get a sense of security, togetherness, and sense of self-worth when we have people to share our happiness and frustrations in life.  

So if you want to be happy, make time to interact with the people you love.

Related: What is hygge? A beginner’s guide to the Danish secret to happiness

14. they are optimistic

Life will throw you curveballs no matter what. We are sure to deal with failures, illnesses, loss of loved ones etc. I like to envision living life as climbing a range of mountains. When you climb a mountain and reach the top, you feel happy and elated. But you can’t stay there forever. You have to climb down. That climbing down is part of life but you are sure there are more mountains to come and you will feel excited again.

Being happy doesn’t mean you are always smiling or laughing. It also means being resilient in the face of crisis. See your problems as challenges. When you see a problem as a challenge, you feel optimistic that there is a solution. But if you see it as a ‘problem’, you feel pessimistic and unhappy.

15. they value experiences more than materialism

If you want to be happier, spend money on experiences more than on materials. When you are on your death bed, what memories would be more valuable to you? The memories of the super expensive car you drove or how much you laughed in life?

Research shows that the happiness you get by acquiring materialistic things doesn’t last long because as humans, we get quickly adapted to them. Experiences are memories that will last forever.

Focus on creating more experiences with your loved ones, visit places that you haven’t gone to, get out of your comfort zone more and experience new things. 

conclusion

Remember happiness is never a destination, but a journey. It is something you create consciously by being content about the little things. Happiness is also the ability to overlook frustrations in life by being positive.

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15 powerful habits of happy people

 

8 actionable tips to overcome laziness and double your productivity. #stopbeinglazy #overcomelaziness

You want to do a million things, but don’t want to get off the couch?

I know the feeling.

And I know how pathetic you feel afterward when the pile of unfinished tasks builds up in front of you.

You want more from your life, but when you feel lazy to act, nothing seems to work. Even thinking about your goals or dreams may not motivate you to stop being lazy.

You were not born lazy. But you picked up lazy habits on the way.

It’s a relief to learn that because now you have a choice to change. And you can overcome laziness by substituting those habits with better habits.

Let’s see how.

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. It helps me run this website and create useful content for you. Thank you for supporting my blog :-)**

how to overcome laziness? Is it the same as procrastination?

Laziness or slothfulness, is choosing to stay idle despite having the ability to act.

Laziness is not the same as procrastination. Procrastination is when we postpone our tasks to a later period and choose to do easy and less important tasks, while laziness is simply choosing not to do them even though you perfectly can.

Though laziness can make you procrastinate, there are other reasons for procrastination too.

Here are some tips to overcome laziness and maximize your potential.

1. Try to understand why you are lazy

You cannot solve a problem unless you know what causes it. 

There can be different reasons for feeling lazy.

Maybe it’s a boring or tedious task, maybe you have fears holding you back, or you feel lethargic and don’t have the energy to do it. 

Let’s look at each scenario.

a) The task is boring

Life requires us to do many tasks that are mundane, repetitive and uncreative.

Like household chores, studying, data entry work for your job etc.

But you can’t possibly live in a house that has been uncleaned for weeks, or you can’t eat healthy homemade food if you don’t cook and always grab a burger on the way back to home. You fail in your exams if you don’t study (and you know the consequences) and the data entry work you don’t want to do helps you stay organized.

If you convince yourself and understand your “why”, you can push yourself.

For example, I do many unpleasant tasks on a daily basis, at home, and for blogging. I used to be lazy and procrastinate much with the tasks I don’t like. 

But what I do now is, I schedule all the tasks that should be done in a day (interesting and boring ones) in my bullet journal. And I do the most important ones first thing in the morning (usually writing), and others follow.

I do each activity even if I like it or not because I think about the consequences of not doing it and that forces me.

 I always stress in almost all articles, scheduling by writing by hand is the key to getting things done. And I can never say it enough.

Here’s an article that explains why writing down your goals works.

b) Fears that hold you back

Sometimes you choose not to do a task because you have some inhibitions holding you back.

Find out why you have them and find a solution. Here is an article I wrote on how to overcome procrastination caused by fear.

c) You are tired

8 actionable tips to overcome laziness and double your productivity.

You want to take action but you feel tired to move even a muscle. Maybe it’s because you have some underlying health problems.

This happens to me often, and I started including more nutritious food in my diet and cut junk. 

Many people have one or the other common nutrient deficiencies. Include supplements and a variety of fruits and veggies in your diet if you want to up your levels.

Make exercise a part of your daily life. Exercise makes your body release chemicals called ‘endorphins’. They boost your mood and give you positive energy.

When you are brimming with energy, it’s less likely to feel lazy.

2. Set goals

Unless you have specific goals, you don’t know what you are working for, and where you are going. Goals give you direction. Decide what you want to achieve in each area of your life.

When you don’t know what to do in life and you are just going with the flow taking each day as it comes, it’s difficult to overcome laziness.

Let each day of your life has a purpose. Take a decision to not waste even a day. 

How to set goals? 

I like this technique used by the great Tony Robbins. 

This is a simple technique to set goals. It gives clarity on what you should do in short-term to accomplish goals in long term.

Here’s the exercise.

Take a piece of paper and start writing.

-What kind of person do you want to be or what do you want to achieve in 10 years? Or in 5 years? (if you don’t want to think that long). You can write your goals in every area of your life like career, relationships, travel or business.

Now think backward.

To accomplish each goal in 5 years, what do you need to accomplish by four years, three years, two years and one year from now?

And what should you accomplish in six months from now?

Break your big goal into mini goals like this, and reach back all the way till today. 

Yes, today.

Now you know what to do today, instead of lazing around. I believe when you have goals that won’t let you sleep, it is easy to stop being lazy.

Related: 7 common things you do that waste your life

8 actionable tips to overcome laziness and double your productivity.

3. Establish a routine

Now that you have set goals, plan your ideal day. What activities/tasks would fill your day so that they align with the goals you set?

Write down all the important activities that should be done in a day. Allocate time for each. And when the time comes, do it even if you feel like doing it or not.

Yes, that’s another key to overcoming laziness.

Show up every day, even if you want to or not.

When you overcome the initial resistance, it is much easier to carry on. 

I don’t feel like writing for my blog always. But when the time comes, I open my laptop and start typing. After I overcome the initial resistance, I find it’s easier to keep writing.

With boring tasks, I tell myself, “I don’t want to do this, but it will help me to accomplish so and so”. It works!

You can apply this to almost everything you want to do. 

When I started this blog, I decided to focus on habits. Because what I have come to know after years of devouring personal development content, is that you achieve success and overcome laziness and procrastination, by forming better habits.

If I want to develop any personal development traits, I focus on making it a habit. Because when it’s a habit, you are more consistent. Consistency is what leads to success.

Related: 10 better habits to start to take your life to the next level

4. Break big tasks into small ones

Sometimes, the enormity of the tasks make you feel overwhelmed and you end up not starting at all.

Break your big tasks into small actionable parts. Try not to think about the big task as such, but focus on the small mini goal.

When I want to declutter my closet, I do it one drawer a day. It takes only 15-20 minutes a day and I don’t feel as lazy as I would feel if I had to declutter the entire closet in a day.

Apply this to all your Himalayan tasks.

5. Stop hanging out with lazy people

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with-Jim RohnClick To Tweet

Be mindful of who you hang out with, as they can influence your thinking and decisions. If the people whom you associate with the most are lazy people who have no focus in life, it can pass onto you even if you are a positive person.

On the other hand, if you mingle with people who are proactive and successful, you get inspired too, to take charge of your life. 

Pessimistic people feel life is happening to them, not for them. They laze around, finding fault in every situation in life and blaming others.

If you want to overcome laziness, don’t be around such people.

If we can realize that life is always happening for us, not to us… game over, all the pain and suffering disappearsClick To Tweet

6. Plan for the days your plans fail

It is said that “how you start your morning determines your day”.

