We all want to take control of our life. We want a purposeful, successful and happy life. We also know that it starts with planning our goals, breaking down the activities we planned into manageable pieces and working on them daily.
Developing and practicing effective habits or routines will help us achieve that. They set the tone of our whole day; they create and strengthen our empowered mind so we can evaluate the existing boundaries of our own thoughts and break through those limiting barriers.
There are many good and helpful habits that you can choose to practice. However, I suggest developing these habits, which I call “7 Daily Habits of An Empowered Mind”, that I find very efficient and do not require a lot of time to complete.
The 7 Effective Daily Habits of An Empowered Mind
- Planning for today
- Planning for tomorrow
- Meditation. and
I typically divide them into morning and evening habits, but it is up to you to reorder them as you see fit except for the habits of reflection, planning for tomorrow and planning for today. Habits four and five should be carried out in the evening and habit three in the morning.
GRATITUDE – Habit #1Gratitude is being thankful for people, things, objects or events that we encounter in our daily life. There are great things going on in our life that we take for granted.
Taking the time to notice what is around us, reflecting upon these things and being grateful for them will potentially help us move forward towards what we are seeking for – happiness, success, health or wealth.
The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day. These should take less than 5 minutes a day.
To start this process, think of 3 things that you are grateful for. It could be as simple as “I am grateful for my dog” or “I am grateful for the flowers that are blooming in my garden.”
It can also be situational such as “I am grateful for finishing the first chapter of my book.” or “I am grateful for finding my keys that I misplaced.” Focus on happy energy sources.
Write your daily gratitude on a post-it note and stick them where you can easily see them to give you a boost of positive energy all day long.
Or you can write them in your gratitude journal or in this workbook that I created for you, where you can re-read all the things you were grateful for when you need internal pep talks on some day.
AFFIRMATIONS – Habit #2Affirmations are declarations of positive phrases or sentences that we practice regularly and repeatedly usually to counter negative thoughts or to affirm reasons why we’re worth it, why we deserve to be happy and successful.
Most affirmations start with “I am” followed by X – where X is what you need to hear to remind yourself that you can hit those goals and what a great and aspirational person you are.
Examples: I am enough, I am peaceful in my body and soul, I am the person I was meant to become.
Write your daily affirmation in your affirmation journal or in this workbook that I created for you, where you can re-read all your affirmations and see them transform into reality.
There are two different ways people use affirmation, the hammer way, and the butterfly way. The affirmation habit that I recommend is the former. It is through repetitions that we empower our minds to make our desires and dreams to be transformed into reality.
Two main reasons why experts believe affirmations work
Experts believe that there are two main reasons why affirmations work. The first one has something to do with our Reticular Activating System (RAS). RAS acts like a filter that lets in information that it thinks we need and filters out the rest.
If we didn’t have this system, we would be swamped with so much information that our senses would overload, and we would go into massive overwhelm. Instead, our brain registers, again, what it thinks matters to us based on our goals, needs, interests, and desires.
Here is a classic example of RAS. One day, you decided to buy a red car, and you started thinking of how you’d look in it, either consciously or unconsciously. Suddenly, you noticed a number of red cars that you’ve not seen or noticed before. That is your RAS working. It picked up on your interest and desire for the red car, and it showed you what it thinks you want.
This classic example indicates that whatever you keep repeating to yourself will spur your reticular activating system. RAS will then become obliged to show you opportunities to make what you have been affirming happen.
The second main reason why affirmation works is it creates a dynamic tension that motivates us to do something that will release that tension. We experience dynamic tension when we have uncomfortable or incongruent feelings. This happens when we consider what we’re saying as truth is actually the opposite or half truth of what is really going on in our life at the moment.
For instance, if your affirmation is “I am happy and healthful at my present ideal weight” when in actuality you are nowhere near your ideal weight, you will feel a painful incongruence between what you perceive and what is the reality.
Dynamic tension is a good thing. Because as humans we want to rid ourselves of tensions. We can do that by either stop saying the affirmation or make the reality match our affirmation. Most of the time, if you are really committed and determined, you will do the latter. You will be motivated to do what is needed to get to your ideal weight, thus eliminating your dynamic tension.
PLANNING FOR TODAY – Habit #3
This habit goes hand and hand with Habit 5, ‘Planning for Tomorrow’ The tasks you are going to perform today come from your evening plans.