Isn’t it true?

Think about the days you started by doing productive things, and you felt good the whole day and actively crossed off the items on your list.

But what if you started the day by getting up late? Or you decided to act lazy when you should have finished your tasks.

Don’t beat yourself up.

It can be easy to determine such days are wasted and think “I will start tomorrow.”

Don’t do that. Start from where you are.

When your plans don’t go well, instead of feeling guilty and pessimistic, still go with your plan.

I go with mini habits on such days.

If I wanted to do a workout in the morning and didn’t do it, I do a mini version of it in the evening or at least do a warm up.

If I wanted to write at least 500 words in the morning, and if I failed, I would still open my laptop and write how much ever I can.

The idea is to stick to your plan (even in small ways) and do not give into laziness, no matter what.

After a while, your subconscious mind gets that it is important for you, and sticking to your routine becomes easier.

7. Use laziness as a reward

Overcoming laziness doesn’t have to be hard when you let yourself be lazy once in a while.

Tell yourself, you can laze around when you have done your work. 

There is no better feeling like relaxing by doing nothing or indulging in any of your favorite self-care activities.

If distractions like TV, social media, Netflix or other media are the reasons you are lazy, you can reward yourself with these after doing some productive work.

“I will reward myself with two episodes of Game of Thrones once I am done with ____”, is a good decision to make.

Choose ‘selective laziness’ over a destructive one.

Related: 101 self-care ideas to refresh yourself when you are stressed out

8. Change your mindset

Like the people who you hang out with influence you, good books, videos and reading stories of successful people can influence your mindset. 

Read self-help books, blogs or watch inspirational Youtube videos to stay motivated.

Some of the books I recommend are Think and Grow Rich, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Awaken The Giant Within, The Miracle Morning and The Magic of Thinking Big (there are more, maybe in a future article).


Takeaway

How your life turns out is entirely your decision. Laziness doesn’t define you unless you make it so. Yes, it’s a decision which if continued for many days, becomes a habit. And I know you can choose better.

What are the struggles you face when you try to stop being lazy? Please comment below.

If you are not feeling lazy, please PIN and SHARE 🙂

8 actionable tips to overcome laziness and double your productivity. #stopbeinglazy #overcomelaziness

 

As I type this at 6.16 am, I feel proud and equally amazed at how I became a morning person.

I mean I was someone who loved staying up late and sleeping in till noon. Throughout school and college, I would stay up into the wee hours of the night to study or do assignments. I thought I was most productive at night.

But things changed, and now I know I can be productive in the early mornings too. But how did I change?

For me, it was not an easy transition, it took years of failing. No, no, don’t be discouraged yet thinking it will take years. I will tell you why I failed. Keep reading.

Why should you become a morning person?

Being a morning person has many benefits. Let me tell you how my life changed by becoming a morning person.

  • It has improved my productivity. By getting up early, I get to finish my routine tasks before the kids wake up and thus I am more peaceful and calm knowing part of my work has been done. It’s a real happiness booster.
  • It keeps me energetic. When I was a night owl, I still got the sufficient sleep I needed. But, I wouldn’t feel enthusiastic to start my day. I would waste hours before starting to do anything.
  • It gives me a sense of accomplishment. As a mother, I have other responsibilities too so I get to do “my work” before tending to others’ needs. Thus, I am more satisfied because by waking up early, I have done more by noon and there is no nagging voice that keeps reminding me “you have to do this/that”.
  • I get more time in my day to spend with family.
  • I am more self-disciplined. Changing from a night owl into a morning person is not an easy task. But when you achieve that it increases your confidence to achieve more in life.

Now, without much ado, let me give you 9 tips on how you can become a morning person.

1. The big “WHY”

If you are a morning person who wakes up with the sun by nature, you are good to go.

But what if you are a night owl who enjoys sleeping but still would like to become a morning person? It might not be easy but it’s not undoable either. I told you I failed for years. The reason? I didn’t have a strong reason to leave my cozy bed and my precious sleep.

I would try for a few days. I would feel fresh and energized, but then I am back to normal. Maybe because only feeling fresh was not enough reason for me to ditch my sleep. 

Many articles on how to be a morning person start with the advice to “sleep early”. It’s true, you have to sleep early. But I have found that simply sleeping early didn’t help me wake up early. I would “wake up” but not “get up” from the bed. I would lie there under my cozy blanket because I didn’t know what to do once I was up.

So, ask yourself. Why do you want to wake up early? What benefits do you think you will get if you are a morning person? What will motivate you to get up early in the morning?

Your answers are the reasons you will become a morning person. 

They can be the following:

-To enjoy the quiet time you can have for yourself (especially if you have little ones to care for).

-To get a morning workout that will keep you energized for the whole day (because you are too tired to work out in the evening).

-To do some productive work or thinking.

-To work for your side-hustle if you have a full-time job (that is, to make time for your dreams).

-To make time for the morning routine for personal development.

-You simply like the energy early morning gives you.

These are some common answers, but you might be having a different one. Find and note them down. If those reasons make you excited enough to wake up early in the morning, you are already there. I don’t think you need any more tips. Lol.

But I promised you 9 tips so I am going to give those. 

Now that you have decided why you want to be a morning person, let me tell you how to help your body and mind to ditch those old habits and establish new ones.

2. Have an evening routine

Waking up early doesn’t start with morning, but the day before. Before you go to sleep, you should know how your ideal morning should be. It is important because when you don’t know what to do, your sleepy brain may tell you to crawl back under the covers again.

You don’t want that. So as a clever determined person, you decide before you go to sleep. 

Tell yourself how excited you are to wake up early to do so and so. Or you can write in a journal why you love to become a morning person.

Example: I love waking up early because it will give me the time to work on my business which will help me achieve ______

I love waking up early to do exercise to lose ______ pounds so that I can fit into my skinny jeans again.

You can become a morning person even if you are a night owl. Here are 9 tips on how to become a morning person.

3. Sleep early

Most people need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every day. If you want to wake up at 6.30 am, calculate how much sleep you should get and go to bed accordingly. Remember, you might need at least 15-20 minutes to fall asleep too. 

Start winding down at least an hour before your sleep time. Most of us take our smartphones on the bed and keep scrolling until we can barely open our eyes. Research has proved that the blue light emitted by electronic devices interferes with our sleep.

So to get quality sleep, stop using your mobile devices at least an hour before bed. And use that time to set your intentions for the next day. You can do journaling, say affirmations or read a book. Such seemingly small lifestyle shifts can do wonders in your personal development journey.

Related: 10 best habits to have in life to improve yourself

 

4. make incremental change

When establishing a new habit, I always like to make changes in small steps. You can read the article I wrote on the topic here.

So when trying to get up early, instead of getting up an hour before, set your alarm 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. Do it for a few days and when your body is comfortable with the new time, you can try to wake up even earlier.

Another tip that works is, keep the alarm clock on the other side of the room. This little trick works because you then have to walk a small distance to switch it off, waking you up in the process.

5. Have a productive morning routine

Charles Duhigg, in his book ‘The Power of Habit‘, writes about the loop of habit formation. According to a research done by MIT, there is a loop at the core of every habit. It consists of three parts: cue, habit, and reward. You can read more about it in detail here.

The idea is that the reward of performing an action is essentially what makes us do it again. When we repeat the action consistently enough it becomes etched into our brains as a habit. 

Thus try to make your mornings productive and rewarding. It will motivate you to do it again. Since reading the book ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod, I try to include the miracle morning routine in my mornings and I love it. So much so that I look forward to waking up early for performing the routine.

Now, how do you come up with a productive and rewarding morning routine? Go back to your “big WHY”. Those are the things you love and excited about and the reward of performing them will motivate you to get up again. 

When I was trying actively to become a morning person, my ‘big WHY’s’ were making time for my morning routine which includes meditation, affirmations, exercise, journaling etc and to have some productive time to work on this blog.

It still is my driving force to continue being a morning person.

The days I sleep in are the days I don’t start well. And I feel bad on such days.

That said, life happens and there may be days when you can’t sleep early and that means you might not feel like waking up early. It’s okay and sometimes when I have sleep debt I wake up one or two hours late because I might walk like a zombie if I were to get up earlier. Ok, I might be exaggerating a bit, but I can’t function without getting proper sleep.

But please make sure it happens only once in a while, especially when you are trying to make it a habit.


6. make your bed

If you want to be a morning person, there is nothing better to wake you up like natural light. As soon as you get up, open your blinds and windows and let the sunlight and crispy fresh morning air come in. It signals your body to wake up. 

And immediately make your bed. Making the bed can seem an insignificant act but it has more benefits than you imagine. According to Charles Duhigg, it is a keystone habit, which means, doing it can kickstart a pattern of other good behaviors. 

It can also help in preventing the temptation to crawl back into bed. 

Naval Admiral William H. McRaven, in his commencement speech at the University of Texas said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”

You can watch his inspirational speech here (06:00 min).

7. Get moving

   It is easier to be a morning person if you love the energy early morning provides. When you wake up, get moving as soon as possible to beat the slump. 

You can do

  • Light stretching exercises
  • 20 minute HIIT exercises
  • Go for a walk outside

Or if you wish you can do a full-blown workout. Exercise produces chemicals in your body called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling.

That’s another reason to be a morning person. Many people complain they are too tired to exercise in the evening. A morning workout helps you start mornings with a positive energy that can spread throughout the day. It reflects in your productivity too. 

8. have a healthy breakfast

Like exercise and other morning routines, having a healthy breakfast is important to keep the energy going for the day. 

A healthy breakfast should contain a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean protein (eggs, legumes, nuts) etc. 

When you are trying to be a morning person, it’s helpful to plan your mornings in advance. Decision fatigue is real and the confusion of what to cook can make you sluggish in the morning instead of giving a power start. So plan your meals in advance, if possible for a week.

Here is a useful article on healthy breakfast ideas.

8. take a power nap in the afternoon

When you wake up early, it’s natural to feel dozy in the afternoon. A power nap can help you quickly recover from the sleepiness and feel fresh again.

Do not sleep for more than 30 minutes as you will wake up feeling groggy and it can interfere with your night’s sleep too.

You can read this article to find out why power naps are good for you.

 

9. maintain a consistent schedule

When trying to form a new habit, it’s important to stay consistent in your efforts. Always stick to the same sleep-wake up schedule until you feel it’s becoming automatic, even on weekends.

I used to sleep till 10 am on weekends, but now that I am used to waking up early I get up easily even on weekends. That being said, do not be hard on yourselves. Get sufficient sleep that your body needs, but try to come back to your schedule as soon as you get off track.

I find using habit trackers (in my bullet journal) very helpful in persevering with my habits even when I feel unmotivated. It’s my accountability partner and having to leave blank spaces without checking off in my journal, arouses a bad feeling in me. Thus it keeps me going.

Related:  How to start a bullet journal easily when you aren’t artistic (step-by-step method)

I used to think some people are meant to be morning people and some are not. 10 years ago I wouldn’t believe if anyone told me I could be a morning person. 

But, I think such beliefs are not set in stone.

You can achieve whatever you want in life if you want it that bad. Click To Tweet

P.S: I am still a recovering night owl and there is no way I am going back 🙂

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You can become a morning person even if you are a night owl. Here are 9 tips on how to become a morning person.

 

 

 

Have you noticed children while they are playing? They are often so engrossed in what they are doing and they seem to be in another world.

They are being mindful.

We hear so much about mindfulness these days. Well, all the gadgets we invented supposedly to make our lives easier are also making us focus less and less. 

We are often haunted by the thoughts of new notifications and are forced by habit, to check them constantly to make sure we are not missing out on anything.

This has also made us forget to enjoy what is happening “in the moment”. Like, the sensation under your feet when you step on freshly mowed grass, the pleasant smell of the flower that bloomed in your garden today, the unexpected kiss your daughter gave you when you were busy in the kitchen. Have you realized we don’t need big achievements in life to be truly happy?

We often spend our days worrying about what to do next in life and the next big thing you wanna achieve.

Little things that happen in our day are enough to make us happy. But the key is in noticing it and appreciating it. This can happen when you are mindful.

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. It helps me run this website and create useful content for you. Thank you for supporting my blog :-)**

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is being fully present, and being aware of what you are doing at the moment. You bring your full attention to what you are doing at the moment, not letting your mind wander. When it wanders, you are aware of it and you gently bring it back to what you are focusing on, without judgement.

As simple as that.

But as a beginner, you will find it not as easy as it seems. Your attention drifts without you knowing and realize it after a while. But you will get better with practice.

What is mindfulness and the benefits of mindfulness

Why mindfulness? Benefits of mindfulness

Mindfulness has a lot of benefits for your overall well-being. It could easily be another blog post (may be in future). But here are a few important points.

1. Mindfulness increases focus

 We have a lot of things to cross off our to-do list every day. It would be simple if we could finish one by one easily. 

But I find that whenever I am ready to do a task, I am reminded of something else that needs to be done. It makes me anxious because it is unfinished. Then I feel the stress rising. I am not able to concentrate on the current task. 

I feel overwhelmed.

In such moments, I do a mindfulness meditation exercise (read below to see how to do it). It calms my mind and helps me relax. I am able to concentrate on the task at hand better.

Mindfulness helps you increase focus and concentration because you are making an effort to bring your attention to the present moment repeatedly. 

It even has the power to change your brain. The effect of mindfulness practice can last long even when you are not consciously doing it because new neuron connections are formed through neuroplasticity. 

It’s amazing, right?

2. Mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety

    When you practice mindfulness you are more aware of your thoughts. Thus, if any thought comes up that gives you stress you try to acknowledge it. You say to yourself “Ok. This is stressing me out. Back to the task”. So you get to respond to your thoughts rather than being controlled by it. 

You can choose to step back from them as you are mindful of your emotional state. You acknowledge your thoughts and you are able to respond rather than react to it.

3. Mindfulness improves physical health

  Research has proved that our brain has the ability to influence the body’s inflammatory responses. Our brain and immune system are interconnected.

Mindfulness meditation can be used as a pathway to train our brain to control stress reaction and prevent a lot of stress based diseases.

It also improves your memory retention, promotes heart health, improves the quality of sleep etc.

But how do you become more mindful? How to incorporate mindfulness in daily life? Read on.

How to start practicing mindfulness as a beginner?

What is mindfulness and the benefits of mindfulness

Contrary to what many people think, mindfulness is not emptying your mind so that you think nothing. It is listening to your thoughts and sensations without getting emotional, without judging them.

Here are some mindfulness exercises to start with.

1. Practice mindfulness in the moment

You can start to practice mindfulness right now. There are no rules to be mindful.

For example, as you are reading this article, try to be mindful. 

  • Stop and notice how your eyeballs are moving towards your right. Slow down and notice how you can see each letter, notice the shape of each letter.
  • Notice how your finger touches the screen or your trackpad or the arrow buttons.
  • Feel the sensation on the tip of your fingers as you touch the device.
  • Notice the white colour in the background.
  • Read each word and listen to your mind pronouncing each word.
  • Notice how you have slowed down and feel the calm

How do you feel? If you have really stopped to do it, I bet you are feeling more relaxed and calm. This is what mindfulness can do to you. 

You feel an instant calm, your mood lightened and feel happy. And you don’t feel the rush to finish the article already. It is an escape from the inner chaos.

You can apply this to practically anything you do. Just stop for a minute or two to be really present and aware of what you do.

Another example:

Suppose you are walking.