Before you start your day, look at what you wrote on your planned tasks for tomorrow. Rate them from 1 to 4 (or whatever number you think you can or must finish today), where 1 means this will be done first, then 2 then 3 and so on and write them on your plans for today section of your journal or in this workbook that I created for you.
On your plans for the day, put an ‘X’ mark next to the task once you finish a task. At the end of the day, you should have finished all of them. If not, add a forwarding date for the unfinished ones and reflect on what obstacles or challenges stopped you from accomplishing them.
Write these obstacles and challenges including what positive things happened today such as your wins or a spark of motivation or inspiration that you unexpectedly found on your Evening Habits section of your journal or write your plans for today in this workbook that I created for you.
Evening daily habits allow us to close out our current day as well as plan the next one so we are pump and ready to take action the following day.
REFLECTION – Habit #4At the end of the day, think about your day, your work, your life. In that order and reflect on these questions:
– How did your day go? What did you learn today? About yourself? About others?
– What success did you experience?
– What challenges did you endure?
– How did that make your feel?
These might be a little difficult to do at first, but if you continue with this habit, reflection will become easier.
Use your journal to write down your reflections or making spaces for the Positive (what went right or what positive things have you learned), the Struggles (what are the obstacles have you encountered that restrained you from successfully accomplishing your plan for that day) and what you Overcame (actions that helped you win over the struggles).
Or write your reflections in this workbook that I created for you.
PLANNING FOR TOMORROW – Habit #5As I mentioned in habit 3,”Preparing for Tomorrow,” this is where you list down what you need or should accomplish the following day.
From what you have written in your reflection journal, think of what could you have done differently or the same. Can you break those actions down into simpler steps? Which of those steps will you add to your plans for tomorrow?
Are there action plans from yesterday or several days ago that you have not yet finished? Have you figured out the barriers that prevented you from completing them? Write our strategy in your journal and add a date of completion.
section of your journal or write your plans for today in this workbook that I created for you.
THE ANYTIME HABITS
MEDITATION – Habit #6Most of us, if not all, have heard about meditation even if we practiced it or not. So let us start there. What is meditation?
Meditation is calming of the mind to attain a deep state of consciousness that is totally different from that of our normal waking state.
Meditation helps us to focus on our true nature and also it enables us to accept what is coming our way.
Meditation has long been known for helping people deal with automatic negative thoughts or ANTs.
It also helps manage stress and even strengthen the immune system. These are just a few of the many benefits of Meditation.
So why is it that a large population of adults do practice meditation? Some think that meditation is a ritual practiced by eastern non-Christian or non-Judeo religions, while others think that meditation is difficult to do.
Both assumptions are wrong. Firstly, meditation is actually a science. Why else would NIST or the National Institute of Science and Technology spend time and money studying it?
Secondly, anyone can learn how to meditate even if you are one of the 92% adults who do not practice meditation. (The statistics is from NIST)
Just to be clear, there are several types of meditation and different ways to meditate. What we are going for in this habit is mindful meditation, which in my opinion is the most popular and easiest one to practice.
Contrary to what you might have read or pictured in your mind, mindful meditation does not have to be done in a yoga position, sitting in silence for hours and hours.
You have a choice on how long you want to meditate or where you want to meditate according to the Tibetan Meditation Master, Yungie Mingjour Ringpochie.
VISUALIZATION – Habit #7Why Practice Visualization? Here are some of the benefits of visualization:
– Gives vivid idealized description or desired outcome that inspires
– Helps create a mental picture of your target goal
– Gives a strong hint on how to get to your goal
- Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed as you do your visualization.
- Lay down or sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, relax, and imagine your dream/goal was already attained.
- Suspend all doubt. Turn off the part of your mind that wants to be practical. Don’t worry about how you’re going to achieve the vision. Don’t worry about any obstacles or challenges that come to mind.
- Focus using your five senses as you go through your visualization. What do you feel energy and excitement around? What engages your imagination and feels compelling? What does it taste like? What does it smell like?
Once you are comfortable with your vision and have determined that this is what you really want, ask yourself the following questions. Your answers will guide you in developing your action plan.
• How will achieving this vision make my life better?
• What will it make possible?
• Why is this important to me?
• What’s the purpose?