  • Notice how each of your foot feels when they touch the ground. Is the floor cold? Or warm?
  • Feel how you are able to lift each leg easily and put one before the other. 
  • How your legs balance the weight of your body easily.
  • How you reach from point A to point B.
  • Feel thankful for how you are able to carry yourself to everywhere you want to go.

You can apply this to everything you do in daily life. 

But it doesn’t mean you have to be mindful in everything you do. We do many things on autopilot because those are habits established over the years. It’s for our benefit and ease.

You practice mindfulness because sometimes you need to remind yourselves of the beauty of little things and appreciate what we are able to do.

You might like: What is hygge? A beginner’s guide to the Danish secret to happiness

2. Mindful breathing or mindfulness meditation

     Mindfulness meditation is the most popular way of practicing mindfulness.

     In mindfulness meditation, you pay attention to your breathing. How you take a breath, how you release it, and how your chest or stomach is filled with breath and how it deflates. 

     How to do mindfulness meditation?

  • Choose a quiet place to sit. You can sit in any position you like, be it lotus pose (cross-legged sitting) or simply sit in a chair.
  • Sit in an erect position.
  • Now before jumping to start meditation, give yourself some time to relax. Let your mind settle and get ready. Take a few deep breaths.
  • Set a timer. I would recommend starting with 2-5 minutes. But, it’s upon you.
  • Now start focusing on your breathing. Notice while inhaling how the breath goes up, and while exhaling how it comes down. (You don’t have to take deep breaths here, just normal breathing.)
  • When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to focus on breathing again without judgement or feeling despair.

Slowly increase the duration over the days, according to your capability.

Related : Benefits of meditation and how to start a meditation habit

3. Mindful eatingHow to practice mindfulness and the benefits of mindfulness-mindful eating

 Many of us are used to eating while watching television or Netflix. We eat mindlessly and we forget how much we really need to eat and even forget to relish the taste of the food we eat.

Mindful eating focuses on enjoying all the aspects of the food you are eating. Its taste, flavour, texture and you are aware of how you feel while eating.

How to eat mindfully?

  • Eat when you are only hungry and not on visual cues.
  • Keep the distractions away (TV, computer, smartphones, books).
  • Chew the food slowly and thoroughly before swallowing down.
  • Appreciate the taste of the food.
  • Appreciate how lucky you are for having food on the table.
  • Stop eating when you are full. Please know that after you are full, even one morsel of food that you eat leads to overeating and gain weight.

It takes upto 20 minutes for our brains to send the message of satiety. So if you are used to eating fast and mindlessly you must be eating more than  you require  all the time. 

For this reason, mindful eating helps in losing weight, because you are aware of what and how much you eat. You get to control the quantity.

These exercises are enough to start your mindfulness journey. Start small and try to do them at least once a day. You don’t have to dedicate separate time for it, but do it while you carry on with daily life.

I’d love to know, how do you practice mindfulness? Please comment below.

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Want to practice mindfulness? Learn what is mindfulness and mindfulness tips for your daily life.

 

Everyone knows exercise is good for health.

And you want to start a workout routine and wish it were a habit.

You start jogging, do it for two weeks, and you are back to normal life.

Don’t worry; it happens to everyone.

But it doesn’t mean that you are destined to live your life wishing away.

To make any change in your life and make it permanent, you have to want it bad enough.

Click to tweet this quote!

Anyone can tell you how to do it, but to make a real lasting change, you have to make a decision.

If you have read Napoleon Hill’s famous book Think and Grow Rich, he says, to achieve any desire, first and foremost you should have a BURNING DESIRE.

It is the knowledge that how you want your life to be, that changes your habits.

So here are  10 tips to create an exercise habit and stick with it.

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. It helps me run this website and create useful content for you. Thank you for supporting my blog :-)**

1. Link your new exercise habit to any existing behavior

When you want to create a new habit, it is helpful to link it with any existing habit of yours.

In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about how habits are formed.

There is a cue-routine-reward cycle to any habit. If you link your new work out habit to any existing habit, your old habit is your cue.

Find your own best time to do exercise, morning or evening. And link your new exercise habit to any of your morning/evening habits.

For example, you brush your teeth every morning. You can decide to do your workout straight after brushing teeth. Or if in the evening, maybe after you come from work. Find out what time works best for you.

Linking your new exercise habit to an old habit works because the old habit is more established and therefore your brain has a strong neural connection for those habits.
This method is called habit stacking and has been mentioned by authors like BJ Fogg, SJ Scott etc.

How to start an exercise habit and stick with it

2. start small

When you are creating a new habit, always remember to start small. Your aim is to create a new workout habit and make sure to stick with it.

In the beginning, what you should focus on is, building consistency rather than reaping benefits. Starting small will help you in showing up every day.

This is a way for you to tell your brain that you want to make this a routine and your brain will start building new neural pathways. As you perform the routine more often these neural pathways will get reinforced and rewire your brain, creating a new habit.

If you aim for a full hour workout in the beginning, it might feel overwhelming after a couple of days, and you might procrastinate or even stop trying. Therefore, you can aim to start with,

  •  10 minutes walk
  •  5-minute stretching
  • 5 pushups
  • A warm-up

These are some examples, but of course, you can change the duration or repetition according to your ability.

Related: A powerful technique to stay motivated with a new habit

3. Set a time

You have more chances of doing exercise, or for that matter, any habit, if you have scheduled a time for it in your day.

If you are thinking to yourself, “I will do yoga tomorrow morning”, chances are you will postpone it. Because you know you want to do it, but don’t know when.

If you think, ‘I will do yoga tomorrow morning at 7 am’, I bet you will do it.

So grab your planner, (or whatever scheduler you are using) and block time for your workout.
I use my bullet journal for scheduling everything.

Read more:

4. Make a plan

You must be having an idea about what results you want from your daily exercise.
It could be weight loss, more energy, toning your abs etc.

Make a plan to achieve your goals. Decide what kind of workout will excite you and will give you the results. It could be yoga, gym, swimming etc. or a combination of different exercises.

Whatever it is, decide what your exercise routine is gonna be.
If you want to tone down your abs, find 5-10 exercises that will help you achieve that ( Youtube and Pinterest have lots of information on this ).

If you want to increase strength, find some strength training exercises. Same with cardio, pilates etc.

Deciding what to do, when to do and how to do them are important because you get a well thought out plan. Your brain knows what you exactly want and that makes you stick with your exercise habit.

You can’t reach your destination if you don’t know where you are going.

Click to tweet this quote!

5. Have an accountability partner

Having an accountability partner does immense help in achieving your goals.
They help you stay on track and cheerlead you when you are feeling down.

Having an accountability partner works because human beings generally do not like disappointing others, especially the people they like.

We might postpone and act lazy when we are unmotivated. But the thought of answering to someone if you don’t do it is embarrassing for us. So we do them anyway.

I hope you get me.

When we embark on achieving something, there will be moments when you don’t feel like doing it, or life throws you something, or you feel you are not doing a good job (we are our worst critics), you will need someone to pull you up, and help you get back on track.

Yes, forming a new habit may not be that easy. But when you think about the end results, you are sure it is worthy.

You can make anyone you trust to be an accountability partner. It could be a close friend, spouse or someone you look up to.

6. Join a fitness class

Having talked about accountability partners, joining a fitness class or a gym can itself hold you accountable.

You are paying for it, and you know you are bound to show up no matter what.

If it is nearby your home or workplace, the better. Let not the long commute put you off.

How to start a workout routine and stick with it

7. Inspire yourself

 To stay motivated, social media channels like Instagram and other search engines like Youtube and Pinterest help me a lot.
I follow a few fitness and healthy eating enthusiasts on these media.

So checking social media once in a while reminds me of my goals and aspirations. And it inspires me to achieve my fitness goals.

Well, now I know social media can be put to good use also.

You could do this too.

8. Stick with your exercise habit no matter what

Now don’t kill yourself when a slip up occurs. Nor should it be a reason to skip the habit altogether.

But what to do when life happens?

1. Get back on track as soon as possible

Even if you miss one or two days, get back into your routine the next day itself. If you miss more days deliberately, it means it’s gonna escape you. 

2. Reschedule it

If you have an emergency to tend to on your exercise hours, take care of it. See if you can schedule it for a later time during the day. If you were to go to the gym in the morning and couldn’t make it, maybe you could go in the evening or go for a walk in the evening.

3. Do in small ways

James Clear often talks about sticking with habits each day in small ways. Missing one day’s workout is not gonna make you fat. But it is the cumulative effect that will make you skip the habit altogether.

You can’t let it happen. Just stick to the plan, even if it is in the smallest way.

If you are gonna miss a workout, at least do the warmup or some stretches.

If you were planning to walk for an hour, walk around the block for 15 minutes.

Whatever you were intending to do, you can do the smaller version of it. This lets your brain know that it is important to you. And thus the process of rewiring occur.

After a while, you will find that you don’t feel like yourself when you skip a workout.

9. Do 30-day workout challenges

All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. – Robin Sharma

Creating a new exercise habit can be hard, especially in the beginning your mind and body try to resist the change as much as possible.

30-day challenges are a good way to start an exercise routine. It starts small, you can track it and you stick with it for 30 days.
It motivates you to not miss a day because you have a deadline.

When we have a deadline, we tend to perform better. It creates a pressure and forces us to show up every day.

Though you will be getting the benefits after 30 days, don’t stop there. It has given you a head start for your lifelong fitness journey (hopefully).

You can google and get numerous challenges that focus on each body part or even full body workouts. Pinterest is also a great resource for this.

how to start an exercise habit and stick with it

10. Have a variety of fitness activities

Try to incorporate different kinds of physical activities into your exercise regimen. Because it keeps exercise interesting and enjoyable.

You are not stuck with one form of exercise. Experiment with different types and find out what you enjoy most and gives you good results.

If Mondays are for yoga, Tuesdays can be for weight training, Wednesdays for jogging etc.

You get the benefits of different forms of exercises and kick out boredom.

Of course, trying everything at once is not advisable. Take it slow.

11. Journal your progress

Keeping a workout journal helps you track your progress. It inspires you to look back on how much you have achieved and to keep going.

It keeps you on schedule. The thought of not able to cross off “workout” in my bullet journal makes me do my workout no matter how lazy I feel. You perform better when you have to answer to someone ( in this case, your journal).

It creates a sense of accomplishment and builds my self-esteem when at the end of the day, I can mark it in my bullet journal.

You can record your fitness goals in the journal and track them daily. It helps you to measure your progress.

Read more: 10 ways journal writing will change your life

12. Reward yourself

Your aim is to start an exercise habit. Thus, you might be starting small. You might not see the results on your body yet.

But remember, first we wanna make this habit stick. Reward yourself for the efforts you are taking to make this change in your life.

No matter how small, if you are making changes to create a better life, you deserve to appreciate yourself.

So often we quit soon because we fail to see how far we have come, even if they are baby steps.

Here is an article to read on how to reward yourself after a workout.

Like any habit, creating a workout habit requires time, patience and a lot of effort. Workouts are not always easy and fun, but they are always worth it.

Like I said, after a while you get used to the adrenaline rush, which will make you crave for the workout and then it becomes part of your daily life.

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Want to have better habits? If you have tried and failed to create an exercise habit, read this article. Find out how to form an exercise habit that sticks.

So what more tips would you add to the list? Please comment below.

 

Before you dismiss of journaling habit as something only the intelligent ones or the creative ones do, let me tell you something:

Journaling can be for everyone.

Great men like Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Winston Churchill and many more, had journals.

So what is the relation between writing journals and becoming great?

It’s not that simply writing in a journal can make you great. It is how you use it, makes the difference.

Here are 10 benefits of journaling that can help you improve your life. If you think you don’t know what to write in a journal or don’t know how to start, let me help. 

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. It helps me run this website and create useful content for you. Thank you for supporting my blog :-)**

1. journaling helps to Record daily insights that touch you

10 benefits of journaling and how it can change your life

As humans, we have an average of 60-65k thoughts per day. Among them, there might be some wonderful thoughts, ideas and life lessons that we learn from our experiences on a daily basis.

You can record them in your journal. We grow as a person when we learn from our lessons. Recording them on your journal helps you to remember them more.

Another benefit, journaling sometimes gives you interesting revelations about yourself which you wouldn’t have normally thought about.

2. you can Write about your goals and measure progress

Instead of simply writing about your days, you can also use journaling to keep track of your life. It helps in planning your life as you want it to be.

You can have a goal tracker or a habit tracker drawn (or dedicate a separate section for it). And at the end of each day, evaluate how much you did accomplish.

As the saying goes,

What gets measured,  gets done.”

It helps in not losing focus on your goals and acts as a reminder of why you want to achieve a certain goal. When you write down your goals, you are committing yourself to do it. It reminds your brain that this is important for you and thus your brain causes you to notice more opportunities which help in achieving them.

Having a written plan in your journal will help you kick procrastination habit and bring more order in your life by getting things done.

Related:

3. you can Write about your desires 

As humans, we all spend some time wishing about the future; the list of things we want to do or want to have.

It can be about ideas for expanding a business, the kind of body you want to have, the places you want to go, the activities you want to check off your bucket list, the new dish you want to make etc.

A journal is a great place to jot down all these. Research has proved that what we write down we retain more. Thus, there are more chances of taking action. And you definitely want to have those wonderful experiences, right?

4. Lessons from your past experiences

Don’t let your past dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you will become.

Your journal is a little window to your past.

Looking back you have those memories to smile or cry or learn.

It also helps in analyzing your growth as a person. Like what made you upset years ago doesn’t even have a place in your life right now or you realize you cried over trivial things. Such things make you realize how important it is to spend your time more wisely. And manage your emotions in a new light.

You can also write about daily events, not necessarily daily, but the memorable events of your day. The ones you would like to revisit later in life.

5. journaling helps to release pent-up emotions

10 benefits of journaling and how it can change your life

Today we have all kinds of journals, planners and apps to help us do our tasks, but we are distracted more than ever because of the temptation to give in to the social media notifications. This virtual escape does not help in dealing with our thoughts and problems.

When we get overwhelmed due to our circling thoughts, we try to numb our minds by mindlessly scrolling on social media. It has become a new medium for relaxation.

But time spent on social media doesn’t always relax our minds and give focus. It gives only a distraction.

We should rely on a medium that helps us channel our thoughts onto a focused solution. You can dump your thoughts in a journal, or you can just use it for brainstorming. It helps us to clear our minds, relax and take better decisions.

When my mind is overwhelmed with difficult emotions, I do freewriting in my journal (more on this in a minute).  And I write about how to solve it, how I should approach this problem and how I should improve myself so that this doesn’t occur again (being proactive). Trust me, it is super comforting. I learn about myself more on these journaling sessions and I get actionable tips for self-improvement.

It’s like having a personal therapist.

Related: 10 best habits to have in life to take your life to the next level

6. a tool to Organize your thoughts

Another benefit I like about journal writing is, your life gets more organized. If your thoughts and to-do lists are scattered all over the place, you must try journaling. You can use any journal, what I use is a bullet journal. Starting a bullet journal has helped me immensely in having a system for my daily life. 

You can create separate sections in your journal for each area of your life. Because to evolve as a person and be a better version of yourself, you need to grow in all aspects of life. A journal is a tool where you can plan to improve.

In my journal, I write about making improvements in career, relationships, parenting, spirituality, health, exercise etc.

I have goals for each part of my life. And it will blow me away if I were to keep all those aspirations in my mind. If it is in my journal, I know I am going to do something about it (and I do!)

You can even have different journals for different subjects but I recommend using one(or two) for everything as you can take it everywhere.

 After a while, you will find that your journal turns out to be your constant companion who agrees to whatever you say, be with you in everything, gives you feedback and guards your secrets like a loyal friend.

Related: 10 bullet journal tips you must know as a beginner

7. you can Write about what  you are grateful for in life

10 benefits of journaling and how it can change your life

I cannot stress enough how important and powerful gratitude is. I first found out about it from Rhonda Byrne’s famous book “The Secret” two years ago. There are people who scorn Law of Attraction. Even I don’t believe in sitting at one place “wishing” for things to happen and hope that a magical genie would come to fulfill my desires. No! You have to move your butt and work for it. And then expect the results.

But feeling gratitude daily has changed my life.  I used to be a pessimist and would spend my days thinking about ‘lack of things’. The downside of it is, I failed to notice the good things happening in life. But when I started practicing gratitude, I found out I have more things to be happy of, than things to worry about.

Gratitude makes me ponder about the blessings I have and I never let my mind to drown in disappointing thoughts which drain the positive energy out of my day. Gratitude makes me see the good side of life, even in the most difficult circumstances.

It has really changed my life. I am happier, became more optimistic and I find more blessings come around.

For all those who want to know more about the power of gratitude, I highly recommend the book  ‘The Secret’.


You can buy the audio version here from Audible.com. (You’ll get it free along with another book if you sign up for a free 30-day trial.)

8. journaling Increases self-discipline

Self-discipline is one quality you should develop if you want to succeed in life. Successful people have one quality: they do their tasks even if they want to or not.

We all have days on which we would like to stop the alarm, pull the covers and sleep more. But showing up daily, no matter what is what going to help you create the life you want.

If you plan your days in a journal, it can be your accountability partner. Checking off the items on your list the end of the day is so rewarding and encouraging.

One of the benefits of journaling is, you are creating a habit where you are expected to show up. And self-discipline is a muscle which grows as you flex it more and more.

9. journaling helps in healing your emotional wounds

Writing is therapeutic. It also helps you to tap into your intuitions to get answers.

It is an outlet to let flow even the most difficult and painful experiences or feelings, that you might not want to tell anyone. (Though I recommend getting an expert help if there is something you can’t solve yourself). It helps in confronting the situation and finding a way out.

You get to listen to your thoughts and feelings and express them rather than creating a storm in your head going in circles.

It is powerful because when we let our feelings out, we get more emotional clarity.

10. journaling helps in problem-solving

Too often, we struggle to take action because of our fears and self-doubt.

In the primitive age, our body would produce fear to protect us from external danger ( like wild animals ). The truth is, still today, our brain triggers fear when we are about to step into the unknown. But we get engulfed in our fears without realizing there is no such potential danger.

Often we choose to stay in the safe zone, even if it doesn’t give us the happiness we deserve. We choose unhappiness over uncertainty.

But, a journal could help you in fighting your fears. And control the fear which is affecting the quality of your life.

How is it possible?

Tim Ferris, a bestselling author, and blogger teaches an exercise called “fear-setting”, in his book Tools of Titans.  He says fear setting helped him in overcoming difficult fears in life. Here is an article to learn more about fear-setting.

And also watch Tim’s TED talk(2017) on it, here.

You need not do this exercise in a journal. You can do it on a piece of paper too. But, a journal is going to be with you always and you can always refer back to it when needed.

conclusion

You have 10 reasons to start journaling today. Grab a book and start writing. If you are still unsure about what to write, you can try freewriting in the beginning.

Freewriting means writing whatever comes to your mind for a set period of time, without regard to spelling or grammar.

Set a timer for 10-15 minutes. Write what you are thinking right now, even if it sounds stupid. Write even if you don’t get anything to write. It can go like this.

I don’t know what to write about. Nothing comes to my mind. Right now, I’m freewriting. I think this will help me in putting my thoughts on paper. I bought a journal. In it, I will write about …….

You see often it will give you ideas that you might not have got if you stayed in your mental chatter. Freewriting is usually used to warm up writing routine when you face writer’s block. You don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or any error here. Neither should you stop to read what you wrote. Do not lose contact of your pen with paper.

You might like:

I’d like to hear about your journaling habit. How has it helped you in other areas of life? Comment below.

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10 benefits of journaling and how it can change your life

Have you ever stopped to wonder why years pass so quickly?

I have.

Though I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I think the start of a new year is the time for reflection for many. About the goals set last year and evaluating their success rate, and making new commitments.

What makes a new year special?

I think it’s the fresh start that motivates us to set goals. A fresh start gives us a new energy. Be it a relationship, a school, a business or even a habit.

In fact, a study shows that people are more likely to tackle their goals immediately after temporal landmarks (start of new year, birthdays, holidays, new week/month, semester etc). It’s called ‘fresh start effect’.

And most of us like to imagine how we will make each area of our life better, beginning from the new year. Like changing our diets, exercising more frequently or even taking up a new form of exercise, changing our thinking patterns, control anger etc.

Here I have compiled a list of best habits to have in life. If practiced, they will cause positive and remarkable changes in your life.

Learn 10 better habits that can improve your personal development journey.

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. It helps me run this website and create useful content for you. Thank you for supporting my blog :-)**

1. Gratitude

There is a reason gratitude tops my list. I have been practicing gratitude for over 2 years now. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t grateful before. But I didn’t do it as a practice.

But when I started practicing it, I can say my life changed.

I used to worry about small things in life to a large extent. And fair enough, the things I worried started showing up too.

But after starting gratitude practice in my journal, I began to approach life more positively.

There is an old adage which says,”Happiness is not a destination, but a journey”. We postpone happiness thinking achieving a certain thing can make us happy. Or something is going on in my life right now due to which I can’t be happy.

No, it doesn’t work that way.

Even when something is not right in your life now, there are numerous other things that are perfect. Count them, express gratitude for them, to the God you believe in or to the Universe.

You can buy a gratitude journal or a simple notebook will do. Express gratitude for the things you are grateful for, each day. Don’t hesitate to write about even the smallest things that made you happy each day.

Like how your daughter told you that she loves you or even for the flower that bloomed in your garden today. You will be amazed by the changes it will bring to your life.


 Examples:

  • I am grateful to have a healthy body.
  • I am thankful I have a beautiful home to live. It keeps me warm and I have a place for all my belongings.
  • I am grateful for my kids’ health.
  • I am thankful my boss was happy with my work today.

Learn 10 better habits that can improve your personal development journey.

2. Inspire yourself

Zig Ziglar once said:

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

No matter how fired up you are to work towards your goals, there are always days you don’t feel like moving a finger. You might even feel like maybe this is not something you’re meant to do. It can happen especially on the days you don’t see the results you expect.

It happens to everyone.

Therefore, it is essential to inspire yourself with motivational content every other day.

Have some books of your favorite authors handy. Or, you can listen to motivating podcasts or watch YouTube videos or Ted talks.

You can read about the lives of successful people, how they sailed through failures and learn from them.

Make a habit of reading at least two pages of a self-help book or watching a short YouTube video as part of your morning routine.

3. Get out of your comfort zone more often

This year, one of my goals is to make a habit of doing uncomfortable things more often.

Comfort zone is the best place to be, right?

Who wants to have butterflies in the stomach and feel fear?

No one.

 It is when you stretch your comfort zone you get to discover your true potential. It helps you to grow in life, thus achieving more.

Along with butterflies, it will give you new experiences that you would have missed out on, meet new people and explore new places. Never leaving your comfort area means staying stagnant.

So next time, when you want to say “no” to something that you wish you could do, think twice.

Learn 10 better habits that can improve your personal development journey.

4. Journaling

Journaling helps you record your life. It helps you to plan your days, ensuring you are not wasting the precious 24 hours given to you.

Sometimes our thoughts can overwhelm us. A journaling habit helps in dumping our thoughts into paper, thus clearing our mind. Journaling habit has helped me a lot in bringing an order in my life. I had trouble organizing my thoughts and ideas and that’s how I started journaling. Sometimes, when I need to vent I do that also in my journal.

It’s also a great tool to plan your days and write your goals. Successful people recommend the habit of reviewing your goals on a daily basis to track your progress.

You can start with any notebook or diary. And set a time daily for performing this. Most people prefer to journal first thing in the morning, or just before bedtime.

What I prefer for journaling is a bullet journal. A bullet journal is a planner that is very flexible and customizable. Unlike traditional planners, you create monthly/weekly/daily spreads as you go along. And you have the freedom to create any spread of your preferred topic with each page of a bullet journal notebook. 

If you have been discouraged by the beautiful artsy bullet journals out there, learn how to start a simple bullet journal here. You do not need artistic skills for bullet journaling.

Related:

5. Exercise

If your body is a vehicle, fuel is the food you give it to run. But you also need to do regular preventive maintenance to keep it in good shape and to prevent a sudden breakdown.

Exercise is the preventive maintenance you give your body to run smoothly and help you live life in the best possible way.

Regular exercise helps in improving energy, improves blood circulation, controls weight, combats diseases etc. It even boosts your mood by producing endorphins which makes you happy. And the best part is, it also reflects in all other areas of your life too.

Such habits are called keystone habits.

Charles Duhigg in his book The Power of Habit, calls exercise a keystone habit. According to Charles, it helps in creating chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.

I have found this to be true. If we exercise regularly, we would want to eat healthily and avoid junk food as much as possible. And also we get increased energy and good mood to continue with our daily chores.

Related: How to start an exercise habit that sticks

6. Reading

The ultra-successful people are also the ones who read a lot. If you look at Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, they all swear by reading habit. It has influenced their success to a large extent.

Reading opens to you new perspectives you didn’t know existed. If schooling gives you basic education, reading good books gives you the means to progress, improve your life, change your outlook, gives you new information that you wouldn’t get from schools or other sources.

It is a powerful habit that will give you immense benefits.

If you don’t want to read, you can listen to audiobooks. You can read this article to learn about some of the best audiobook services.

7. Set goals

For many, life is living on autopilot without new aspirations or growth, just going with the flow. Needless to say, it leads to a mediocre life.

If you want to achieve greatness in life or be remembered for something, you should have a vision and work for it. And setting goals will help you in it. It gives you a direction to follow.

Only if you have the destination mapped out, you will know when you get there. You get to measure your work against a set standard. And measuring is important since you get to know if you have attained it or not and find out what to improve.

You can set goals in all areas of life like health, work, relationships, spiritual, hobbies etc.

Learn 10 better habits that can improve your personal development journey.

Related: 3 mistakes to avoid if you want to achieve your goals

8. Meditation

Meditation has numerous benefits on your mind and body. It reduces the stress of daily life. Stress can give you many diseases, thus it’s important to keep it under control. When we meditate we observe our thoughts passively, without letting ourselves involve in it or have feelings.

This helps in real life, where we observe stressful events keeping a distance and thus we are calmer and we can make better decisions. Starting a meditation habit is one of the best investments you could give yourself.

Read more:

9. Be proactive

Stephen R Covey in his famous book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says being proactive means, taking responsibility. If you are proactive you never look at the problem and worry, but you try to look for a solution. You do not blame people or circumstances for causing it.

I certainly believe this as one of the best habits to develop. Because when you take responsibility for the negative events happening in your life, you will look for solutions. If you blame others, you give away your power and play the victim. It sabotages you and your path to success.

Proactive people create their own opportunities while reactive people wait for opportunities to come their way.

What do you want in life?

To be carried away by events, or control your responses to them and take charge of your life?

Learn 10 better habits that can improve your personal development journey.

10. Get off the online world more for real life experiences

Our smartphones, rather than being a tool of convenience, has turned into something that rules our time and our days. We waste so much of our time by looking at what’s happening in other’s lives.

Do you always feel something is missing if your phone is not near you?

If so, it’s high time you get hold back of your priorities.

What you can do is, create time blocks to use the internet. Check e-mails, social media updates and do web browsing only in the allotted time. You can save so much time and have more hours in a day to do something that leads you to your goals. 

You can check your emails or social media if it’s urgent, but don’t get hooked up. Log out as soon as your work is done.

So this is my list of 10 best habits to have in life. Habits which, if implemented, can lead you to a more productive and fruitful life.

What do you think? What other habits would you add to the list? Please comment below.

Related: What is hygge?  A beginner’s guide to the Danish secret to happiness

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Learn 10 better habits to have in life to improve your personal development journey

Unlike what many think, meditation is not meant only for the spiritual people.

Instant connectivity to anyone around the world, and the ability to bring any information you want on your screens just by typing a few words onto your devices have reduced the size of our world.

But what has it done to our inner connectivity?

Are we really in sync with our inner self or just distracted every few seconds?

For most of the people, any time they take a break from an activity, their hands automatically reach for the phone. And it shows distraction to the core.

Do you want to live a more fulfilling life?

Meditation could be the key to it.

I am all for habits that can positively enhance your life and help achieve the success you deserve. And I have found that meditation is one such habit that can change your life in a dramatic way.

Let me explain what meditation is and how to start a meditation habit that can help to change your life.

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. It helps me run this website and create useful content for you. Thank you for supporting my blog :-)**

What is meditation?

Meditation is a science. It is training your mind to be still, to be conscious of the present moment and focusing inwardly by warding away the incessant mental chatter.

Even though you are awake and fully aware of your surroundings, you choose to focus inward. You do not allow your mind to let anything else disturb your focus.

Wonderful, isn’t it?

Who wouldn’t want to escape the stress of daily life and experience calm?

Mastering your mind is essential to achieve success and meditation is a tool that will help.

This ancient method developed centuries ago in India, helps us to gain control of the mind and produce a sense of well-being.

Want to know how to start meditation habit? Learn the benefits of meditation and how to practice meditation.

The benefits of meditation and how it can change your life

Ian Gowler, in his book, 48 Creative Meditations, talk about the effects of meditation as:

Meditation is a key to positive thinking. The more often and the more deeply you enter into the simple silence of profound meditation, the more you return to your natural state of balance. The more balanced you are, the more it seems you connect with your own inner wisdom and all it has to offer. This is another reason to recommend you maintain a regular practice of meditation.

There are different types of meditation. Meditation is nothing but observing your thoughts passively. You can focus on any outside object or simply observe your thoughts.

You observe your thoughts and feelings coming and go, detached from them. When you make it a daily practice, you can gradually see changes in your life as well.

You don’t react to situations as you used to. When something or someone angers you, you tend to observe your thoughts calmly.

It raises awareness of how you are feeling in a moment and stay detached from any negative feeling. But unlike common perception, meditation doesn’t make you feelingless, it simply makes you more in control of your emotions.

Often when we react in the heat of the moment, we tend to say things that we don’t mean to. And the worst thing is, we can’t take them back once they are out in the air.

Imagine how good you will feel if you can remain calm in most negative situations. Mediation gives exactly that.

Researchers have proved that meditation changes the response of amygdala (a part of the brain highly involved with different emotional responses). It has been proved before that the response of amygdala to emotional stimuli is lower when a person is in a mindful meditative state.

But this study took it further and has proved that amygdala response to emotional stimuli is lower even when a person is in a non-meditative state.

In short, meditation affects the way our brain processes emotions even when we are not meditating. It has a long-term effect on our emotional responses. It also increases immunity and slows ageing. These are enough reasons to start meditation today.

But I can hear you.

Are you saying that you don’t have enough time to meditate? Or maybe don’t know how to make it a habit.

Let me help you.

How to start a meditation habit from scratch?

If you are a person who has never meditated in life, you can start easily like this.

All you need is two things: a quiet place and 2-3 minutes. You can try this even while you are reading this, now!

Though there are different types of meditation, I am talking about mindfulness meditation here. This is what I practice and my favorite. And it is an easy one to begin with.

Are you ready?

Choose a posture you are comfortable with. You can either sit on a chair or on a cushion on the floor with folded legs. Different kinds of meditation cushions are available in the market today. But if you are a beginner I suggest sitting on a chair. You can even lie down on your back, but only if you’re sure you won’t sleep.

This infographic below will help in getting your posture right.

Want to know how to start meditation habit? Learn the benefits of meditation and how to practice meditation.
Source: mindful.org

Now, pull out your phone or any timer and set a timer for 2 minutes.

Start focusing on your breath. Take note of each inhale and exhale. Notice how you take breaths. When your mind wanders, gently bring back your attention to breathing. No judgement here or frustration for lack of focus.

Try to stay present with your breathing, not forcefully but gently.

When you catch yourself thinking something else, acknowledge it, but don’t judge. This teaches you to observe your thoughts even when you are not meditating and helps you see things from different perspectives. And it also helps you attain that calm before reacting aggressively to different situations.

Our goal here is to be aware of whatever thought that comes to mind, not removing them.

How to make meditation a habit?

Choose a time when you can practice daily. And set a reminder to do it daily. Start with 2-3 minutes. Be consistent with the practice and slowly increase the time duration.

Choosing a small time duration will help you in establishing the habit. And also, in the beginning, you might not be able to focus for 10 minutes or more.

It is better if you choose a particular time every day and stick with it. It will help you remember the new habit.

When you are trying to form a new habit, there is a possibility of forgetting to do it. Especially if there is no cue associated with it to remind you.

I do my meditation practice right after journaling at night. So writing in my journal is my cue here.

I have been journaling for almost a year now. So it is an established habit. Thus I remember my meditation habit too. You too could associate it with some established habits like

  • Right after brushing teeth in the morning
  • Right before going to bed
  • When you reach home from work
  • Before meal

Related:

You can also keep visual reminders by writing on post-it notes and sticking on your fridge or mirror; the places you are likely to pass by daily.

There you are, you have enough information to start a meditation routine.

What are the challenges you face while meditating? Or even when trying to establish any habit? Let me know about it in the comments below.


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Want to know how to start a meditation habit? Learn the benefits of meditation and how to practice meditation.

 

 

Do you know one of the reasons for procrastination is fear? Here are some tips on how to stop procrastinating when you have fear.

Can you think of a valuable asset you have with you right now?

No matter where you come from, everyone is given this asset.

It’s nothing else, but time.

But, think about how we take care of it.

Are you living in a way, where each day of your life is as productive as possible?

No, I’m not suggesting you live like a robot and live only from a list. But as humans, to be successful in life, you need to plan your days and have an ongoing system to get things done.

But we tend to procrastinate on some important tasks no matter how hard we try. The reason may be deep without us realizing it. 

Laziness isn’t the only reason we procrastinate. It could be the underlying fear of failure.

Related: 8 smart tips to overcome laziness and skyrocket your productivity

Read on to find out how to beat your fear to overcome procrastination.

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Why fear makes you procrastinate? 

Fear of failure haunts you when you have one or more of the following fears.

We fear failure when we doubt our abilities. Self-doubt and lack of self-confidence lead to inaction. Even when we think it’s something we should do, we are unable to take action. We procrastinate.

As a result, many people go to their graves with their dreams buried in them.

Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul.

-Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

 How to overcome fear from killing your potential?

Take a sheet of paper and write down the most important task or goal that you tend to procrastinate. And come up with 5-10 reasons why you think you can’t do it (these are your fears).

Now for each reason, think about what can be done to solve each one. Here you get an idea on what’s causing you to procrastinate and you are identifying the solution to each problem.

You can brainstorm more and get more ideas on how you can solve each one. Google is your friend here. You can find tons of articles on solving literally whatever problem you have.

It might be learning new things about your subject, acquiring new skills, or having to figure out about setting aside more time for it.

Writing by hand is important as it gives you more clarity to your thoughts.

Here is a list of some of the fears you might be having.

1. Fear of losing time and effort if you fail

Everyone can have this fear when starting anything new.

What if all my effort goes under the drain? I would lose all the time, money and effort   I spent on it. I could spend it on something else which seems safe.

Such thoughts cause you to procrastinate and paralyze you from taking action. But how do you know what will work for you? Unless you don’t try something, you never know.

It can work or not. If it works, hurray!

But if it doesn’t, I would say it’s still better than not trying and wondering “what would happen if I had tried”. If you fail, you now know what works for you and what doesn’t. You might learn something in the process that you can use in the future.

Napoleon Hill, in his bestselling book, Think and Grow Rich, says

how to overcome procrastination-Napoleon Hill quote

If you don’t try new things, you never grow. Think about being in the same place exactly a year from now.

You don’t want that, do you?

Jack Ma, the founder of Ali Baba failed many times before becoming a billionaire. He is a master of perseverance. You can be too.

2. Fear of being ridiculed

You are afraid you will make fun of yourself and you worry about what others will think. Especially if you fail, you think you won’t be able to face others.

 Truth be told, nobody gives a damn about what you do in life. Except for a handful of people. And they will always count on you no matter what happens.

Leave the rest of the people whom you worry about. Everyone is worried about their own lives and what they should do. Even our loved ones think mostly about themselves in a day.

Don’t you think it’s true?

What do you think about most in a day?

We are worried about our work, family or health. And we worry about how we come across to other people. Even if people say something about you it is their opinion, it need not be the truth.

No matter whatever you do in life there will always be people who don’t think highly of it. Everyone may not like you or your work. And you know what?

It’s okay.

They don’t need to love what you do and you don’t need everyone’s acceptance to succeed in life.

I used to worry about what people think of me all the time. The biggest breakthrough came to me when I  learned that they don’t think about me all the time. What a relief!

So forget about people. Be your own boss.

3. Fear of not being good enough/smart enough

Self-doubt can be crippling.

It prevents you from taking action, even when your heart screams you want it.

First of all, know that you are not alone in this. Everyone feels they are not good enough/smart enough at one point or the other, especially when starting something new.

Solution:

1. Acknowledge it

Let that thought come and go. Acknowledge that you have it.

The key is in not letting it overpower you. Remember everyone has it and it needn’t be the truth.

2. Analyze the thought

Think about why you have it.

It may be because you are looking at people who have had massive success in their field and comparing yourself with them.

But it is absurd.

Because you are not seeing how they reached there. They started like you, at the lowest rung of the ladder.

Everyone has to start somewhere. You polish your skills and acquire more knowledge as you go. You can never start being an expert.

3. Come up with ideas on how to solve it

Look up to your leaders with a curious mind. Learn how they made it to the top. Find out how you can do the same. At the same time don’t be intimidated by their success.

It’s when you think about only the end result, you get the fear.

Here is a task for you.

Break down your goal into simple steps.

For example, if you want to become a singer, instead of doubting your ability, think about what you can do now to pursue this goal.

As the first step,  you can join a music school and start learning and practicing.

You can surely do that.

But if you look at Beyoncé or Lady Gaga you will feel overwhelmed by thinking you can’t be them. Remember, they started like you.

Related: 3 mistakes to avoid if you want to achieve your goals

4. Fear of not having enough skills

Make a list of all the skills you need in your desired field. Read books or blogs on how to improve those skills.

In this age of instant connectivity, it should never be a problem. You have numerous courses available on any skill you want to achieve. Sign up for a course online or offline.

Build the required skills gradually, one by one. Human beings are made in such a way that we can master almost any skill with the right training and positive attitude.

Conclusion

Conquering your fears one by one is essential to stop procrastinating. Hope this article has helped to understand your fears and inspire you to take action.

What is it that you struggle with and makes you procrastinate? Please comment below.

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Do you know one of the reasons for procrastination is fear? Here are some tips on how to stop procrastinating when you have fear.